Internship Learning Experiences
"You can learn only so much in a classroom. There is an irreplaceable element that is added by going into an actual organization and business setting and having the option to incorporate and think on everything that has been discussed and read about in class. [The work experience-class integration] has provided me with the mental frameworks of how and what to begin thinking about in regards to future occupations. I attained not only a better understanding of myself and my own values, motives, and goals but also how to better comprehend or interpret an organization." -- Ben Broekhuizen
In recent survey by Michigan State University, employers indicated that 50% of their new hires completed internship and/or co-ops within the company. An additional 40% had interned with another company (Gardner, Chao,& Hurst , 2008). Internships are relevant!
Internships at are semester-long, supervised work experiences in which a student pursues purposeful learning objectives and actively reflects on those experiences and for which the student earns academic credit.
A CFL-sponsored internship involves:
- An academic course emphasizing depth of learning within an applied setting for which students receive a grade and academic credit listed on their Hope College transcript. CFL sponsors the following internship courses: LDRS 399 and MGMT 390.
- An applied experience in conjunction with reading and reflection.
- A substantive experience: Three hours onsite per week over the course of at least one semester or summer for every credit of internship enrolled, in addition to time spent in reading, writing, and attending seminars.
The student intern has:
- An on-site supervisor with whom regularly scheduled supervision meetings occur.
- An advisor (in LDRS 399 and MGMT 390) who mentors the student and ensure that the negotiable objectives of the student’s learning plan are met.
- A professor who oversees the internship, making contact with the onsite supervisor, advisor, and student, assigning and evaluating readings and written assignments, and meeting or communicating on a regular basis with the student.
The student is required to:
- Complete the negotiable and non-negotiable objectives of the learning plan.
- Sign the Hope CollegeInternship Agreement Form.
- Submit to CFL a specific job description at the beginning of the semester.
The internship site provides:
- A clear job/project description for the internship experience, with work of an administrative nature comprising no more than 50% of the intern's time.
- An orientation for the student to the organization, its “culture” and intern work assignment(s).
- Assistance in development of the intern’s learning objectives and learning plan (see syllabus).
- Feedback to the student through regularly scheduled supervision meetings.
- Formal written evaluation(s) of the student using the format provided by the professor.
Questions for Organizations Seeking Interns:
- What are the goals of your internship program? What do you hope to achieve?
- Will you pay the intern?
- Where will the intern be placed within your organization? Under whose supervision?
- Where will the intern be physically placed? Will the intern have adequate workspace?
- What academic background and experience is relevant for this intern position?
- Do you have enough meaningful work for the intern to do? Will there be room for the intern to work independently? Will the intern have access to others in your organization?
- Will you provide special activities beyond and yet complementary to the work assigned to the intern?
- How will you generate positive internship “word-of-mouth?”
- Who will assess the intern?
- What are the legal issues in “hiring” interns?
- Will you provide an orientation program for the intern? Will you help the intern understand the culture of the organization? The organization structure and specific language? Work standards and expectation? Tasks that can be completed without specific approval? Safety regulations? Dress and appearance? Professional mannerisms? Who to contact and what to do if there are ethical, legal, and safety concerns?
- Will the intern be monitored and be given feedback on a regular basis?
- Who will be responsible for completing the formal mid-semester and end-of-semester evaluation for the internship professor?
Mid-Semester and End-of-Semester Evaluation Questions for Supervisors:
Does the intern:
- Accept responsibility for mistakes?
- Learn from experience?
- Ask good questions?
- Communicate effectively in writing?
- Communicate effectively when speaking?
- Communicate positively when listening?
- Comprehend information and instructions?
- Demonstrate analytical abilities?
- Take initiative?
- Act professionally?
- Engage others appropriately?
- Contribute positively to the spirit of the team?
General criteria for internships through Hope College
How to land a job
Internship resume pointers
Links to Office of Career Services handouts: