Freshman Externship Program (FEX)

The Freshman Externship Program (FEX) is designed specifically for ILR freshman. It is a one-day shadowing program during winter break that provides an invaluable opportunity for students to explore diverse ILR-related career fields, gain firsthand work exposure, and network with alumni.

How Does It Work?

  • FEX opportunities are typically offered in a variety of fields and organizations, including corporate human resources, labor relations, labor, government, law, arbitration/third-party, non-profits, consulting, and financial services.
  • Students must attend an information session and register to participate.
  • Opportunities are selected through a random lottery in mid-November.  Specific instructions will be shared with registered students.
  • Participants are responsible for their own housing and transportation to and from the FEX opportunity.
    • Thus, students are encouraged to choose a FEX opportunity in or near their hometowns or where they have family/friends with whom to stay.
  • Specific opportunities vary from year to year, though many sponsors participate annually.  Visit past sponsors to see a sample of prior sponsors. You may also see general descriptions of last year's opportunities.
    • We encourage you to review the locations and career fields from last year. Although we add sponsors each year, they are generally in the same geographic regions; if you do not see your hometown listed, please meet with a career advisor to discuss how to go about setting up an independent FEX.

STUDENTS: The deadline for student registration is September 29 at 12 p.m. You must attend an information session in order to participate; check your email for details on when and where they will be offered.

EMPLOYERS: To become a sponsor, please fill out the sponsorship form.

How do I apply?

To participate in FEX, you must complete two steps:

  1. Attend the required info session, which occurs in mid-September.*
  2. Register and submit your résumé through the online application.

*Important deadlines will be covered at the required info session. Failure to comply with these deadlines may compromise your eligibility to participate in the program.

What is the FEX lottery, and how does it work?

The FEX lottery functions much like the campus housing lottery and is the way most participants obtain an opportunity (some students set up an independent FEX; see the next question). The process will be explained via email to registered students. Briefly, you will be randomly assigned a lottery time several days before the lottery. Prior to the lottery day, you should review all available positions listed on the FEX website and develop a list of your top three or four FEX choices. On the day of the lottery, you will come to the office at your designated time with your list and select a FEX from the remaining opportunities. Once you have selected a FEX in the lottery, you are obligated to complete that externship.

Lottery times are non-transferable and non-changeable. If you absolutely cannot be present, you may authorize someone (including the FEX coordinator) to act on your behalf (please do not leave class or an exam to participate). To designate someone else, you must contact the FEX coordinator prior to the lottery day.

There are no FEX opportunities posted for my geographic area. Can I still participate?

Absolutely. Though there has been a concerted effort by OCS in recent years to expand our geographic base of available FEX opportunities, there are still students who come from areas where shadowing opportunities are traditionally scarce.  In these cases, it is possible to work with a career advisor in OCS to conduct an independent search. This will require a bit of extra work on your part, but is well worth the effort. If you are interested in pursuing this option, it is very important that you contact OCS as soon as possible to get started. The earlier you begin your search, the better your chances of securing a FEX in your preferred geographic area and career field.

May I do complete more than one externship opportunity?

Yes. After all lottery participants have had a chance to choose a FEX, the remaining options are reposted and can be selected by a FEX student who has already secured one FEX. Thereafter, other ILR first-year students (who didn’t register for FEX) are considered.

What if my plans change?

We expect all students to honor their FEX commitments. Please determine your availability prior to choosing a FEX on lottery day. Be sure you talk with your family about the program to ensure you will have transportation available to you and to make sure they have not made other plans for you over winter break. In addition, if you are participating in fraternity or sorority recruitment, please check those dates and select opportunities that fit with your available time. If an unforeseeable circumstance impacts your participation, please notify your sponsor and our office immediately.