What is an Internship?
Internships are structured practical work experiences, sponsored by companies and organizations, and are designed to help students understand the complexities of the business environment. The intent of the College of Business Internship Program at Northern Michigan University is to provide students with an opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining work experience in a business, governmental or other institutional setting.
College of Business internships for academic credit are paid internships (100 hours of internship experience = 1 credit) and must be approved prior to the beginning of the actual internship work or experience. Additionally, tasks assigned to the student should correspond to the student's educational background. The College of Business internship coordinator must approve all internships sponsored by employers in order to ensure standards of quality in the work experience are maintained. Students are eligible to earn from 1-4 credit hours for internship experience. (Note: Computer information systems majors can earn up to 8 credits).
* It is important for the student to recognize that when internships are taken for credit, the student will be responsible for the tuition to cover the cost of the credit.
Eligibility and Applying for Internship Credit
Students that meet the following standards are eligible to take for-credit internships:
Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
Admitted to the College of Business (except BCIS majors)
Junior or senior standing in respective major
Typically, students who are both eligible for, and want to apply for internship credit should first obtain a paid internship from a business or organization, and then (prior to actually starting the internship work) apply for academic credit. Applications for internship credit should be submitted a minimum of one month prior to starting the internship.
In order to apply for internship credit, students must complete the internship application, and submit the application and all of the documents included on the Internship Application Checklist to Dr. Charles Rayhorn for internships in accounting, finance, and computer information systems, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ms. Carol Johnson for internships in management, marketing, and entrepreneurship, email@example.com.
If approved for academic credit, students are registered for the appropriate level of credit through Jody Lindberg's office. Upon approval, a packet of orientation materials is then sent to both the student and the supervisor or mentor of the internship at the business or organization sponsoring the internship. Students are responsible for a series of bi-weekly reports throughout the internship, as well as some reporting requirements at the end of the internship. Internship credit is graded on a pass (S = satisfactory) or fail (U = unsatisfactory) basis.
The internship experience allows the students to see their profession in a more realistic light. Working side-by-side with professionals outside the classroom helps the student to develop a sense of responsibility and confidence in their abilities. Listing an internship, as an example of professional experience, on their resume helps the student in their job search upon graduation. In some cases students are offered employment by the firm who held their internship. Upon returning to classes after an internship, many times students are more interested in research, have a better idea of course work they wish to study, and are very participative in class sessions.
Through the College of Business Internship Program, employers may successfully screen students for permanent employment upon graduation. Employees who have previously worked with the firm are productive more quickly and are more likely to remain with the firm for a longer period of time. Short-term projects may be able to be completed without the need of hiring permanent employees. In addition, intelligent students may bring new tools and ideas into the work place, providing present employers and employees with ongoing education.
The employer will be responsible for providing a meaningful work experience for the student. Skills the student possesses should be utilized by assignment to appropriate tasks. Supervision and guidance must be available to the student in a professional environment. A document outlining the job duties and level of supervision of the student is required for students applying for internship credit, and must be approved (along with the other documents submitted by the student as part of his or her application for internship credit) by the College of Business internship coordinator prior to student beginning the internship.
The employer will sign bi-weekly status reports written by the student in order to verify their accuracy. At the end of the internship, the employer will complete an evaluation of the student, his/her performance and strengths and weaknesses of the academic program. The College of Business internship coordinator should be contacted in the event of problems that occur with the student.