Benefits of Internships

WISP 2021-2022: Potential Changes

The plan for the WISP research internship program is as follows:

  • Interviewing and matching: fall term
  • Research experiences: winter and spring terms

Be sure to monitor the WISP website and communications for any changes to the research internship program process and/or schedule. The WISP program will remain active throughout the year, regardless of any potential pandemic-related restrictions (e.g. restrictions on access to campus facilities, including research facilities and labs), although the timeline and format may change.

Direct and Indirect Learning

  • Research experience provides hands-on-learning of STEM-focused skills.
  • Research exposure provides direct experience with state-of-the-art STEM questions.
  • A research experience can sharpen the focus of students who are already interested in a STEM career.
  • Early research experience can be an entry point for future undergraduate research opportunities.
  • Good mentoring teaches life skills like critical thinking, responsibility, time management, and assertiveness.
  • A good research mentor provides valuable coaching, support and feedback in developing future science scholars.

The Student Perspective

Impact of a WISP Internship (2018)

  • 84% of the interns indicated that the internship research experience met or exceeded their expectations
  • 92% felt that a major in science, math or engineering was likely
  • 98% will seek out another research experience
  • 76% plan to keep in touch with their sponsor or assistant sponsor
  • 90% would recommend a WISP internship to an incoming first-year woman

"WISP gives you a great way to connect with professors and navigate your first year at Dartmouth. You should definitely join to not only do research but to gain a valuable mentor."  

"Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing about my WISP experience! My internship gave me a better sense of what actual research was like so early in my academic career."

Quotes from WISP Interns, Class of 2021

Most Challenging Aspects of a WISP Internship

  • Managing the time commitment
  • Uncertainty about meeting the expectations of mentors
  • Being humble and asking for help when needed

Most Rewarding Aspects of a WISP Internship

  • Getting to know faculty
  • Gaining hands-on research experience
  • Exploring possible career paths
  • Investigating an unfamiliar field in the sciences

"My faculty member was super helpful and supportive for any science related question that I had including career advice and course selection for my major."

"It gave me a sense of confidence pursuing a science major and taking classes with a lab component. I don't think I would have gotten involved in research otherwise, and I'm very glad I did."

"The community I made in the lab strongly influences my interest in science. It is a key reason I hope to continue in the field of sciences."

Quotes from WISP Interns, Class of 2021

The Faculty Mentor Perspective

Faculty Perspective on WISP Internships (2018)

  • 84% said the quality of their intern's work in the lab met or exceeded expectations
  • 78% would ask their interns to continue working after the WISP internship concluded
  • Many faculty have been WISP mentors for a number of years.

Most Positive Aspects of Being a WISP Internship Mentor

  • Increased understanding of first- and/or second-year students
  • Improved teaching skills
  • Enhanced mentoring skills
  • Provided a fresh perspective on research

"The WISP internship is a great.  Through this program I have had the chance of meeting very motivated, smart students. This is the reason why I will keep on posting projects and I have highly recommended the program also to some of my colleagues"

Quote from WISP Mentor, 2018