The following pages provide information on the procedures students need to go through to apply for academic credit for the internship experience they participate in during semester or summer terms.
Please note: the internship class is NOT registered at MyPsc. Specifically read the requirements at the Internship Forms page (above link).
What is an internship?
An internship is a supervised on- or off-campus working and learning experience, which earns academic credit. Internships give students opportunities to apply and extend the theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom to practical experiences, while allowing them opportunities to view and evaluate careers to which their major may lead. Ideal internships establish positive contacts with prospective employers and are keys to building professional networks for students. Internships have been found to encourage personal growth and increased confidence in students. They can add meaning to academic study, aid in the development of “going to work skills,” and create laboratory for skill development and knowledge relevant to employers and graduate programs.
Defining Characteristics of Internships Taken for Academic Credit
Credit Internships are supervised on- or off-campus educational and work experiences involving a student, employer, academic advisor and Coordinator of Cooperative Programs.
- Academic Advisor – Internships for academic credit require an academic advisor. The advisor guides the student in determining the appropriate number of credits based upon their program requirements.
- Employer (supervisor) – The internship employer must assign a supervisor to direct and supervise the student’s work. The supervisor provides training, daily supervision, and a written performance evaluation at the end of the internship term. The Coordinator of Cooperative Programs facilitates the evaluation process.
- Student Eligibility – To apply for academic credit for an internship, students must have completed 45 credit hours and must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0. Students with less than 45 semester hours may complete an internship if permission is granted by the Dean.
- Internship Standards – One credit hour is equal to 40 hours of work. Example: three (3) credits x 40 hours = 120 hours of work recorded on bi-weekly time sheets.
- A student may register from one (1) credit up to 12 internship credits per term. However, you cannot register for more than 18 total hours of credit during the internship semester. Only the Dean of the School may approve of more than 18 hours.
- Application Procedures - Students must prepare four forms: Training Agreement, Learning Objectives, Permit to Register and Drop/Add form to initiate the internship process. All the forms are found in the Internship Forms link .
- Internship BlackBoard (BB) Shell - Once the student has completed the registration of the internship, the student will be assigned a Blackboard shell. Internship students will submit bi-weekly (every two weeks) time sheets in the Assignment section of BB. Additonally, an intern is required to complete one (1) discussion board and one (1) essay questions which is posted in Blackboard.
- The Coordinator of Cooperative Programs in Career Services will communicate with the student (deficiencies, requests for revisions, approval). If you have any questions, contact Alice Holtz at 402-872-2436 or at the Center for Achievement and Transition (CATS) Room 204.
- Evaluation Criteria – The Coordinator considers the following:
- The weight and clarity of the academic purpose.
- The appropriateness of the structured internship activities and responsibilities aligned with the Learning Objectives.
- The rigor of the evaluation standards agreed to by all parties.
- The merit of the essay and discussion board questions, resume and final portfolio.
Benefits of internships for students:
- Job experience; meaningful work assignments related to field of study and major
- Exposure to real-world scenarios in the workplace
- Experience complements theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom
- Receive academic credit
- Professional, social and volunteer activities for networking
- Commitment and assignment management
- Helps students build resume
- Career development and performance management
- Mentoring and coaching; training and development
Benefits of internships for employers:
- Pipeline of quality candidates to fill entry-level needs
- Source of fresh and diverse talent for new insight and ideas
- Opportunity to select, train and influence the best and brightest
- Gain early exposure to future corporate leaders
- Intern recruiting aligned with college recruiting efforts
- Interns act as advocates in recruiting other students (brand ambassadors)
- Project help; reduce workload (part-time/short-term hiring)
- Improve efficiency, morale and motivation
- Promotes community involvement; great public relations
- Maintain important connections with colleges
- Training and development opportunity for managers and mentors
- Opportunity to evaluate and screen students prior to making a full-time offer
- Rapid assimilation into full-time positions (shorter learning curve)
- Higher retention rate for former interns
How to find an Internship
- Define what type of internship you are seeking.
- Determine where you are willing to go. Would you like an internship in Omaha, a particular city, or are you open to going anywhere? Remember to start the search and application process early.
- Compile a list of organizations that meet your criteria (related to your major and/or career interests). This will help you come up with a target list of employers. (See Careers Related to Majors and the Job Resources on our website to find detailed information on career and company research, Internet resources, publications, company and ranking lists, career books, and professional associations.)
- Research the organization before applying and be sure to include specific information on why you want to work for that organization in your cover letter.
- Register at JobZone. Make an appointment with a Coordinator of Cooperative Programs for an orientation to this registration process. This will allow you to search the current internships posted at JobZone and submit your resume for interviews.
- Explore the Internship Search Resources and internship programs online through the JobZone website. Resources on national internship programs are also available in the Resource Library, located in the Career Services in CATS 208.
- Attend Career Fairs. Distribute your resume and talk to employers about internship opportunities with their organization.
- Networking! The most effective way to land a job or internship. Talk to friends, family, faculty, professional and student organizations, Career Services staff, and alumni, attend social/professional events in the community and talk to current or former student interns. Student interns are often asked to recruit their own replacement before they graduate.
- Take the time to thoroughly research organizations before interviewing. This step is extremely important. Interviewers are impressed with students who know a lot about their organization.
- Prepare for interviews and schedule a practice interview (mock interview) with a Career Service staff member.
- Make an appointment with the Coordinator of Cooperative Programs for individual internship search assistance. The Coordinator can provide employer contacts and leads for internship opportunities. Assistance is also available for resume and cover letter writing, interview tips, and other career-related topics.
Approach Prospective Organizations
• You will need to develop tools to follow up with application procedures, such as error free resumes, cover letters, applications, and where necessary, writing samples or statements of philosophy.
• Be cognizant of deadlines for existing programs and send materials at least 10 days in advance.
• Do not use a form letter or a letter template to approach prospective internship hosts.
• Analyze the needs of the organization and internship responsibilities to personalize and tailor each cover letter and resume.
• Follow up with a telephone call on a date promised in your cover letter to make sure that all your materials are in and to inquire about the selection and interview process.
Prepare for Interviews
• Use the library, online resources, and network research on the company and career field.
• View interview preparation videotapes; schedule a mock interview in Career Services.
• Gather and read information about interviewing success strategies and potential questions.
• Consider and perhaps write out responses to these questions.
• Identify five skills you possess that will be assets to the internships company/department.
• Be prepared to give detailed examples of when you’ve demonstrated those abilities.
Interview with Enthusiasm
• Present a professional image and attitude in your dress, manner and actions. Never dress too casually. It is better to be more formal.
• Create an agenda of skills and abilities you would like to convey.
• Smile – interviewing is an exciting opportunity!
After the Interview
• Write and mail or email a thank you note after every interview (the very next morning.)
• Continue prospecting and applying for internships as you wait to hear from employers.
• Stay enthusiastic! The internship search (like any job search) is difficult and time
consuming. Your never-give-up efforts will lead you to success.
What now? I’ve been offered the internship
Once you have been offered the internship you will want to clarify the employer’s
expectations and secure details as to your role during the internship. The Learning Objective and Training Agreement forms (Internship Handbook) will need to be completed by both the student intern and employer. Even if you decide not to seek academic credit, you will want answers to most of the following questions:
- What duties, responsibilities, projects, and/or observations will be
a part of the internship?
- What time parameters will be associated with the experience (number of hours, work schedule, inclusive dates?)
- Will you be working with (observing) more than one department or division?
- Who will be your supervisor(s)?
- What outcomes will the sponsor expect from your work?
- What skills (knowledge) might you develop through the internship?
- How much interaction will you have (if any) with other interns or employees?
- Are there any special programs (social, cultural, or educational) for interns?
- How will performance be evaluated?
- From what criteria will performance be evaluated?
- Are successful interns considered for employment; is the internship a recruiting tool for the organization?
- What goals would you like to accomplish within the experience?