SAM AND IRENE BLACK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Internship Program Guidelines

Why?

Who is Involved

Responsibilities

The Proposal

Formulation of the Program

The Internship Process

School of Business Policies

Major-Specific Policies

Registration Drop-Add Form

Internship Proposal Form

Internship Evaluation Form

Workplace Ethics

 

Why Internships?

Penn State Erie is committed to providing the highest quality education possible to its students. In support of that commitment, the School of Business encourages students to complete an internship prior to graduation. Internships offer students an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in a professional environment. 

Many advantages result from this field experience, including establishment of professional contacts, exploration of career options, valuable work experience, as well as a sense of personal accomplishment. Sponsoring organizations also gain from student internships, as they are afforded a chance to observe employment prospects on a relatively long-term basis and can accomplish projects that might not be otherwise possible at existing staff levels. Internships can be flexibly structured based on the needs of the sponsoring organization and the student, subject to School of Business Internship Policy Guidelines.

This document describes the involved parties, responsibilities of each party, the internship process, and School of Business policies. The key document in the process is the Internship Proposal. A full description of the guidelines to be used in formulation of the proposal is attached, as is the proposal template.

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Who is Involved?

A successful internship program requires the cooperation of four individuals, each with specific responsibilities. They are:

  • Student Intern. The intern is a currently enrolled student who is eligible to engage in a University-approved internship opportunity. Student eligibility is determined according to school criteria, such as minimum semester standing, GPA, or completed course work.

  • Faculty Supervisor. The supervisor is an official university representative who has faculty status and is responsible for the academic oversight of the internship.

  • Site Supervisor. The site supervisor is the officially recognized professional at the approved sponsoring organization who is responsible for the on-site supervision and evaluation of the Intern.

  • Internship Coordinator. The staff of the Career Development Center serves as the link between the academic and business communities.

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Responsibilities

Career Development Center (CDC) Internship Coordinator: The CDC Internship Coordinator is responsible for maintaining lists of business contacts and potential interhship positions. Every effort will be made to provide positions for all interested students. When a request for an intern is made by a business organization, the CDC will forward a copy of the position description to the appropriate in-Charge faculty member for review. If the in-Charge feels the position is viable, it shall be made known to students interested in obtaining a position, and the CDC will act as the initial point of contact between student and sponsor.

Student Intern: The student is responsible for making the initial inquiry into obtaining an internship and for meeting all departmental and university requirements in terms of eligibility for the internship position and filing appropriate paperwork. Development of the internship proposal is also the responsibility of the student, as this document serves as the formal agreement for establishment of the internship and its evaluation.

Student interns will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. This includes the development of respectful and cooperative relationships with the site supervisor and other employees at the sponsoring organization. The student will establish and maintain regular and punctual working hours, as delineated on the internship proposal, and will conduct himself or herself in an ethical manner, conforming to the sponsoring organization's policies and procedures while executing the specific duties and responsibilities of the internship position. Failure to comply with the sponsoring organization's policies may result in suspension or termination of the internship.

The student will maintain a written record or journal of the internship experience, and will meet with the faculty supervisor periodically during the internship period. At the conclusion of the internship, the student will submit a term paper documenting the internship to the faculty supervisor, as well as fulfilling any departmental requirements, such as a presentation. The term paper serves as the primary means by which the faculty supervisor will evaluate the internship experience. Information included in this paper will be kept strictly confidential in the university.

Faculty Supervisor: In disciplines where an internship is mandatory, the faculty supervisor will, in a timely fashion, notify the Career Development Center of the anticipated number of internship positions required for a particular semester. This should occur no more than two weeks following advance registration for that semester.

The must approve all potential internship positions as worthy of academic credit. Such determination shall be made based on the type of work to be performed, and by the contribution the internship will make to the student's learning experience.

For all internships, the faculty supervisor is responsible for the initial approval of the internship proposal, and for notifying the Career Development Center that a student has been placed in a particular position. The faculty supervisor is also responsible for monitoring the student's activities during the duration of the internship. This monitoring should include at least two meetings between the faculty supervisor and the student during the internship period. 

The faculty supervisor will also contact the site supervisor to check on the progress of the internship midway through the internship period. Additional student meetings, consultations with the site supervisor, or on-site visits may be arranged by agreement among the parties. At the conclusion of the internship, the faculty supervisor will assign the grade for the internship in accordance with the internship proposal and departmental guidelines. The faculty supervisor will then forward a summary evaluation of the internship sponsor/experience to the Career Development Center for quality control purposes.

Site Supervisor/Sponsoring Organization: The sponsoring organization agrees to provide a supervised, relevant learning experience for the student intern. The exact nature of this experience will vary from discipline to discipline, and from student to student. Requests for interns will be reviewed by the Career Development Office and program chairs prior to any assignment of internship students. The internship proposal services as the formal agreement concerning specific duties and expectations of each internship.

The sponsor will appoint a site supervisor who will assume primary responsibility for the direction and on-site supervision of the student intern. The sponsor will ensure that the student is aware of all relevant company policies and procedures.

At regular intervals, the site supervisor will apprise the student concerning the quality of his/her work. If the quality of the student's work is considered poor or marginal, the site supervisor will notify the supervising faculty member in order to develop appropriate corrective procedures.

At the conclusion of the internship period, it is the responsibility of the site supervisor to forward a written and signed evaluation of the student's performance. This evaluation should include a brief description of the internship's activities, as well as an assessment of the proficiency and general attitude demonstrated by the student intern. A form is provided for this purpose, and the site supervisor is encouraged also to write a more expanded evaluation of the student's work. This evaluation will be reviewed with the student by both the site supervisor and the faculty supervisor.

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The Internship Proposal

The proposal serves as a formal agreement among the student, the sponsoring organization, the faculty supervisor, and program chair for the student's major. It should describe the internship in sufficient details so as to avoid subsequent confusion and misunderstanding. Therefore, the internship proposal should disclose any and all information concerning the internship that the parties feel is appropriate. As a minimum, the proposal should include statements concerning the following items (see Internship Proposal Template, following):

Item 1: A statement of the internship objective--primarily to supplement the student's theoretical knowledge with a practical work experience. The specific related academic courses in which the theoretical knowledge was acquired should be identified.

Item 2: Brief statements of responsibilities:

Student: All Business School internships require the student to write a paper. Particular programs may have their individual internship requirements (for example, making a formal presentation, etc.) These and any other requirements should also be disclosed.

Site Supervisor: He or she is responsible for directly or indirectly supervising internship activities and evaluating the student's performance.

Faculty Supervisor: He or she assigns the grade for the internship. The basis for formulating the grade should be disclosed.

Other Items: Number of academic credits to be earned, number of internship hours to be worked and a general description of the work schedule.

The student, site supervisor, faculty supervisor, and program chair indicate agreement with the internship proposal by their signatures. A signed copy of the completed internship proposal must be on file in the School of Business office no later than ten days from the first day of classes for the semester. Failure to submit a completed internship proposal will result in cancellation of the student's internship course enrollment.

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Formulation of the Internship Program

Students are responsible for the formulation of the internship proposal. Before contacting the sponsoring organization, the student should review the School of Business Internship Guidelines and discuss internship requirements with an appropriate faculty supervisor.

Subsequently, the first draft of the proposal should be developed by the student through preliminary discussions with the site supervisor and other members of the sponsoring organization. The faculty supervisor should review the first draft and consult with the program chair to determine sufficiency of the internship experience for awarding academic credit. At this stage, the internship proposal may be approved, rejected, or approved subject to amendments.

If the proposal is approved subject to amendments, the student can communicate the required changes to the site supervisor for consideration. If the site supervisor approves the amendments, the student may appropriately revise and resubmit the proposal to the faculty supervisor. Properly revised proposals should be approved by the faculty supervisor.

The final draft of all proposals should initially be approved by the faculty supervisor as evidenced by his or her signature. Subsequently, the student and site supervisor may indicate approval with their signatures. Final approval is given by the in-Charge faculty prior to submission of registration documents. A copy of the approved proposal should be attached to the internship registration form submitted to the registrar.

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The Internship Process

1. An estimate of needed internship positions is sent to the Career Development Center internship coordinator in a timely fashion.

2. Career Development Center makes contacts in business community concerning the internship program. They will inform potential sponsors on general guidelines and expectations.

3. Interested organizations contact the Career Development Center with potential positions.

4. The Career Development Center forwards a description of the internship position to the appropriate program chair for review.

5. The program chair pproves/disapproves the position for potential academic credit worthiness.

6. Students contact the Career Development Center to obtain an internship. Departmental eligibility is determined.

7. A possible match is made between student(s) and sponsor.

8. Student contacts the sponsor and interviews for position.

9. Student and sponsor jointly develop the Internship Proposal; student delivers the proposal to the faculty supervisor. The Career Development Center is notified of placement.

10. Faculty supervisor reviews, modifies if needed, approves, and signs proposal.

11. Proposal is signed by student, sponsor, and the program chair; copies are distributed to all involved parties.

12. Student registers for academic credit.

13. During the internship period, student meets with faculty and site supervisor, maintains journal as outlined in Responsibilities.

14. At the conclusion of the internship, the site supervisor forwards student evaluation to the faculty supervisor.

15. Student submits journal and paper to faculty supervisor and completes any other departmental requirements.

16. Faculty supervisor assigns the student grade and forwards a summary evaluation of internship experience to the Career Development Center.

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School of Business Policies

  • Minimum semester standing: 5th

  • Prerequisite course work: At least ENGL 015, MATH 110 or 140, ACCTG 211, B A 243, ECON 002, ECON 004, MIS 204, and SCM 200.

  • Academic credits: Internships normally comprise 3 academic credits. No more than 6 credits shall be applied to graduation requirements.

  • Minimum hours: At least 120 hours field experience required for 3 academic credits. Additional credits may be assigned on a 40-hours-per-credit basis. Hours in addition to the minimum may be undertaken without the assignment of additional academic credit. Hours worked is not the primary basis for determining academic credit-worthiness. Although additional work hours are required for additional credit, academic credit hours and grade are awarded primarily on the basis of the academic work done in connection with the student's project.

  • Journal required.

  • Paper required: The paper should at least document how the work duties and responsibilities of the internship helped to achieve the internship objective, and should also include a personal evaluation by the student of the internship as a learning experience. Papers should analyze and discuss the internship experience by applying conceptual frameworks from academic course work to experiences and observations made in the work setting.

  • Grading: Grading must be on the normal scale (A B F). Pass/Fail cannot be used for Additional or Supporting courses in the major.

  • Students MUST register for academic credit in the semester during which the internship is performed.

  • In order to receive a grade for the internship, a student must fill out and return to the School of Business office a white "Drop/Add Form" (which is either attached to this packet or may be obtained from the School
    of Business office) and the white "Internship Proposal" form.

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Major-Specific Policies

ACNTG

No additional criteria beyond those specified by School of Business Guidelines. Content and evaluation criteria for specific internships will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

BLASC

5th semester standing or higher.

Successful completion (final grade of "C" or higher) of ECON 002 and ECON 004.

Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 or higher. For some internships, completion of additional coursework may be required as a prerequisite. Students with a GPA below 2.5 must receive a special exception from the program chair to be eligible for internship credits. No more than three internship credits may be applied to fulfill graduation requirements without special exception.

BECON

ECON 002 and ECON 004 successfully completed. Content and evaluation criteria for specific internships will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

FINANCE

FIN 301 successfully completed.

No additional criteria beyond those specified by School of Business Guidelines.

Content and evaluation criteria for specific internships will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

INT B

5th semester standing or higher.

Successful completion (final grade of "C" or higher) of ECON 002 and ECON 004.

Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 or higher. For some internships, completion of additional coursework may be required as a prerequisite. Students with a GPA below 2.5 must receive a special exception from the program chair to be eligible for internship credits. No more than three internship credits may be applied to fulfill graduation requirements without special exception.

Either successful completion (final grade of "C" or higher) OR concurrent enrollment in one or more international business classes (e.g., ECON 470, FIN 407, MGMT 461, MKTG 445).

MISBD

Presentation required.

Paper is to be written according to MISBD syllabus requirements.

MIS 430 successfully completed.

Component percentages for the student's grade, per the course syllabus.

MANGT

Presentation required.
Course prerequisites are established and enforced.
Minimum GPA: 2.5

MRKTG

Marketing Research (MKTG 342) successfully completed.

Presentation required.
Course prerequisites are established and enforced.
Minimum GPA: 2.5

Internships for BLASC majors will fall under the guidelines of the discipline in which the internship is performed.

Following are the forms required to be completed for the internship.  Copies of these forms may be printed and used in the registration process.  

However, filling out the forms does not constitute registration for the class.  Following is the procedure for registering for your internship.

1. You must first bring the completed "Registration Drop/Add Form" (click on link below and print out form) to the School of Business Office, REDC.

2. Sue Pennington will register you for your internship.

3. You must also complete the Internship Proposal (click on link below and print out form). This form can be filled out during the first week on your internship and then brought to the School of Business Office for further processing.

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Registration Drop/Add Form (PDF)

Internship Proposal Form (PDF)


Internship Evaluation Form (
PDF)

Workplace Ethics (PDF)

 

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Updated July 18, 2005
© 2005 The Pennsylvania State University