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WinstonStrawn-2015Do you want to experience a day in the life of your dream job or even just explore a new career path? Participate in the Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT) 2016, where you’ll match with a Northwestern alum and shadow them on the job for a one-day “externship” this spring. You could connect with an NPR web developer, a Justice Department attorney, or a music librarian with the San Francisco Ballet (and much more)! Approximately 600 Northwestern alums at organizations in a range of industries and job functions across the U.S. and the world will participate in the program, co-sponsored by Northwestern Career Advancement and the Northwestern Alumni Association.

NationalGeographicHere’s how it works: Submit a resume and personal statement to hosts you would like to shadow on the NAA website by February 7, 2016. You’ll be notified if you are matched with an alumni host by early March, and then you and your host will set up a date for your externship that works for both of you sometime in the spring (generally between March 21 and April 22, 2016). You may complete one externship per year, and will need to provide your own travel and accommodations. At your externship you might take tours, sit in on meetings, help with projects, or conduct informational interviews with different company members. Current Northwestern undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.

Here’s what students have said about their past NEXT experiences:

“[My host] introduced me to so many people and really got me involved in the work that an engineer will do. It was an experience I will never forget!” – McCormick student, who spent the day with a Northwestern alumnus and product engineer at OXO.

“NEXT gave me the exclusive opportunity to see what a day in my life as a full-time employee might be like a few short months later. More than that, my alumni host impressed upon me the importance of having a meaningful life and career.” – WCAS & TGS recent graduate, who, during her time at NU, shadowed Northwestern alumnus and owner of Nieman, Inc. in Wilmette, Ill., a company that specializes in curriculum development for educational publishers.

“As a graduate student in neuroscience looking to explore options outside of academia, this was a unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a completely different industry.” – TGS student, who spent the day with Northwestern alumna and co-founder of Blaze Pizza.

“The NEXT program connected me with someone who was not just a mentor for a day, but someone who also became a great friend. We’ve continued to stay in touch and even worked together to launch a startup that was awarded over $60,000 and multiple entrepreneurship awards. My NEXT host helped to shape my professional career and prepare for life after school.” – SESP student, who spent the day with a Northwestern alumna from Deloitte Human Capital.

To learn more about NEXT, check out photos from our 2015 program or read some blog posts from past externships. View the list of FAQs and send any questions to next.student@northwestern.edu. Plus: See the complete list of year-round programs from NCA and the NAA designed to connect Northwestern students and alumni for professional development.