Find a Job or Internship

Columbia Exploration Externship (CEE)



Thank you for matching me with the CEE employer, Cloud12. [. . .] I couldn't wait to thank you for this opportunity and for my incredible host. She has taught me so much in such a short period of time. She has already introduced me to people who are willing to introduce me to more people! My network is growing before my eyes and I feel so incredibly grateful for your work and this program. - Sylvia Deaton




First-hand industry experience for first-year students

ex· tern· ship (noun) \’ek-stern-ship\

A short, practical experience in a specific field or industry of interest

Program Overview

The Columbia Exploration Externship (CEE) is an exciting opportunity offered by the Center for Career Education (CCE) for the fourth year in the spring of 2016.  This externship program is designed to provide students early in their college career the opportunity to gain exposure to the professional world.  Externships for the 2016 year will be held in the greater New York City area during spring break week.  As part of the program, there will be a variety of industries represented and students will be able to indicate industry preferences in their applications. 

Program Features

The CEE program is an opportunity to shadow and observe a career professional/alumnus in an industry of interest and explore future career opportunities.  Program features include the following:

  • Pre-program training that includes tips on making the most of the externship experience, professional dress and etiquette, networking and career goal setting.
  • Externship experience for two to four days during spring break during which students will work alongside career professionals to gain an understanding of a professional area of interest.
  • Site visit (optional) to an organization to learn about a career, company, and/or industry beyond the externship experience. In addition to the externship, itself, students have the option of attending a half-day group site visit on the Friday of spring break. (Participating organizations TBD.)
  • End-of-Program Reflection session during which students meet to discuss experience and next steps of career-mapping.

Program Benefits

Upon completion of the CEE program, students will have had the opportunity to shadow a professional/alumnus and gain exposure to a career field of interest.  This experience will add to their knowledge of how to apply their academics in a workplace setting.  They will also begin to make career connections and successfully build and sustain their professional networks.  With the support of the CCE, students will learn how to assess fit in a particular field and expand their understanding of possible career paths.


Once a student is selected for the program, CCE will match him/her to a specific externship based on the industry preferences and short answer responses submitted within the application.  Externships are offered in a wide range of industries and organizations; however, CCE's ability to match each student with his/her top industry preference is dependent upon the prevalence of specific opportunities and the preferences of the overall applicant pool. 

Information Sessions

Learn more about CEE and other resources for first year students to explore professional interests and opportunities.

Internships, Externships & First-Year Programs

Friday, December 9, 2016

10:30 - 11:30 am

CCE Conference Room

Register Now

Internships, Externships & First-Year Programs

Thursday, January 19, 2017

12:30pm - 1:30pm

CCE Conference Room

Register Now


You must be a currently enrolled full-time first-year undergraduate student at Columbia College or The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science or you must be a currently enrolled full-time first-year student at the School of General Studies.  Students who are on leave of absence or who have withdrawn from Columbia University are not eligible.  You must be a currently registered student in good academic and disciplinary standing.

How To Apply

1.    Submit your resume, unofficial transcript, and essay questions through Lionshare. You can now find the posting in Lionshare by searching Keyword: "CEE2017" or Job ID: (TBD). Please note: It is not sufficient to just upload your application materials to LionSHARE; you must click the "apply" button on the posting and submit your documents.  

2.    Submit your personal information and industry preferences through the online application.


Once your application materials and form are submitted, your information will be reviewed by a committee. If you are selected for the program, you will be matched with an industry of your choice and receive more information about the employer, organization, and the externship details!


December & January
On-campus CEE Information Sessions

Early January
CEE application available

January 29, 2017
Application deadline for CEE and student commitment to the program requested with application

February 17, 2017
Offers made to candidates selected for the program

March 9 & 10, 2017
Pre-program trainings (participants required to attend one session)

March 13 – 17, 2017
CEE Program dates
March 13-16: Externship (2-4 days)
March 17: Site Visit (optional)

March 23, 2017
Reflection session


What is the difference between an externship and an internship?

An externship is an experiential opportunity designed to give you a SHORT, PRACTICAL perspective of a specific field or industry of interest.  The following “catch phrases” often go hand-in-hand with describing externships:
• Mini internship
• Exploration
• Shadow
• Learn by observation
• Orient yourself to an industry, organization, workplace environment
• Informational

Externships are typically an unpaid experience.

Who is eligible to participate in this program?

The Columbia Exploration Externship Program (CEE) is open to first year students only from Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, and General Studies.

How would I be selected for the extern program?

The Center for Career Education (CCE) will conduct a thorough screening of applicants and work as a committee to select and match externs with participating organizations.  Acceptance to the program is based on three criteria: (1) the potential value of participating in CEE based on your interest and past experiences as described in your application; (2) the quality of your application within the context of the whole applicant pool; (3) the availability of externships in your industries of interest.

Are there costs to participate in this program?

Externs will be responsible for their expenses including, transportation, meals, and lodging if necessary. This is an unpaid program.

What resources will I be provided in order to be best prepared for the externship experience?

Prospective externs will have the opportunity to attend a information sessions in December and January to learn more about what an externship consists of and why/how you can use an experiential opportunity like this to start thinking about your career.  Once selected as an extern, you will receive:
• A pre-professional workshop prior to the externship consisting of how to make the most of the externship, setting goals for the externship period, etiquette in the office environment, what networking means and how to start approaching it
• A guide to making the most of your externship with resources compiled from CCE
• A session at the completion of your externship to unpack your experience and to help you think about and articulate next steps in your career development

What might I do during the externship?

• Sit in on company staff meetings and other functions
• Complete office tasks or assist with projects
• Conduct informational interviews of both professional and administrative staff
• Observe client interactions
• Observe functions and duties of a particular career
• Tour the facilities
• Review organization’s mission/vision statement and organizational charts
• Understand office policies and procedures
• Review current trends in the profession
• Explore potential career paths within the organization and the profession
• Meet with key players of the organization
• Assist with research projects, proofreading, editing

Program Contacts

If you have questions about CEE, please feel free to contact:

Laura Maltz
Senior Associate Director, Experiential Education

Pete Bridge
Assistant Director, Experiential Education

Alumni and Employers

For all alumni and employers interested in being a host for the CEE program, please click on the link below for relevant information and the host form: