Purpose of the Experiential Component

The experiential component is a critical requirement of the data analytics major. It provides students an opportunity to apply their coursework and explore the various ways data analytics is used in academic disciplines, businesses, public health plans, ideas of social justice, community programs and governmental operations. Through this experience, students will be well positioned as critical consumers, users, explorers and communicators of data. Using their data analytics curriculum as a foundation, students pursue a registered experiential component to meet and address the challenges of an information-accelerated world beyond the classroom.

Students should seek out and pursue an experience that is consistent with their personal interests, academic career and professional goals. This is an opportunity for students to grow as engaged global citizens.

The data analytics experiential requirement should fulfill one or more of these learning outcomes:

  • Develop relevant programming abilities.
  • Demonstrate skill in collecting, compiling, curating and managing data.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with statistical analysis of data using appropriate computational tools.
  • Apply data analytics tools to synthesize multiple sources of data and solve complex problems.
  • Understand and the ethical issues associated with data collection and analysis.
  • Communicate effectively as data scientists, both in written and oral formats, with other experts as well as the general public.

Guidelines

To fulfill the experiential requirement, the experience must meet these guidelines and be registered with one of the four options outlined below.

  • Pursued after the student has successfully completed Introduction to Computing (COMP 130) and Introduction to Data Science (DATA 180).
  • Minimum of 8 weeks and a minimum of 110 hours; weeks should be mostly consecutive. Note: Although the Internship Notation Program (INP) minimum is 8 weeks and 80 hours, data analytics students are required to complete a minimum of 110 hours.
  • Occur during the academic semester (fall or spring) or during a summer, with the workweeks mostly consecutive.
  • Can be paid or unpaid, remote or in-person, off-campus or on-campus. For remote experiences, additional guidelines and approvals may be necessary.
  • Utilize data analytics skills, broadly defined, during a closely supervised experience.
  • Address one or more of the data analytics learning outcomes listed above.
  • Registered and approved with the appropriate pathway (INP, REXP, etc.) before the experience begins; retroactive approval is not granted. See details regarding registration options below.

Four Options to Fulfill Experiential Requirement

Internship Notation Program (INP)

  • Ideal for internship experience supervised by a professional/mentor in the field.
  • Must be a minimum of 8 weeks and 110 hours to fulfill the data analytics requirement.
  • Register through Gateway. INP staff coordinates all necessary paperwork and approvals with the data analytics department.
  • Upon completion of internship and INP requirements, the experience is documented on the transcript as INTR 781 with a "PA" grade. The credit awarded for INP will fulfill the data analytics experiential component requirement, but it will not replace one of the 32 courses required to earn a Dickinson degree. There is no tuition charged for INP enrollment.
  • For additional information on the INP, see the program’s website or contact the dean & director of internships.

Research Experience Notation (REXP)

  • Ideal for scholarly research experience supervised by an academic/professional researcher.
  • Must be a minimum of 8 weeks and 110 hours to fulfill the data analytics requirement. REXP experiences are typically full-time (about 35-40 hours per week) for 8 weeks in the summer.
  • Register through Gateway. REXP staff coordinates all necessary paperwork and approvals with the data analytics department.
  • Upon completion of research and REXP requirements, the experience is documented on student’s transcript as REXP 781 with a "PA" grade. The credit awarded for REXP will fulfill the data analytics requirement, but it will not replace one of the 32 courses required to earn a Dickinson degree. There is no tuition charged for REXP enrollment.
  • For additional information on the REXP, see the program’s website or contact the dean & director of internships.

Independent Study/Research or Student-Faculty Research

  • Ideal for a fall or spring semester scholarly research experience supervised and graded by a Dickinson professor.
  • Students must use the Special Course Options Form to enroll in a one-credit 500, 550 or 560 course.

Study Abroad Program with Registered Internship/Research Experience

  • Options vary depending on the study abroad program. When exploring study abroad programs, student should consult with CGSE about registered internship options. Some examples include programs like Dickinson in DC, Dickinson in Spain and Dickinson in France.
  • The internship or research experience must be registered through the INP or a course preapproved by the dean & director of internships and the chair of data analytics.

Resources and General Advice

Students are encouraged to discuss experiential interests with their academic advisor and utilize the resources in the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development. From individualized career advising appointments and drop-in hours, internship/job postings, on- and off-campus programs,  online resources and alumni groups, students can work with the center to identify opportunities to meet their interests and connect with alumni. Here is some general advice:

  • Keep your resume updated and professional. Be sure you have multiple people review your resume!
  • Apply early and often to a wide range of positions. To help with your search, use Handshake, web searches, professional associations, personal networks and other available resources.
  • When exploring opportunities, do not filter by positions with “data,” “analytics,” “science” or “intern” in the position title. It is not a requirement that this position contain those keywords in the name to earn credit for the experience.
  • Maximize the Dickinson network. Our alumni from all majors pursue a wide variety of professions in a broad range of industries, and you can learn so much from their experiences. Utilize LinkedIn, AlumniFire, the Alumni Directory and other resources to make connections.
  • Generate opportunities for yourself. If there is a place you are interested in working, connect with someone there about potential experiences. You can use the data analytics major requirement as a way to ask about what the position might involve or how you would like to contribute to an organization.
  • Consider opportunities with a variety of organizations and industries. And don’t overlook potential experiences with on-campus departments.
  • Check your email frequently and respond to inquiries quickly. Opportunities are often time sensitive, and waiting might result in a lost prospect.
  • Talk with your advisor if you have questions about whether the experience you are interested in can be used to meet the major requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where do I start?

  • Talk to your academic advisor and the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development about opportunities on- and off-campus.

Q: Can my internship/research experience in X, Y or Z topic count?

  • Maybe. Ask your data analytics advisor and data analytics department chair to approve the experiential component before you begin. Your experiential component must connect with the data analytics program goals listed above and be registered prior to starting the experience. Experiences are not approved retroactively.

Q: Can I double dip so that the experiential component counts toward my major second major/certificate program?

  • Maybe. Before you begin, ask the data analytics department chair to approve the experiential component for data analytics and consult with the dean & director of internships.

Q: What are the important deadlines?

  • If pursuing INP or REXP, you must register before starting the experience. Contact the dean & director of internships if you have questions about the deadlines.
  • If pursuing an independent study/research (500, 550, 560) or registered experience while studying abroad, you must register according to the semester's add/drop deadline for the semester of the experience.

Q: Do I have to complete the experiential component at a specific time?

  • You can complete the experiential component during the fall semester, spring semester or summer. Most Dickinson students pursue internships in the summer between junior and senior year.
  • The experiential component can be pursued after completion of DATA 180 and COMP 130.

Important Note for International Students

International students on an F-1 visa must obtain appropriate work authorization to pursue an internship or research experience in the U.S. or with a U.S.-based company. Visa regulations may have strict limitations on the number of hours that can be worked during the academic year and summer terms. Students should consult with the ISSS staff in the Center for Global Study & Engagement and the dean & director of internships regarding these regulations.