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Grinstead Building, Room 009
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Email: Dr. Ronnie Rollins
The faculty of UCM’s School of Technology extend a sincere thank you to all the companies that work with our interns. The faculty understand the commitment necessary to run a successful internship program, and greatly appreciate the significant benefits that the internships afford our students and our programs.
The internship provides several advantages to participating companies. The program is an excellent source of both temporary and permanent employees since the organization is given a chance to evaluate prospective employees without making an expensive, long term commitment. Interns become thoroughly grounded in established employer practices while they are still at a formative level in their professional development. Many interns bring fresh ideas and perspectives which can be of considerable value to the company. Of course, students from our technology management programs should be capable, with reasonable guidance and supervision, of performing productive work right alongside the company’s present employees.
Many employers find that an established internship program provides a continual influx of fresh talent into their organizations with little of the inherent risks of hiring a fulltime employee. An under-utilized but very beneficial use of interns can be in completing special projects. Almost all companies have data they would like to collect to use to improve their efficiency, yet often have difficulty finding the time to do so with the time pressures of daily production. A talented intern, after a training orientation to the company, can be assigned to special projects that allow them to learn a great deal about the entire organization, interact with a variety of employees, and collect data that can then be analyzed by work teams to help improve production procedures. Some companies have had interns do task analyses for training purposes. The benefits of special projects are significant both for the intern and the employer.
The Role of the Employer in the Internship
The cooperating organization is asked to perform several functions. One of these is to appoint someone to supervise the intern’s work experience. This supervisor ensures that interns receive the necessary training for success in completing their work responsibilities. The supervisor typically organizes for the intern a training rotation through all production areas of the company, with the intern spending time with managerial and production personnel to learn typical production workflows and employee work responsibilities. Some companies require the intern to document what they learn in each production and managerial area during the orientation period.
The internship experience should be enriched whenever possible by providing the intern with opportunities to take responsibility and make decisions. Actual production responsibility is a great learning opportunity for the intern, and allows the company to better evaluate the intern’s long term potential in the organization.
The interns’ work supervisor is often visited by the Internship Coordinator or an appointed faculty member in order to follow the progress of the student and to get feedback on the quality of the internship experience for the employer and on the preparation the student received in their field of study.
Near the conclusion of the internship experience, the supervisor is asked to evaluate the intern on several aspects of their performance using the Employer Evaluation Form. This form may be printed, completed, then mailed or faxed to the Technology Internship office, or can be completed and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important that the employment supervisor and the internship coordinator work closely to determine a fair grade for the intern. Although it is the Internship coordinator’s responsibility to determine the final grade for the course, the evaluation of the supervisor constitutes 50% of the intern’s final grade.
Duration of the Internship
The duration of employment is determined solely by agreement between the employer and the intern. It is recommended that companies determine the duration of the internship based upon company needs and expectations. The number of credit hours required or suggested differs according to the academic program of study. Some programs require one hour of internship credit; some programs require three, while others count the internship as an elective.
Technology Internship policy requires that a minimum of 80 regularly scheduled work hours be completed for each hour of academic credit received. Regardless of the number of credit hours of internship required by the program, it is strongly suggested that companies require interns to work for the majority of the term, be it the fall, spring, or summer semester sessions.