ULN Student Experiential Learning Guide

During your second, third, and fourth years in the University Leadership Network (ULN), you will participate in experiential learning opportunities during each fall and spring semester. Experiential learning happens when you participate in learning experiences in and out of the classroom that help you develop transferable skills. The most common opportunities come in the form of internships, research assistantships, and study abroad. For more information or questions, please contact your coordinator.

Student Experiential Learning Process Guide

ULN is offering two new courses focused on experiential learning. The first, Conscious Planning & Critical Learning, is designed for individuals who want to spend their semester developing a concrete plan about future experiential learning opportunities. The second, Meaningful Reflection & Critical Learning, is designed for individuals who want to make meaning of their past experiential learning opportunities. Both are online, asynchronous courses with structured due dates and assignments throughout the semester. Contact your coordinator if you are interested in enrolling in either course.

You always have the option to create an alternative experiential learning plan with your coordinator. This program is designed to help you prepare for future experiential learning opportunities and set individualized goals for the semester. To discuss this option, contact your coordinator.

ULN students may still opt to pursue in-person experiential learning opportunities. We highly encourage you to discuss the following questions with your supervisor to help you fully understand what health and safety precautions are being taken at your site and what contingency plans may look like if the in-person component is paused or disrupted because of the evolving COVID-19 situation.

  1. Are there tasks or projects that you will be able to do remotely?
  2. Have a conversation with your supervisor about health and safety. The following set of questions is based on the CDC’s guidance to employers about how to decide whether it is safe to reopen:
    • Is the organization promoting healthy hygiene practices, such as regular hand-washing?
    • Has the organization intensified cleaning and disinfection of spaces and high-touch surfaces? Is there good ventilation in the space?
    • Are face masks required while in any buildings or working with people?
    • Are employees and clients (if applicable) asked to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from one another? Has the physical space been set up to accommodate social distancing in workspaces, meeting areas, and communal areas? Has the organization limited any events happening where social distancing would be difficult to maintain?
    • Is the organization promoting telework when feasible?
    • Are all employees being trained on health and safety protocols?
    • Are employees being screened for COVID-19 signs and symptoms each day?
    • Is the organization encouraging anyone who is sick to stay home? Is it offering flexible leave policies in order to ensure that people stay home if they are sick?
    • What other steps are being taken to ensure your health and the health of those you’re in contact with during the experience?

If you have any questions or concerns, contact your coordinator. For up-to-date information about the university’s plans, visit protect.utexas.edu.

Experiential Learning Requirements and Expectations

Experiential learning opportunities can be paid or unpaid. If you are completing an unpaid opportunity, you will complete up to 10 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. We encourage students to not work in a paid opportunity more than 20 hours per week when taking a full course load.

You may count a summer experience for a future fall or spring semester. Summer experiences must be at least 120 hours in order to qualify.

Before starting a new experiential learning opportunity, please review ULN’s Student Performance Expectations, which outlines expectations around attendance, communication, evaluations, and performance. Your experiential learning site will likely share site-specific expectations with you during your first supervision session.

We also encourage you to complete an end-of-semester self-evaluation to help consider how you want to grow and develop at your site; this is a great document to share with your supervisor.

If you are experiencing a concern at your experiential learning site, contact your coordinator — we are here to support you.

To maintain eligibility for the ULN scholarship, you will complete the Online Experiential Learning Form by the first class day of each semester. You will need your supervisor’s name and contact information, their position title, and a description of your position to complete the form.

When filling out the form, select the category that best fits your experiential learning opportunity from the following options:

  • On-Campus Internship: Paid or unpaid internships affiliated with UT
    • If you are completing an on-campus internship, you will select from a list of currently affiliated departments. If the department is not listed, please contact ulninternships@austin.utexas.edu, and the department will be added.
  • Off-Campus Internship: Paid or unpaid internships not affiliated with UT
    • If you are completing an off-campus internship, you will enter the name of the site and select the industry type from the following career clusters:
      • Business & Entrepreneurship
      • Communication & Marketing
      • Creative Arts & Design
      • Education & Human Services
      • Government & Public Affairs
      • Healthcare
      • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
    • Research: Research roles on or off campus
    • Study Abroad: Maymester, faculty-led programs, or internships abroad
    • Domestic Study: Archer Fellowship Program, UTLA, or UTNY
    • Paid Part-Time Job: Paid part-time positions related to your career goals, including work-study positions
    • Entrepreneurship: Developing your own business venture
    • Organization Leadership Position: Leadership roles in clubs or organizations related to your career goals
    • Practicum: Practicum, clinical, or other course-required experiences
    • Large-Scale Course Project: Meaningful, career-related course project(s)
    • Capstone: Capstone courses

You also may apply a previous opportunity to a future semester. Please indicate the semester you would like the experience to count for in the “semester count” box. If you select “do not need it to count,” the experience will not be counted toward the requirement.

We encourage you to submit a form for each experiential learning opportunity you pursue every semester, even if you already have an experience on file — this helps us to best capture and understand all of the amazing things our students are doing each year.

  • On-Campus Internships:
    Many departments and units across campus offer paid or unpaid internship positions for ULN students. All of these opportunities are posted on HireUTexas. Enter the search term “ULN EL” to see these specific opportunities. Make
    sure to share your status as a ULN student on your resume and/or cover letter.
  • Off-Campus Internships: You may work in a non-profit, business, government, education, and/ or medical organization throughout the community. Check HireUTexas Powered by Handshake for current available opportunities. Visit your
    college career services office for additional support in finding opportunities.
  • Undergraduate Research:
    You can participate in faculty-led research or even work on your own independent research project with a faculty advisor at UT or another higher education institution. The first step is to find a faculty advisor. Consider faculty
    you have previously interacted with, or utilize Eureka, an online database of current research opportunities for undergraduate students. You also can visit the Office of Undergraduate Research for help.
  • Education Abroad:
    Explore the world by participating in one of the many different study abroad programs available, including a Maymester or faculty-led program. Visit a study abroad advisor to get started.
  • Domestic Study:
    You may be interested in a program outside of Austin, like the Archer Fellowship Program, UTLA, or UTNY. Contact domestic study programs directly for more information about application requirements and deadlines.
  • Entrepreneurship: Interested in starting your own business? Find a mentor to meet with you at least monthly to help you as you build your business. Contact your coordinator if you need help finding a mentor.
  • Organization Leadership Position: You may count leadership roles you hold in clubs or organizations related to your career goals for the requirement.
  • Experiential Degree Requirements:
    Are you required to do an internship, fieldwork, or practicum component for your major, minor, or certificate? You can count any of these opportunities both toward your degree requirements and as your experiential learning opportunity.
  • Work-Study or Part-Time Positions: You may work in paid positions that directly relate to your future personal and professional goals. If you are unsure, speak with your coordinator to discuss the opportunity you are considering.
  • Alternative Experiential Learning Plan: You always have the option to create an alternative experiential learning plan with your coordinator. This program is designed to help you prepare for future experiential learning opportunities. To discuss this option, contact your coordinator.

There are many different ways to fulfill your experiential learning requirement. Consider making an appointment with your coordinator or visiting your college-specific career office if you would like help finding an experiential learning opportunity.

  • Internships and Part-Time Jobs
    • HireUTexas Powered by Handshake: Find professional jobs and internships, part-time, Work-Study, and on-campus positions actively recruiting UT students. Make sure to enter “ULN EL” as a search term to see postings that are specifically looking for ULN students. Don’t forget to mention that you are a ULN student on your resume and/or cover letter.
    • Career Fairs: Attend an upcoming career fair — you are welcome to attend career fairs hosted by many colleges and schools on campus.
    • Indeed: Find part- and full-time jobs and internships across the country.
    • LinkedIn Alumni Tool: Browse UT alumni and build relationships with individuals in industries of interest. Consider starting with an informational interview.
  • Non-Profits, Law, and Government
    • Amplify Austin: Search through non-profits located in Central Texas to find potential internship or volunteer opportunities.
    • Idealist: Find non-profit organizations across the country for potential internship or volunteer opportunities.
    • Mission Capital: Browse internship and full-time positions at local Austin non-profits.
    • Texas Politics Project: Find politically oriented internship opportunities.
  • Entrepreneurship

    ULN students may pursue entrepreneurial experiences with the guidance of a mentor. If you need assistance finding a mentor, contact your coordinator.

    • Austin Technology Incubator: Longest-active technology incubator that empowers university and community entrepreneurs through a customized approach to effectively commercialize their breakthrough innovations and compete in the global marketplace.
    • Blackstone Launchpad: A program that helps students navigate UT’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
    • Bridging Disciplines Program Certificates: Interdisciplinary certificates in topics like Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits or Innovation and Creativity & Entrepreneurship that feature at least one required connecting experience like an internship or a research project.
    • Built in Austin: Browse a list of Austin startups and find potential internships and full-time jobs.
    • Game Development and Design Program: Interdisciplinary certificate program for Computer Science and Arts and Entertainment Technologies students.
    • Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship: A program that offers an entrepreneurship minor and a variety of resources for student entrepreneurs.
    • Longhorn Startup: Consider applying for Longhorn Startup’s lecture seminar or lab.
    • Office of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship: This office works with UT students, non-traditional students, and the community to help create strong networks upon which new for-profit sustainable ventures can be launched and uplift communities.
  • Research and Graduate School
    • Eureka: Find faculty members by research interest area or browse current listings of posted research assistantships.
    • Explore Law: Apply for Explore Law, a four-week residential summer program that exposes rising sophomores and juniors to the field of law.
    • Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program: Semester-long program that pairs undergraduate students with graduate students in their field of study for mentorship and an introduction to graduate school.
    • Office of Undergraduate Research: Consider attending an information session to learn more about how to get involved in undergraduate research.
  • Study Abroad and Domestic Study Programs

  • Create a Resume and Cover Letter: Many experiential learning opportunities require a resume and cover letter for their applications. Consider making an appointment with your coordinator for a resume or cover letter review.ULN’s Resume Writing Guidelines

    Texas Career Engagement also offers guidelines for writing effective resumes and cover letters.

  • Visit a Career Fair: Consider attending one of the many career fairs on campus. Prepare in advance by reviewing the list of attendees and posted positions and practicing your elevator pitch.
  • Practice Your Pitch: Prepare a 30-second pitch that includes your academics, work experience, skills, and career goals. Highlight the most relevant and important experiences for the specific employer. Practice with a friend, in front of a mirror, and with your coordinator. For example:”Hi, my name is Alex Longhorn. I’m a first-year history major taking business coursework to help prepare me for a position in marketing. Your office interests me because you value diversity and sustainability, which are two things I value as well. I am very excited about the internship position you posted on HireUTexas and applied last week. I believe I would be a good fit for the position because of my extensive experience in marketing and event planning for PALS in high school and my dedication to helping spread awareness to the campus about diversity issues. Would you like to see my resume?”
  • Interacting with Recruiters: Introduce yourself and share your elevator pitch. Afterward, be prepared to discuss your knowledge of their company, any relevant work experience or projects, and their opportunities. Plan to review the company’s website in advance to help prepare for the conversation. Consider asking the recruiter questions you have about the company. End the conversation by asking for a business card and thanking them for their time. Use the business card to send a thank you email afterward.
  • Dress for Success: Business casual and business professional clothing is often required when attending career fairs and interviews.How to Dress for Your Next Job Interview

    Visit  UT Outpost’s Career Closet for free business casual and professional clothing. Consider going to local thrift stores or off-campus stores like JCPenney, Ross, and T.J.Maxx. Outlet malls can be a great place to find highly discounted items, too. Check out online stores like ASOS, Boscov’s, and New York & Company for affordable professional clothing.

  • Practice Interviewing: Practice your responses to these common interview questions. We encourage you to schedule a mock interview with your college career service office or your coordinator. We highly recommend using Big Interview, a resource provided by Texas Career Engagement. Big Interview provides step-by-step video lessons and interview practice tools to help you strengthen your interview skills.