Internships

Introduction
MMU internships provide an integrative and experiential opportunity for students. The internship also serves as a professional exploration in which the student has the opportunity to explore an industry prior to making a career decision. The intent is to provide the student an opportunity to observe and participate in an applied experience that is mutually beneficial to both the student and the participating business entity. This manual brings consistency across departments by establishing general guidelines and baseline standards for the approval, registration, and supervision of internships along with relevant tasks, duties, responsibilities, learning objectives, and work hours required to earn academic credit.

Career Services
MMU Career Services maintains a list of area internship sites. 

Guidance is available for: cover letter and resume development, mock interviews, networking tips, workplace etiquette and professionalism training.

Requirements
MMU students may take up to 12 credits per semester and up to 20 total credits through internship study. 

In most instances, internships will be conducted in work settings outside the campus, and in all cases, they will relate to the academic major or career objectives of the student involved. All internships must conform to the following general requirements:

  1. Internships are centered around practical experience. Background reading and ongoing writing projects provide theory for and reflection on the experience. Since internships are designed to meet genuine needs in both public and private sectors of society, the projects must earn the support of the internship site as well as the internship advisor before the registration process may be completed.
  2. Students should register for their internship course for the semester they are performing the work. Credit cannot be awarded for work already completed. The completed internship form is required before registration can be processed and is due on or before the last day to add.
  3. An internship should be a new experience based on a definite educational goal. Therefore, a student should not obtain internship credit for what is a regular job which was held prior to the internship unless new and different responsibilities are assumed. A second internship can be completed at the same company but responsibilities should be vastly different.
  4. Supervisors are required to objectively evaluate the intern’s work. As much as they try, family members are not able to provide that type of supervision. We recommend that your work be supervised by someone who can serve as a reference later on; family members are usually not able to provide references. Supervision by a family member for a credit-bearing internship is strongly discouraged.
  5. All internships will conform to the following guidelines:
    • Student standing – Students must have completed their sophomore year (minimum 60 credits) and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.
    • Contact hours required - The experience involves 40 hours of field experience for each credit earned over a minimum of six week duration.
    • Reading assignments – It should have a specific reading assignment that provides theoretical background for the experience.\
    • Conferences - A minimum of two conferences with the intern’s faculty advisor, at the beginning and conclusion of the internship.
    • Writing assignments – The first assignment should record the learning process (journal, log, observation, report, etc.) and the second is a capstone paper (5-10 pages) that helps the student to reflect on the total internship experience and what was learned.
    • Grade - The grade is to be based on a written evaluative report from the Site Supervisor, faculty observations and/or conferences with the student, and the quality of the written work submitted by the student. Pass/Unsatisfactory grading is utilized.

Roles and Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the various parties are described below:
The Intern

  • Find an appropriate internship experience
  • Develop a mutually beneficial program that utilizes his or her academic and work related skills by working closely with the site supervisor and internship advisor
  • With the assistance of the site supervisor and internship advisor, document a description of appropriate goals and the activities designed to accomplish these goals
  • Carry out the tasks assigned in a professional manner and act ethically and responsibly in accordance with the standard set forth by the employer, recognizing the organizational factors, environmental characteristics, and managerial techniques unique to the firm
  • Participate in the required conferences with the internship advisor and site supervisor

The Sponsoring Site

  • Make the intern aware of any potential risks inherent in working at the internship site
  • Make the intern aware of the professional and ethical standards regarding the internship position and the intern’s conduct
  • Assign a site supervisor to coordinate the internship experience

The Site Supervisor

  • Work with the intern to develop a mutually beneficial program that utilizes the intern’s academic and work-related skills
  • Work with the intern and the advisor to document a description of appropriate goals and the activities designed to accomplish these goals
  • Train and supervise the intern’s assigned activities, guide the intern in the completion of these activities and assist in the overall learning process
  • Evaluate the intern’s performance
  • Participate in the conferences with the advisor and the intern

The Internship Advisor

  • Act as a coordinator in the selection process of the firm and intern
  • Submit list of internship sites and positions to MMU Career Services each semester
  • Develop and maintain a mutually beneficial program that addresses the needs of the firm and intern
  • Work with the intern and the site supervisor to develop a mutually beneficial program that utilizes the intern’s academic and work-related skills
  • Work with the intern and the site Supervisor to document a description of appropriate goals and the activities designed to accomplish these goals
  • Recognize and protect the confidential nature of the relationship between the firm, the intern, and the university
  • Grade the intern's effort
  • Supervise completion of all internship requirements

Assessment
Site Supervisor Evaluation
The site supervisor is the best judge of how well the intern handled responsibilities and developed professionally during the course of the business employment. In order for the site supervisor to make an accurate assessment he or she must have the feedback of the intern. The intern should communicate with the site supervisor on a continuous basis regarding the achievement of the internship objectives. 

The Site Supervisor Evaluation form provides a formal opportunity to assess the internship. It is the responsibility of the intern to present this form to his or her site supervisor at the end of the internship. Although it is not mandatory, it is desirable for the site supervisor to have an exit interview with the intern to review the evaluation and assess the internship experience.

Student Self-Evaluation
The student intern will also evaluate his or her performance, assessing the overall performance as well as outlining strengths and weaknesses and thinking critically about necessary training to continue working in this field. Students will also be asked to consider their career plans, based upon the experience. This exercise is an opportune segue into preparing an updated resume. Student interns may discover hidden strengths and talents as a result of the internship that should be highlighted on their resumes.

International Students
An F-1 visa is granted to a person coming to the United States to attend a college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or language training program approved by the U.S. Attorney General for study by foreign students. The visa holder plans to return home after completing studies. This is the most common non-immigrant visa for an international student attending undergraduate and graduate school. Students are granted F-1 status until the completion of the academic program and 12 months of post-program practical training. The purpose of the F-1 visa is to provide an opportunity for study in the United States. Anything outside of study, including employment, is an exception to the
visa. Authorization for employment is strictly limited to certain situations. 

The student holding F-1 status for a full academic year and in good academic standing may be authorized to work off campus but only under specific circumstances.

  • Such work authorization is granted when the student has sustained unforeseen economic hardship. Also, the student may not work for more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, but may work full time during holidays and vacations, including breaks between terms, provided the student intends to register for the next school term.
  • Curricular Practical Training: An F-1 student may perform curricular practical training prior to the completion of the educational program as part of his or her educational experience. The INS defines this type of training as ‘alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through agreements with the school. The student must receive credit from the institution for this type of work authorization.
  • Post-Completion Practical Training: This is temporary employment directly related to the student’s major area of study that takes place after the student completes a full course of study. Authorization for this training may be granted for a maximum of 12 months of full-time or part-time work. Those on a student visa can only gain authorization once for this type of training.

Confidentiality
Without consent, federal law prohibits any publication or communication beyond the student, the employer and the university regarding information specific to the internship. The supervisory evaluation will be available to the intern. Information to be held confidential between the intern and the internship advisor or between the employer and the internship advisor must be appropriately designated, otherwise, it will be assumed that information can be freely exchanged between the university, the student and the employer.

Also, the intern must be cognizant of and compliant with the confidentiality issues related to the work he or she is performing. In many instances, especially in the financial industry, confidentiality is not only essential to the operations of the organization, it is a federal regulation.

Legal Liability
Interns assume any liability for their actions and potential risks to themselves by accepting placement at a sponsoring site. Mount Marty University does not assume any liability for any injury or damages sustained by the intern. Further, there is no coverage by the university’s insurance policies for any damages sustained by the sponsoring site as a result of the intern's conduct. Any company equipment assigned to the intern is solely the intern's responsibility.

 

PDF version of the MMU Internship Policy