Host an Externship

The Center for Career Development is excited to continue offering the Owl Edge Externship, a job-shadowing program over Winter Break and Spring Break.  

The 2023 sessions will be offered in both in-person or virtual environments (hosts self selection preferred option upon registration). During the university's Winter Recess and Spring Break students will be matched to a host (you!) to learn more about a career path. We invite you to help Rice students gain a professional advantage - i.e. build their "Owl Edge" - by serving as a career mentor! This can be done through a 1:1 conversation, multiple conversations with various team members or even a small group session. We know that the key element of student exploration is the ability to connect with a host to help students explore career options and gain a realistic perspective of your job function, organization and industry - all of that can be effectively communicated in an in person or online environment.  Registration information below!


What Hosts are saying:

"I host students at my office because I believe alumni have a responsibility to help the next generation of Rice students succeed. Throughout my career, Rice alumni have always been there to mentor and encourage me in my professional journey...Rice students actually renew my spirit with their enthusiasm and curiosity."

“I really enjoyed hosting my OwlEdge extern.  What a great way to help the next generation of owls prepare for the future!”

"I wish I had opportunities like this externship when I was a student at Rice!”

"The students are always enthusiastic and attentive. They ask good questions and it is clear that their minds are churning with exploration. I greatly enjoy the opportunity to hear what's on their minds and engage in discussion with them. Plus, it is just plain fun to be able to interact with students of Rice's caliber!"

Dates and Deadlines

Winter Break Session: January 2-6, 2023

Deadline to Register: October 4, 2022

Spring Session: March 13-17, 2023

Deadline to Register: January 10, 2023

Host registration for 2023 Externship sessions is NOW OPEN! Please complete your registration here.

If you have questions about registration or expectations of this program, please contact

Structuring your Externship

Externship activities and schedules are completely at your discretion.  Anything that gives students a tangible, realistic idea of a day in the life in your career field is helpful. If you would like a sample template, please contact

Suggested Activities

  • Tour of the facility

  • Sharing your career path

  • Informational interviews with your colleagues to provide a broader perspective

  • Attend staff meetings or other company events

  • Observe client/customer interactions

  • Assist with a small project or general office tasks

  • Visit with HR Department and/or recruiters

  • Review marketing materials about the organization

  • Meet with Rice alumni who work at the organization

  • Meet with colleagues in various departments of interest to the student


Why should I host?

By sharing your industry knowledge and career trajectory, you enable students to explore career options prior to graduation - ideally, early in their undergraduate experience. Hosts benefit by remaining engaged in the Rice community and by serving as a mentor and/or resource for students.

At times, externships have served as a platform for early talent identification. Your experience/perspective might open doors to careers students have always dreamed of, or have never previously considered. We understand you might work with proprietary information. There is an option to have students sign a non-disclosure agreement.

What are the requirements to host an extern?

Provide a substantive 1-5 day experience at your place of business (some externships are half day). Help students learn about your particular industry, organization and/or job function(s). Complete the follow-up survey.

Do I need to pay the extern?

No. Externships are unpaid and students do not earn academic credit.

Do I need to provide housing/transportation to students?

Providing travel and/or transportation to externs is optional. It is not expected but is appreciated. Externships can take place anywhere in the world! We offer this program during Winter and Spring Breaks to help off-set costs if a student is already home and/or visiting friends or family. Students are responsible for travel expenses and expected to pay their own way. If you'd like to help defray travel costs, consider a donation.

Am I guaranteed a student?

We cannot guarantee to pair with a student due to various factors that impact selection and matching. Even if you are not matched with a student extern, there are many other ways to offer career guidance and help Rice students. Opportunities are updated frequently at

When will I find out more about my externs?

Hosts for the Winter Recess Session will be notified in late November. Hosts for the Spring Break will be notified in mid February. Externs are instructed to communicate with you (the host) after we provide initial contact information, to coordinate logistics and an e-introduction.

How are students selected for my externship?

Students will submit a resume and application and be matched by Rice staff to opportunities based on their application materials.

How are students prepared for the externship?

Students will participate in a mandatory orientation prior to their externship and complete assignments related to goals and informational interviewing. Topics covered include logistics, exploration, communication etiquette and the importance of building a professional network.

What are the benefits of Being an Owl Edge Extern Host?

You will have the opportunity showcase the daily activities, challenges, and requirements of your profession; gain exposure for your organization by introducing students to company culture; build a potential talent pipeline for future hiring needs; and you can participate in a unique program that gives Rice students a competitive advantage.


Still have questions? Contact Michelle Passo and Camille Elmore at