The College of Business Administration’s internship program allows CBA students to gain real world experience as a compliment to their academic experience in their chosen major. Often this real world experience helps a student gain better insight into how the academic experience will be applied after graduation. Sometimes the internship will cause a student to re-evaluate his or her chosen major as a result of experiencing or observing something that strikes a chord. In many cases a successful internship will lead to a job after graduation. Any and all of these outcomes are positive for the student. The benefit to the intern employer is exposure to potential entry level employees who bring with them energy and fresh ideas from the world of academia.
The CBA internship program follows the same guidelines and has the same requirements as the internship program managed by the Career Development Center. Our objective is to ensure that an internship is educational and at the same time in compliance with US Department of Labor Regulations. USDOL criteria for determining if an internship or training program can be excluded from the minimum wage requirement are:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) established standards that have to be met if an internship is to be considered legitimate and not simply free or low cost labor. To be considered legitimate all of the following NACE standards must be met:
- The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
- The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
- The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
- There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
- There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
In general our internship policies mirror the standards set by NACE. Obviously, any employer can hire anyone on any terms if both parties agree, even if the compensation package does not meet USDOL criteria. However, if the internship is to be sanctioned by CBA it must comply with the following guidelines:
- Students must have junior or senior status and have a minimum 2.0 GPA.
- It should provide student interns with pre-professional activities similar to that of a new entrant in the field.
- It should allow the intern to use classroom knowledge and provide hands-on experience.
- It must be directly related to a student's academic major and/or career goals.
- It must provide a student with a minimum of 120 hours of work during a placement period. Interns should work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic semester and a maximum of 40 hours per week during winter and summer breaks.
- It must limit clerical or non-professional duties to 20% or less of the overall tasks.
- It must be paid, or if unpaid the student must receive academic credit. Students may take unpaid “volunteer” positions at not-for-profit organizations without receiving academic credit.
- Students working in an unpaid internship must enroll CBA-493 internship course. Employers should request proof of enrollment before the intern’s start date. Students with unpaid summer or overseas internships are required to take the internship course at its next offering, generally fall or spring semester whichever comes first. Please see Notice on Unpaid Internships.
- It must be in a supervised environment.
Intern employers must submit the proposed internship to the Director of Internships for approval. This takes the form of a position description submitted as a MS Word file. Once approved the internship will be posted to the CBA database of open internships and the Director of Internships will notify all CBA students of the new posting. If the posting is for a student with a specific field of study (i.e. accounting), the Chair of that department will be notified and he or she will ask department faculty to discuss the position with students they feel would be qualified and interested.
Intern employers should be aware of the following guidelines.
- All internship postings submitted to CBA are reviewed and approved at the discretion of the Director of Internships. We reserve the right to choose to deny posting a position if it does not appear to support the best interests of students and/or the University.
- The internship posting should take the form of a position description and must include the name and contact information of the employer, a functional description of the position, specific duties, hours of work per week, skills and abilities required to do the work, rate of pay if any, location of employment and application instructions.
- We do not post:
- Positions that require an initial investment or payment by the prospective employee. The only exception to this will be if the employee needs to acquire necessary and appropriate safety clothing and gear or the equivalent.
- Positions that appear to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender
- Anonymous ads, positions for independent contractors, positions based in private homes or positions submitted by third party recruiters who are unwilling to provide us with client contact information.
Each student will develop a Learning Contract to be submitted to the Internship Director on the form provided. The Learning Contract is an agreement between the student intern, the Intern Employer and the CBA Internship Director. The contract must be signed by the student intern, the Intern Employer/supervisor and the CBA Internship Director. A copy of the contract is retained by all parties. The contract will state:
- The student's learning goals and objectives.
- The intern employer’s description of the internship position.
- The specific types of experiences the student will be engaged in or will encounter through the internship.
At the end of the internship interns must receive an evaluation by their supervisor using the Supervisor Evaluation Form. The supervisor should, but does not have to, review the evaluation with the intern. The intern is required to return the completed evaluation to the CBA Intern Director at the end of the internship. If the student is enrolled in CBA-493 Internship Course the evaluation becomes part of the instructor’s evaluation of the student’s academic performance. Supervisors evaluate the intern’s performance in the following areas:
- Attitude towards work
- Understanding of role as an intern
- Relations with others
- Overall Performance of Intern
Employer Information Package
The Employer Information Package contains much of the information summarized here. It also contains copies of the Learning Contract and Supervisor Evaluation Form as well as other useful information. The package is in pdf file format and can be easily downloaded from the CBA website.
Student Information Package
The Student Information Package provides the student with helpful information regarding his or her new internship and requirements. Package includes an explanation of intern rights and responsibilities, Learning Contract Instructions and the Learning Contract.