The CPD guide to externship success

Photograph Courtesy of Rob Varney

Colleen Murphy

Every Fall and Spring semester at Ursinus, the Career and Post-Graduate Development Office offers externship opportunities to students who are looking to explore possible career paths that they are interested in. Michele Poruban, Associate Director of the Career and Post-Graduate Development office, explains that an externship is a 2-5 day shadowing experience that gives the chance for students to immerse themselves into a field they might have interest in going in to.

Poruban further ex-plains that, over spring break, Ursinus will send students all over the Tri-State area to participate in externships, ranging from shadowing ortho-dontists, to marketers, to dermatologists. This opportunity allows for a “test drive of a career,” says Poruban. Through this experience, stu-dents will not only gain insight into a future job, but networking skills as well. Students are required to supply their own transportation and housing if accepted into an externship program.

So as for the question: Who can apply for an externship? Good news! All students at Ur-sinus can apply. While externships are competitive and preference goes to upperclassmen, Poruban explains that there is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of class year or major, to participate. In order to apply, Poruban says your first step would be to visit the Career and Post-Graduate Development page on From there, you can read more about the externship program and see if it’s the right fit for you. Poruban explains that on Handshake, you will find descriptions of the externships being of-fered this Spring. Make sure there are at least three you would be seriously interested in doing, as you will be asked to give multiple options on your application to better increase your chances of a match! You will also be required to submit a resume along with essay questions. From there, a committee will review your application and if you match with a program, you will be notified!

“Students can apply with anywhere be-tween 1 to 3 externship choices. The benefit of submitting three choices is that more options increases your chance of a match. However, we emphasize students need to accept any match they are given, so they should only list organizations they are interested in and can access with their own transportation,” Poruban states.

Some important externship dates to keep in mind include “Extern Program Made Easy,” an event which is Wednesday, Feb. 5 at noon in the Bear’s Den. The deadline for applications is on Thursday, February 13th, 11:59 PM. The externship match notifications will be on February 20th.

If you have any questions about externships, you can visit the Career and Post-Graduate Development Page on the Ursinus website, or contact Michele Poruban( or Olivia Correll(