Externship/Leadership programs typically are typically one to several days in length and are hosted on-site by a company. The experiences often include an introduction to the organization and overview of available career paths, professional skill-building opportunities, and networking with professionals from the host organization. Some employers use their programs to identify students to whom they wish to extend internship offers for the following summer. All externship/leadership programs are non-credit bearing.

“Externship and leadership programs are great opportunities to network, be introduced to various industries, and gain an understanding of a company’s culture and mission. I participated in several one-day events and multi-day programs that provided me with valuable insight into careers in investment banking and consulting. I’m grateful for these experiences that ultimately led me to an investment banking summer analyst position with BMO Capital Markets.”
Tessa Piontkowski
Tessa Piontkowski

Who is eligible?

Typically externship/leadership programs are targeted at first-years and sophomores, however, some are open to all students.

What is included?

The agenda for externship/leadership programs varies by company; typical components include an employer overview, a tour of the office, team-building activities, professional development workshops, case studies and/or an opportunity to interact and network with professionals.

When are they held?

Most programs are held June-August.

Where are they held?

Programs are usually held at the employer’s office location. Travel and expenses are often covered by the employer.

What are the benefits?

Employers seeking top talent target students at the beginning of their college careers, as a means of developing a “pipeline” of candidates. By participating in externship/leadership programs as first-years or sophomores, students have an early advantage in observing an employer site, making employer connections, and potentially receiving an internship offer for the following summer.  These programs also allow students to reflect on potential opportunities and rule out employers and industries in which they may not want to work.      

How can I apply?

Some employers will post their program to Handshake. Students may find externship/leadership programs in the “Jobs/Internships” section of Handshake by filtering on the “Job Type” of “Experiential Learning”. Other employers will have candidates apply directly through their company website.


Kyle Patel
“My finance externship was a great way for me to experience what the company culture is like at Johnson and Johnson from people at a variety of levels within the organization. It was an amazing opportunity for me to ask questions about the company and what roles are available for the students. The externship is a great way for students to show interest in the company, which is what allowed me to land a role for the CoOp Program at Johnson and Johnson.”
Kyle Patel '22 VSB
Finance Externship


Alloy Silverstein

American Enterprise        

Baker Tilly

Bank of America Merrill Lynch








Cherry Bekaert



Credit Suisse

Crowe Horwath 


Deutsche Bank

Drucker & Scaccetti



Financial Women's Association

Forte College 


Goldman Sachs

Grant Thornton


Girls Who Invest 

Hamilton Lane

JP Morgan



Liberty Mutual Insurance


Marketing EDGE

Morgan Stanley

McKinsey & Company


Point 72



TD Bank

The Hartford



Wall Street Exchange

ZipCode Wilmington

The Clay Center at VSB/ O’Donnell Center for Professional Development
Bartley 1054
The Clay Center Team/O’Donnell Center Team

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Villanova Career Center

The O'Donnell Center partners with the Villanova Career Center, which offers comprehensive career development and job search resources to students and alumni of the university.


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Handshake is Villanova’s go-to resource for jobs, internships, events and more! 

Through Handshake, you can apply for positions, explore companies and connections, and sign up for career fairs and workshops all in one place. Find out the full details on Handshake for employers and students