Human Development & Family Science Internships

 Meet Your Experiential Learning Coordinator

Cassandra Ott-Kocon, Norton School of Human Ecology, Experiential Learning Coordinator

Cassandra Ott-Kocon
Experiential Learning Coordinator
Norton School of Human Ecology

Office: McClelland Park, Room 203J

Every HDFS major needs to complete at least one "Applied Skills" Requirement. This includes one of the following:
Internship (HDFS 493), Preceptorship (HDFS 491), Research (HDFS 492), Independent Study (HDFS 499), or Honors Thesis (HDFS 498H).

Finding an Internship

Plan ahead! Start your internship search at least 2-3 months before your desired start date. Here are tips for starting your search:

Step #1: Explore Opportunities

  • Explore our up-to-date list of internship announcements for current opportunities!
  • Or start your own search by using the list of common FSHD internships - research organizations online and start reaching out to places you are interested in connecting with about possible internship opportunities.
  • Connect with Cassandra Ott-Kocon, Norton School Experiential Learning Coordinator, to start talking about your interests and identifying opportunities
  • Connect with the CALES Career Center
  • View the UA Career Development information and search internships on Handshake
  • Regularly attend UA career and internship panels organized by HDFS Student Services, the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences, and other UArizona offices like Student Engagement and Career Development. 
  • Work your network – talk to friends, professors, and acquaintances. Consider talking to UA Alumni through the Bear Down Network. Set up informational interviews with alumni or contacts in industries and attend career fairs

Step #2: Make Contact with Potential Sites

  • Once you have identified sites that sound interesting to you, start reaching out to those organization to introduce yourself and inquire about opportunities.  You can connect with the volunteer coordinator, internship coordinator, or program director. Many organizations have online forms that you can complete to express interest in getting involved.
  • Prepare a resume, cover letter, and online presence: LinkedIn, Handshake. (Get help from the UAarizona Student Engagement & Career Development).
  • Remember: An ongoing job may not be used for internship credit unless distinct work and supervision are present. Students can be paid for an internship (and are encouraged to seek out paid opportunities), but an internship typically may not be undertaken in the same organization in which a student is regularly employed; the internship must be in a different department under a different supervisor doing work that is clearly differentiated from regular duties.

Step #3: Once you have found an internship site, complete the required workplan with your supervisor and turn the completed workplan in to Cassandra Ott-Kocon for enrollment.

  • Complete the Internship Workplan. Internships in the Fall/Spring are available only to HDFS majors. Internships in Summer are open to HDFS majors and minors.
  • Required Hours: 135 hours = 3 units, 180 hours = 4 units, 225 hours = 5 units, 270 hours = 6 units. It is important that you register for the correct number of internship units, based on the total hours you will complete at your internship site. Students will not be able to adjust their registered number of internship units at the end of the semester

Experiencing an Internship

  • An internship is typically 3 units, requiring a minimum of 135 hours of work which is typically 9 to 10 hours per week in Fall semester or Spring semester. Summer session hours may be worked between mid-May through early August.
  • Hours must be worked within the semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer) for which the student is receiving credit.
  • Once you are enrolled in an internship, you will have access to a D2L course page so that you can communicate regularly with your site supervisor and internship coordinator. The HDFS internship course will require regular reflections, monthly class check-ins, and a final presentation.

Information for Community Partners/Internship Sites

  • If an organization is interested in hosting an HDFS student as an intern, more information about the internship requirements, including guidelines for community partners and internship supervisors, can be found here:
  • Community Partner Handbook
  • Sample Student Evaluation Form - to be completed by site supervisor as part of the internship