Experiential Learning Opportunities

Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and on-campus leadership roles, provide hands-on experience in an area of interest and help you build essential skills.

As part of these experiences, you'll be able to develop practical skills such as public speaking and project management. With other experiences, you'll be able to apply theoretical information you acquire in your coursework to real-life situations. Learn about the different types of experiential learning opportunities to decide which best matches your goals.


An internship will help you gain valuable work experience and build your professional resume. This experience will give you a better understanding of where your interests lie and help you clarify your post-graduation career goals. Internships can be both paid and unpaid and can possibly satisfy college credit. Internships also can have a range of time commitment depending on the position and organization.


A fellowship is a great way to deepen your understanding of how theory relates to practice while gaining a strong supportive network. They are highly-selective specialized programs that support small cohorts of students and introduce them to rigorous academic and practical challenges. A fellowship can be a stepping stone into a career since student fellows are exposed to many networking opportunities and are sought by recruiting employers. These are usually paid opportunities that can range from a one- to three-year commitment. They also often have a course or credit associated with the program.

  • You can learn about available fellowships at John Jay by visiting the Fellowship & Special Opportunities page.
  • You can also receive notifications and updates of available fellowships by subscribing to the fellowships listserv.


Service is an ideal place to start exploring opportunities and gaining experiences if you aren't sure what the best opportunity is for you. You'll become civically engaged through individual volunteerism, organizational involvement, events and gain valuable experience. While most types of service opportunities are unpaid, you can sometimes find a few that are paid. Service opportunities can also have a range of time commitment depending on the role, program, and/or organization.

Some types of service opportunities available at John Jay include:

  • Service Learning–offers you opportunities to learn both in and outside the classroom. Students have the chance to interact directly with local agencies and effect change in the community. Look at the bulletin or ask your major advisor if there are any courses that incorporate service learning.
  • Volunteering–requires a dedication of your time, and while this work is usually not paid, it can provide valuable skills that can advance your career prospects.
  • Project-Based Service—is working on the completion of a single project. The project can be established by professors, organizations, student clubs, or by students themselves. 

To learn more about these opportunities, visit the Office of Community Outreach and Service Learning.

On-Campus Leadership

On-campus leadership experiences are a great way to demonstrate to future employers your ability to take on and be trusted with high-level responsibilities. With most roles, you will develop a range of important skills such as time management, public speaking, team management, and event planning. They are great for busy students because of the work schedule flexibility and the networking opportunities that come with working on campus.

Here are a few to get started in your search:


Gaining experience with advanced research opportunities is a great way to help you stand out in your applications, whether you're considering graduate school or not. Conducting research and understanding how to interpret and use your findings is a useful and sought-after skill in any career. Research is also a great way to deepen your content knowledge in a specific area of interest, giving you material to talk about in an interview setting. Depending on the type of research opportunity, they could be paid or unpaid, possibly for course credit, and range in time commitment.

To learn more about how to get involved with research: