Maximizing the Benefits of an Internship
A Guide for Employers
The Center for Business Internships (CBI) in the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies (HCBPS) at the University of Central Missouri (UCM) coordinates all activities pertaining to business internships for the college, its students, and a wide variety of employers. During the last five years 655 students earned 2,849 hours of academic credit and $3,357,603 in wages.
Recommendations for a Successful Internship
- Provide a meaningful and challenging hands-on work experience for each intern and assist in the intern's development. This experience should allow the intern to apply and enrich his or her knowledge pertinent to the chosen academic discipline. The college requires that students who perform business internships for academic credit do so in areas which are directly related to their major or minor. These internships may be project-based or in other formats which are typical for the work environment. The college does not identify specific responsibilities or tasks that the intern must accomplish; we believe that this is best left to the employer.
- Appoint one person who will have direct supervisory responsibility for the intern’s assignments, daily performance and assessment. Ideally, this supervisor would be knowledgeable in the academic area in which the intern is pursuing his/her degree.
- If feasible, appoint one person in the organization to act as a mentor, and inform the intern that he or she may look to that mentor for guidance and advice. Ideally, this mentor would be someone other than the intern’s direct supervisor.
- Prior to the start of the internship, or early in the process, provide the intern with a detailed outline of what is expected of him or her. This may include but is not limited to:
1. Job description (reasonably detailed)
2. Pay rate, method of payment and pay schedule
3. Start and end dates
4. Expected work schedule
5. Expected days off, and allowable vacation days, if any
6. Transportation to be provided, if any
7. Benefits to be provided, if any
8. Safety and security concerns
9. Other requirements and/or restrictions, as applicable
- As part of the academic process of earning college credit, our interns are required to complete assignments that are detailed in a Course Syllabus. These assignments are to be completed on the intern’s own time and are not to interfere with the employer’s work assignments. However, we do ask that supervisors assist interns in establishing goals and assessing their progress. We also ask that supervisors assist us in evaluating the intern’s performance by completing an evaluation that will be provided by the intern to the supervisor near the end of the internship.
- At approximately the mid-point of the internship, the CBI staff will contact each intern and ask that they schedule a visit between the Director of the CBI and the intern’s supervisor. This will be an informal visit, generally about 30-minutes in duration, which will allow us to obtain feedback from both the employer and the intern. We appreciate the employer’s cooperation and endeavor to minimize any disruption to normal operations.
- Provide a work environment and the resources necessary for a productive and harmonious employer-employee relationship.
- Assess the performance of each intern and provide the intern with feedback (positive and negative).
- Identify any future requirements for interns to the Director or the Coordinator of the CBI early enough to allow adequate time for selection and processing.