The IUPUI Externship Program was developed to provide students with the opportunity to explore and to develop career goals. The guiding purpose of the program is to provide structure, motivation, and coaching for students so that they can successfully begin their initial exploration of career options through experiential learning approaches. Students are paired with local community host mentors during the IUPUI campus fall or spring break. Community volunteers provide an intentional way for students to gain firsthand knowledge and insight in the areas of government, medicine, business, and engineering, among many others.
The IUPUI Externship Program was first implemented during the 2010 IUPUI campus spring break. The program has continually grown through enlisting more community volunteers and by serving more students. The program is now being coordinated and sponsored by the IUPUI Office of Student Employment and is defined as a “deliberate job shadow” offered one day each semester for at least four hours. An externship offers IUPUI students the opportunity to connect with employers to explore an organization's purpose, structure, and career opportunities.