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Co-ops/Internships Employer Information
What's the difference between a Co-op and an Internship?
- Credit earned varies between the two.
- Co-ops are generally treated as full-scale work experiences, always compensated and may be from 3-9 months in length.
- Internships may be of shorter duration and may or may not be compensated (although compensation is encouraged).
- Co-ops may be tied to accreditation standards or (for employers) to state or federal funding.
Does the position I'm offering qualify as an internship/co-op?
Internship Criteria (According to NACE)
- 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.
How do I find an Intern?
Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, post the position to Handshake, UND.joinhandshake.com
In addition, spread the word via:
- Facebook or LinkedIn
- Contact Nancy, Career Services, 777.4103, firstname.lastname@example.org, for help with advertising
When to post:
- Spring Internships (post in September/October)
- Summer Internships (post in February/March or sooner)
- Fall Internships (post in March/April)
Process after posting:
- Review students’ resumes
- Interview (either within your company or reserve a room in Career Services, 777-4103)
- For paid internships: Select and hire just as you would for permanent positions
- For unpaid internships: Select and hire just as you would for permanent positions AND submit the Internship Agreement--Unpaid on page 14 of the UND Internship Guide for Off-Campus Employers if the person you hire is a University of North Dakota student
How do I get started?
- Determine which projects are available. Does your staff have projects that could benefit from the focused attention of an intern? Research? Special projects?
- How many interns are needed?
- Is there a learning experience for the student?
- Consider space – will the student need a desk, computer, phone, etc. Do you have the physical resources?
- Get company buy-in and support from those who will be involved
- Assign a supervisor: Involve the supervisor in writing the job description. The supervisor should also be part of the hiring--they have insight to the skill set needed. The supervisor should be available throughout the internship and help orient the intern regarding processes and procedures.
Assign a mentor: someone in addition to the supervisor, available to offer guidance on the work environment, office etiquette, and answer general questions (could include a tour of the facilities, introductions to other staff, and other ways to make them feel welcome and ensure success)
- Consider salary and how many hours are available
$10 is average/20 hours per week for undergrad and $12 for graduate students; many students may be replacing their part-time work with this internship, so a competitive wage will help secure the best candidate
- Establish a duration—typically an academic semester or three months during the summer
- Write a job description with real work assignments and defined objectives. Outline the work expected.
- Plan orientation and training
What kind of information does a student need from the employer for reporting their co-op or internship in Handshake?
We suggest providing a business card of their direct supervisor that includes the following information:
- Company Name
- Address, phone number, and email
Other Information to include:
- Number of hours working
- Start date and end date
What are the student's Job Objectives?
Students are asked to provide three to five job related objectives for each semester they are enrolled in a co-op/internship course. It is helpful to the student if you review these objectives with them to be sure they relate to the job responsibilities they will be doing. Student then turn this in on Handshake and the Faculty Coordinator will approve or suggest updates.
What are Mid-Term and Final Evaluations?
The student's direct supervisor will be asked to fill out an evaluation mid-way through each semester and at the end of each semester they are enrolled in a co-op/internship. The evaluation will be sent via email through Handshake. Please watch your junk and clutter folders too as sometimes Outlook sends them there.
Once completed, a report regarding mid-term and final evaluations are sent to the Faculty Coordinator by the Career Services office.
Is there anything else a site supervisor needs to do?
Some majors require that the site supervisor also approve the students experience through a Handshake email approval process.
Spring due dates for co-op/internship evaluations from employers:
Midterm: March 1
1st email: February 15
Reminder emails: February 22, February 25 and February 28
Final: April 26
1st email: April 12
Reminder emails: April 19, April 22, and April 25