Helen Lee leading students through the art of glass blowing

Find meaningful experience

Gain Experience: Internships, Jobs, and More

Discover Careers: Exploratory Experiences

Different types of experiences can aid you in your exploration journey. You can even use these experiences to look ahead and get a glimpse at what post-graduation opportunities could look like. 

Learn what a day in the field is like by witnessing a professional in action. Job shadowing is usually a one-day experience. Observations, particularly for health professions,  are similar to job shadowing but can extend for longer durations of time. 

School of Education Job Shadow Program

Find Job Shadows Through Handshake

Questions Answers
What is a job shadow or observation? An activity that allows you to experience a closer look at the day in the life of a particular career.
How is a job shadow helpful? Shadows or observations can help you identify what you like or dislike in a particular career and allow you to network.
Are job shadow or observation hours required for health oriented graduate programs? Shadowing or observing is highly recommended and in some cases required (e.g., for most physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physician assistant programs). Please check the admissions pages of your program(s) of interest to learn more. Additional information can be found on the Center for Pre-Health Advising website.
Where have past job shadows taken place? Wisconsin Athletics, UW Office of Human Resources: Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Well-Being, UW Recreation and Wellbeing, Waisman Center

Engage 1:1 or in a group setting to hear alumni share their experiences and career journeys — alumni can be helpful advocates and mentors as you explore your options. Schedule an informational interview with an alum to learn more about their career journey and future possibilities.

Join the ConnectED Badgers LinkedIn Group

Connect with Wisconsin Alumni

Visit an employer on-site to learn about the organization’s mission, culture, people, and opportunities. The Career Center hosts treks each semester, sometimes in partnership with School of Education classes. Career treks can either help students explore various career pathways within a particular field or provide a deeper-dive into a specific field or pathway of interest.

School of Education Events

Handshake Events

Connect with employers and alumni in the field to explore career opportunities, internships, and jobs. Event formats vary in size and structure. Share who you are, what your interests are, and learn about opportunities available. Bring your resume to engage in a dialogue with the professional that will hopefully open the door to continued conversation.

UW Career Fairs and Connectors

Handshake Events

Observe a teacher in a classroom setting to learn more about the day in a life of a K-12 educator.

Teacher Education Center 

School of Education students want to make a difference in the world — through the arts, health, and education. Gaining experience in service through volunteering or advocacy is a great way to explore your passions and career pathways you may want to pursue. 

Morgridge Center for Public ServiceMcBurney Disability Resource Center

United Way of Dane County – VolunteerYourTimeVolunteerMatch – Madison

For students who want to work internationally or develop a global network, it can be a great asset to gain experience in this area. The School of Education and our Global Engagement Office provide students with opportunities to study, travel, and gain experience in other countries to enhance their global perspective. 

Global Engagement Office

Student Jobs

UW–Madison offers a variety of great exploratory and immersive workplace experiences! Visit the Student Job Center to research opportunities and apply.

Explore Student Jobs

Work with Professionals: Immersive Experiences

Experience the practical, applied work of someone in the field to develop workplace skills and professional connections, navigate an organization’s culture, and learn new perspectives. Immersive experiences offer opportunities to manage projects, reflect, connect the experience to goals, and receive performance-based feedback. Most students participate in experiences during their junior and senior years during the semester or summer. Applications and interviews are typically required to secure an immersive experience.

Internships can be a great way to gain experience in a field that you are interested in pursuing as a career. Apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a professional work setting connected to your major or career interests. Internships can be completed in the summer or during a fall or spring semester. They can be full-time or part-time, remote or in person.

For internships, consider using these widely-available tools/resources.

School of Education Career Center: Internships


International Internships

Tips while using these sites:

  • Use advanced filters to focus your results, including location, pay, full-time/part-time, experience level, or whether the opportunity is remote or in person. In LinkedIn, you can also filter for opportunities where current UW alumni work.
  • Consider keywords to search beyond your major or a job title. These can include certain organizations/companies, the field or industry, and specific skills you want to use.
  • Many sites like Handshake and LinkedIn have posting alerts so you get an email when a new job is posted that meets your saved search criteria. 

Participate in on-the-job training while also studying the profession to prepare for certifications or future jobs in a field. These experiences are commonly found in arts-related areas. 

External Experiences: 

Wisconsin Arts Board: Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program

Arts2WorkNew York Academy of Art: Summer Undergraduate Residency

If you are considering a career in research or academia, then you may want to gain some experience in this area. UW–Madison provides great opportunities for students — including undergrads — to work with some of the world’s leading researchers. Support the research of a faculty member or perform research, analysis, and communication of findings in an industry context.

You can find many roles on job search websites, but UW–Madison also has programs specific to undergraduate students to develop their research skills. In addition, you can explore the different research labs on campus and reach out to them to see if they have any opportunities available.

Where can I find research opportunities?

Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER)

WISCIENCE: Guide to Finding a Research MentorGuide to Undergraduate Research

UW Student Job CenterUW Research Centers and Programs

Tips while exploring research opportunities:

Identify your research interests What area might you want to focus on? You don’t have to know for sure — use this opportunity to gain experience and explore what interests you.
Timing When will you get involved with research? Will your class schedule allow you to balance research and coursework during the school year? Or should you wait until summer to start?
Paid vs unpaid experiences Are you looking for a paid opportunity or a volunteer role? Both can be useful to your exploration and help build your resume.
Explore job boards and connect with campus labs Common research position titles include researcher, monitor, analyst, technician, and research assistant. You can find many roles on job search websites, but UW–Madison also has programs specific to undergraduate students to develop their research skills. In addition, you can explore the different research labs on campus and reach out to them to see if they have any opportunities available.

Leadership experience is valuable for any student who wants to work or lead others in their career. UW–Madison provides a great setting to gain these skills through student organizations, involvement in campus centers, and specific programming offered through the Center for Leadership and Involvement or the Morgridge Center.

Center for Leadership and InvolvementLeadership Programs

Wisconsin Involvement Network (WIN)Multicultural Student Center

Wisconsin Union Directorate

Still looking for student employment, part-time work, or another type of experience? Explore opportunities that the Career Center has found that may be of interest to you.

Jobs after Graduation

Ready to launch into the working world? There are thousands of search engines, industry associations, and government resources that can help you in your job search. Get started with a curated list of arts, health, and education opportunities; filtered jobs on Handshake; and quality external resources.

Arts, Education & Health Job Search Resources

Visit job and networking sites specific to your field or industry of interest: 

Update your LinkedIn profile to offer hiring managers and recruiters an easy way to find and reach out to you.

  • Join the ConnectED: Arts, Health & Education Group to stay in touch with faculty, staff, and alumni and review industry and job postings, curated by the Career Center. 
  • Visit LinkedIn’s powerful job board to search jobs by keywords and location. Set alerts based on your career interests to regularly receive email updates and stay informed on the job market.