International Studies Careers
Established in 2009, U-M International Studies is one of the largest majors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, with over 2.000 accomplished alumni worldwide. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of an International Studies education, graduates pursue numerous career paths, many going on to work in corporations, non-profits, education, or government agencies, as well as progressing directly on to graduate school to pursue fields such as international affairs, law, medicine, public policy, and public health. U-M International Studies students graduate with the abilities think critically, communicate clearly, work effectively in diverse teams of people from different backgrounds, and help solve complex global problems. International Studies students have a unique international understanding of human security, economics, health, environment, and cultures around the world which positions our alumni to be truly engaged global citizens.
To get a better idea of the breadth of career paths U-M International Studies graduates pursue, explore the U-M International Studies Alumni Spotlights. Current students should also join the Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) LinkedIn Network to connect with PICS alumni and peers to learn what they are doing in their professional careers.
PICS is pleased to offer career exploration and professional development events for students to meet and engage with people prominent in a variety of fields throughout the academic year. Each year, PICS hosts the annual U-M International Studies Alumni Career Panel where U-M International Studies alumni come back to campus to share career advice and network with current students. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of these resources to network with other students, alumni and professionals, and explore the vast array of career and internship options open to International Studies students. Please review the PICS Events Calendar for upcoming career events. International Studies students are also encouraged to enroll in the 1-credit mini-course INTLSTD 170.001 - Network Your Way to An International Internship and Career which is a professional development course specifically tailored for International Studies major and minors.
PICS maintains a blog for external job postings, internship announcements, and funding opportunities. Postings range from seasonal employment and internships, to mid-level, full-time positions and come from a wide range of industries including but are not limited to, non-profit organizations, local businesses, and municipal, state, and federal agencies. Students are encouraged to research the company or organization before applying.
U-M Career Center and LSA Opportunity Hub
Students should plan to regularly meet with professionals at the U-M Career Center and LSA Opportunity Hub throughout their undergraduate career to start forming network connections with employers and alumni, learning about diverse job and internship opportunities, and taking advantage of professional development workshops and coaching (resume, cover letters, networking, presentation skills, etc.).
Career Quick Links
U-M Career Center Resources
Internships are an amazing opportunity to add exciting, real-world career experience component to your LSA education. Internships may be the best way of all to test out a career field, network with working professionals, and develop marketable skills.
The LSA Opportunity Hub helps connect students with valuable internship opportunities. The Hub also provides coaching to help students land internships and provides professional development workshops, so students can prepare to get the most out of their internship experiences.
There are several departments and units across the University of Michigan campus that offer internship opportunities to undergraduate students. Please review the linked "Internship Resources" to explore some of these available placements while conducting your internship search.
International Studies students specifically are encouraged to enroll in the 1-credit mini-course INTLSTD 170.001 - Network Your Way to An International Internship and Career which is a professional development course tailored uniquely for International Studies major and minors. This exceptional course will:
- provide students a pocket of time to think about their goals and passions and to think about how their time at Michigan and PICS can help them get closer to reaching these goals and passions;
- mentor and advise students as they perfect their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and interviewing skills;
- teach students to find and secure an international internship that aligns with their interests and area of study;
- help students network and learn how to network globally (including a focus on intercultural understanding);
- introduce students to funding resources on campus so they can afford to pursue unpaid internships; and,
- allow students to explore international careers by connecting them with alumni and first- and second-degree connections abroad.
Students also have the opportunity to secure their own internships related to International Studies which they may be able to receive academic credit for through the LSA Opportunity Hub Applied Liberal Arts (ALA) course or another U-M Department. If students are unable to receive credit through the LSA Opportunity Hub or another U-M Department, students can petition relevant internships for INTLSTD credit, but the internship credit request must be approved by PICS prior to the start of the internship. Students will then enroll in INTLSTD 399.001: International Studies Undergraduate Internship to receive credit for this independent work experience. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Merit-based funding for summer research or internships abroad is available through the Program in International and Comparative Studies for declared International Studies major and minors and through the International Institute. Many internship opportunities may also offer additional funding opportunities based on the location and focus of the internship. Please review each internship posting carefully and consult with the LSA Scholarships Office and LSA Opportunity Hub to discover additional funding resources.
Finding a Job, Internship, or Graduate Program
When you’re ready to start your career path journey, start by following these steps and explore the resources below to gain helpful insight into developing and advancing your career path.