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December Break Opportunities

Dartmouth Externship Program for Professional Exploration

Opens: October 16th, 2017
December 4th, 2017 

(Please refer to dates below when your class year can access program)


PDA – CareerTracker Participants Opens: Monday, Oct. 16, 2017
Class of 2021 & 2020 (undergraduates) Opens: Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017
Class of 2019 & 2018 (undergraduates) Opens: Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

The Center for Professional Development and Office of Alumni Relations invite Dartmouth students to participate in a December break activity. This is a great opportunity to explore a particular career field through a job shadow or Career Day or build a specific skill set through a short-term project.

What is a...

  • JOB SHADOW – Observe a professional for one or multiple days to gain a glimpse of the company culture, how the employer interacts with employees, and what skills and abilities the employee uses each day. Job shadowing will provide you with a realistic perspective of the type of work a Dartmouth alum or parent does, while gaining a better feel for the organization's culture and exploring your career interests. A job shadow is an unpaid opportunity.
  • SHORT-TERM PROJECT – Partake in a two to three week paid project (with the exception of certain non-profit organization) to enhance or build a new skill set or competency (i.e. develop a PowerPoint slide deck, conduct market research, develop or work on an excel spreadsheet). A small stipend will be provided by the host.
  • CAREER DAY – Participate in a program where you can learn more about an organization and career opportunities within. A career day could include a panel, tour, small group discussions, organization presentation that highlights organization structure and culture, positions and career paths, and/or key issues/trends in the field


To participate in this program – you must read and complete the student terms of agreement here.


STEP #1 – Read and complete the Student Terms of Agreement here.

STEP #2 – Login into DartBoard and select the "Externship Search" tab under your Dashboard. For a visual of how to navigate DartBoad, click here.

STEP #3 – Research the opportunities for career days, job shadows and short-term projects. Identify opportunities of interest, email ONE host, if their opportunity is no longer available, you may contact another person. You may only arrange one opportunity to allow for equitable access to all Dartmouth students. 

If you don't hear from a host for 3-4 business days, send a follow-up email. If you receive no response, please notify Do not reach out to another potential host until you have connected with CPD and discussed next steps to take. When you contact CPD, provide the name of the potential host you have contacted.

**If you are an international student, we recommend that you connect with your OVIS advisor to discuss your eligibility to participate in an externship opportunity, more specifically a paid short-term project.

STEP #4 – Send the host an email requesting to do a job shadow, short-term project or career day.

Sample Email

Subject Line: Dartmouth College – December Break Opportunity

Dear Ms. Wright,

My name is Steve Jones and I am a first year student at Dartmouth. Thank you for your willingness to host a Dartmouth student during our December Break. I will be returning home for the break and excited for the opportunity to learn more about what you do in your role at ________ company. I have developed an interest in ________ field through __________. If your schedule still allows, I am hoping that we could arrange a mutual time to shadow you.

My email address is (Dartmouth email address only) and my phone number is _______________. I am excited to hear back from you and look forward to learning about your career field. If you have already secured a student for this break, I hope we can connect at a future time.

Thank you,

Steve Jones

STEP #5 – Once you've secured a Dartmouth Externship opportunity, please complete this brief survey to notify the Center for Professional Development (CPD). Please notify the CPD by December 5th here.


If you do not secure or find an opportunity through the Dartmouth Externship Program, you can still seek out other meaningful opportunities.

  1. Conduct an Informational Interview with an alumnus through the Dartmouth Career Network.
    • A great first step to exploring career fields is doing an informational interview to better understand a career field, trends, necessary skills and workplace culture.
    • Search the Dartmouth Career Network, identify 2 – 3 alumni that you could arrange a 30 to 60 minute phone or in-person conversation with.
    • Refer to the Networking Guide in the Resource Library in DartBoard on how to write an introductory email and what type of questions to ask.
  2. Volunteer at a local service or nonprofit organization.
    • Employers continuously value civic engagement experiences as part of students' extra-curricular involvement. Arrange a one or multiple day volunteer experience with an organization in your home town or wherever you will be during December Break.
    • Arrange a short-term internship with a local organization. While there are no specific short-term internship opportunities currently in DartBoard, Dartmouth students will independently arrange a short-term internship with an organization of interest. If needing specific advice on how to do this, setup an appointment with an Advisor in the CPD.
  3. Secure a seasonal job.
    • Partaking in a seasonal job in retail, food services, restaurants, etc. is an equally meaningful experience during the December break. You will develop and enhance a transferable skill set (communication, customer service, organization, etc.) valued by many employers.