Explore Majors & Careers


Exploring different job functions or industries? Want to know more about a specific organization? The Owl Edge Externship Program is a great way for current students to learn from, and connect with, members of the Rice community. Click here to explore opportunities available Spring 2023!

Spring Break 2023 externships will go live in Handshake on January 13, 2023. Apply before January 29 at 11:59pm.

Why participate?

The Owl Edge Externship program offers a short-term in person and virtual job shadowing experiences that provides you with an opportunity to connect with Rice alumni, parents and friends to explore career options and gain a realistic perspective of an industry.

Benefits of participating in an externship include:

  • Explore an industry, organization and/or job function(s)
  • Prepare for your internship or job search
  • Build your professional network
  • Gain a “behind the scenes” look before committing to a longer-term opportunity
  • Assess fit with a particular career field and clarify next steps

Externships generally highlight a “typical” workday but shadowing takes on various formats. Activities might include:

  • Full or half day of shadowing*
  • Tour of the facility
  • Informational interviews
  • Attend staff meetings or other company events
  • Observe client/customer interactions
  • Assist with a small project or general office tasks
  • Visit with the HR Department and/or recruiters
  • Review marketing materials about the organization
  • Meet with Rice alumni and/or individuals about their job responsibilities

Interested? What’s the timeline and process to apply?

Upcoming Dates

Student Application deadline 10/24/22 1/29/23
Notify students who are selected Week of 11/1/22 Week of 2/6/23
Mandatory Program Orientation Online Online
Complete Program Evaluation Online Online
**Please note that students are responsible for any travel expenses**


What is the difference between an internship and externship?

An externship is a short-term job shadowing opportunity (typically half day up to five days if in person or, an hour or two virtually), while internships last for longer periods of time. Unlike most internships, externships do not offer pay or academic credit.

How long will my externship last?

The length of an externship is determined by the externship host, but will typically be one-half day to three days (or, a shorter duration if virtual). Some hosts will meet with students multiple times in the semester (typically spring) but that is not the expectation.

Is housing/transportation provided?

No. You are responsible for any travel expenses (unless otherwise noted in a specific externship description). Please note that campus housing is not available during Winter Break. There may be limited travel funding available for a small number of students - instructions will be included in each posting, if available.

Where are externships?

Since this program’s inception (in 2015), approximately 75% of externships are offered throughout Texas (when in person). That means, opportunities do exist across the country (and even internationally). We encourage students to think about where they will be during the break and explore opportunities near that city (since students are responsible for travel expenses). Or, if students have friends and/or family in a different city, look for an opportunity there. Multiple virtual options are available for students to connect from anywhere with stable wifi.

Who is eligible to apply?

While the program is geared towards Freshmen and Sophomores, all class levels may apply. Priority goes to underclassmen. Students from all majors are encouraged to participate. We also allow students still exploring career paths to participate multiple times throughout their academic experience.

How do I apply?

Apply for Owl Edge Externship in Handshake (starting in October for Winter Break experiences and in January for Spring Break experiences). Click Jobs and Search "Owl Edge Externships" - you can refine your search by career cluster labels or location. You will need a resume and a paragraph of interest (per application). Apply to as many externships as you find interesting but note, if matched, you are expected to participate. While not guaranteed, we try to match students to one externship (even if they apply to multiple).

How will I prepare for my externship?

Students must participate in a mandatory online program orientation once matched to an opportunity. Prior and new externs will also complete various short assignments to prepare (focusing on goals and crafting questions to ask host).

What types of organizations typically participate?

Opportunities exist, historically, in each of the seven career clusters. We encourage you to explore the areas in which you are interested – no experience necessary (in fact, the less experience in an industry, the better)!

Don’t see something you are interested in (or, didn’t get matched)?

Keep an open mind about opportunities and consider postings that might not be an exact match for what you’re looking for but might capture your interest. While the CCD team members try to make the best possible matches based on indicated preferences in applications and an algorithm meant to promote fairness, submitting your application does not guarantee a match with an Owl Edge host. If unmatched, the CCD will help facilitate a connection outside of the program when possible. If you can’t find an externship of interest, contact an alum and create your own externship/job shadowing experience. The Sallyportal and LinkedIn are great places to start. We are happy to help you craft outreach communication to make this happen.


"Because I am still exploring many major paths and career plans, this was very helpful in letting me see the diverse paths that I can take in the future and how it's not only constrained to what my undergraduate major in college was.”

"I learned that networking is vital and work outside the classroom is crucial to work towards a solid career plan.”

"The most significant thing I learned from this experience is that getting a job right out of college may not be a straight path from choosing your major to getting hired; your major doesn't have to exactly coincide with your job, you just have to show the skills."

“The Owl Edge Externship was a great experience. It opened my eyes to the work environment. I met a lot of people and now have a better understanding of what goes on inside a corporation.”