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Externship Program

Get an insider's view of a career field by shadowing Cal alumni in their workplaces during Winter Break.

An externship is an opportunity to:

  • Explore a career field
  • Experience the workplace up close and personal
  • Learn how to apply your academic major through discussions with a professional who has a similar background
  • Assess your "fit" for a particular position or organization
  • Make career connections and begin establishing your alumni network

Observe the day-to-day activities of your Cal alumni sponsor, discuss specific jobs and careers with alumni and their colleagues, and sometimes obtain limited hands-on experience.

Find out what it's like to be a public defender, TV producer, doctor, architect, engineer, teacher, CEO, social worker, writer, scientist, consultant, attorney, IT analyst, professor, youth center director, financial advisor, and more.

Externships are available in a wide variety of career fields in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and other domestic and international locations.

Externship Timeline (student)


Student Application Cycle Application Opens:
Nov 12, 2014
Deadline to Apply:
Dec 1, 2014 at Noon
Review/Matching Process Dec 1, 2014 Ongoing through
Dec 8, 2014
Externship Period Jan 5, 2015 Jan 16, 2015


Students are responsible for all expenses related to the externship, including travel, accommodations (if any), meals, etc.

Pell grant recipients and students with disabilities may be eligible for a travel stipend upon completion of the externship.

Stipend applications will be sent to all participants upon completion of their externship.

Student Perspectives

Read what other students have to say about their Externship experience.

Sophomore, Film Studies and Mass Communications:
"The highlights of my externship were being able to walk around on the Paramount Studio lot, have lunch with a screenwriter and discuss the Writer's Strike with him firsthand, talk about tons of upcoming film projects that I'd only read or heard rumors about online, and most of all, having my host tell me at the end of the day that if I wanted an internship over summer in LA that he would help me get one."
Freshman, Molecular Cell Biology:
"This was a successful adventure. I got the chance to see some interesting surgeries such as a thyroidectomy, a hernia operation, an amputation, and more!"
Sophomore, Mass Communications:
"Going into the 49ers players' locker room and interviewing them was an experience that I will never forget."
Sophomore, Political Science:
"I had an amazing time.  I feel that this externship was extremely worthwhile and I would participate in it again in a heartbeat.  As soon as I got there on the first day, I got to sit in on a murder trial…I truly had a wonderful time."
Freshman, EECS:
"I learned so much from the externship. I was able to get an idea of what work different scientists, engineers, and business people do on a typical day."
Mechanical Engineering Major:
"I got everything I wanted out of the externship. I've learned more there about the real world in two weeks than I have learned in the three years that I've been at Berkeley. The externship has completely changed my attitude about school, and now I can see how the things I've learned in school are applied to real world scenarios. I want to get another externship next winter. This is truly a great program."
If you are a UC Berkeley alum and you'd like to participate in the Externship Program,
please see more information and instructions here.
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This page last updated 11/19/2014 (at)