Career Development for Honors Students

As a University Honors student, you can take advantage of many opportunities to build your professional skills. You have access to internship and externship programs, as well as a Professional Development Boot Camp. These programs will give you a head start on reaching your career goals.

Professional Development Boot Camp

This program is offered in partnership with Career Services. It consists of a series of activities that you complete over the course of a semester. By participating in the boot camp, you'll build a solid foundation for career success. You can also earn an Honors Engaged credit.

Register for the boot camp by the end of the second week of the semester. Complete the required activities in the given timeframe. Be sure to sign in at an event, if applicable, to receive credit.

If you have any questions, contact Cathy Doederlein at

Required Activities

  • Plan to attend a resume-related workshop offered by Career Services (pre-registration for a resume workshop is not required unless otherwise specified – see the Career Services calendar for session dates/times). Students are encouraged to complete a resume workshop before the Feb. 16 All Majors Internship and Job Fair and must complete it no later than the Friday before finals week. Once you have completed a resume-related workshop, please email your proof of completion to Cathy Doederlein at
  • Attend the Career Fair Prep Workshop on Feb. 8.
  • Attend the First Impressions Networking Night on either Feb. 15 or April 19.
  • Attend the All Majors Internship and Job Fair on Feb. 16 – Interact with at least three employers in one-on-one virtual chats. (Must be a one-on-one chat as opposed to a group chat in order to receive credit, which is tracked electronically.)
  • Attend at least one additional Career Services event – to be completed by no later than the Friday before finals week. Please note: some events may require pre-registration; please plan accordingly.
  • Log in to NIU’s Big Interview system and record a mock interview using the “Top 10 Questions” module under the General Mock Interview section of the system. Email the recording of your mock interview to Cathy Doederlein at (to be completed by no later than the end of the eleventh week of the semester – April 1, 2022)
  • Final evaluation and reflection (Qualtrics) – upon completion of the Boot Camp activities, please complete the Qualtrics evaluation and reflection form link no later than the Friday before finals week.

Internship Partnership

We have partnered with Career Services to offer paid experiences with the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership. If selected, you'll be matched with an organization in DeKalb County for an internship of approximately 10 hours a week. You can earn an Honors Engaged credit for your participation.

Applications for the subsequent semester typically open in the middle of the previous semester.


While designed for sophomores and juniors, this program is open to all University Honors students in good standing, regardless of major. You must meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed 30+ hours of college credit (at any institution) by the semester in which the internship begins.
  • Attend an orientation session during the semester before the internship experience begins.
  • Attend interviews (to be matched with an organization) during the start of the semester in which the internship begins.
  • Work 120+ hours over the course of the semester for the internship experience.
  • Attend approximately three to six class seminars during the internship semester on professional development topics.

Honors Externship Program

The University Honors Program has partnered with Career Services to offer externship experiences. These 40-hour experiences can run any time during the academic year convenient for the employer and the student. If selected, you'll be matched with an NIU employer partner. They will mentor you and provide first-hand experience in a professional setting. This program is open to all University Honors students in good standing, regardless of major. It's approved for Honors Engaged

To receive an Honors Engaged credit for completing this experience, you will also need to complete a pre-externship assignment where you do research on the externship site and a post-externship reflection. Once you have indicated interest through completing an online application, we will send out more information about the requirements. The application deadline is Oct. 15, 2021.

Job Shadow Program

Sign up for the University Honors Job Shadow Program through which NIU alumni provide current NIU Honors students with the opportunity to test drive a day in the life of their career, either virtually or in person.

How to Participate

Applications are due by Nov. 8, 2021.

Online Application


Matches are not necessarily available for every applicant, and there is no guarantee that there is a host for your career path. If you receive a match, the program requires you to:

  • Attend a student training session in early November.
  • Research and prepare to make the most of your experience.
  • Communicate consistently and effectively with shadow experienced mentor.
  • Participate in the program kickoff event in January.
  • Complete the shadowing experience responsibly, including the required post-experience reflection.