Basic Facts About the UMW Internship Program
- Juniors and seniors (and in certain situations, sophomores) may earn academic credit for unpaid or paid internships. Internships enable students to apply what they have been learning in the classroom, to test out the field, and to gain experience. The employer has the opportunity to obtain the services of students who have two or three years of college completed, are excited about the field, and want to work on substantive tasks to learn as much as possible.
- Interns can help ease the amount of work that needs to be done by handling substantive duties that constitute the work of the organization, or perhaps they can work on projects that your organization has not had the time to tackle. In order for students to receive credit, the internship must be substantive. Interns can do their share of clerical tasks, but it cannot be over 30% in order to qualify as a learning experience earning academic credit. Individual students will arrange an appointment to speak with you about what they hope to learn in the internship and the skills they want to develop.
- By completing an Internship Posting Form and returning it to our office, your internship can be listed for students to review. Students will then contact you to discuss it. If you and the student agree that you want to enter into an internship agreement, the student will give you a contract to complete. The contract is also signed by the student, the faculty sponsor (who oversees the academic portion), the department chair, and the Director of Career Services. This assures that everyone is in agreement with the terms of the internship.
- The internship must be completed during one semester. The dates change each year, but the typical time periods are fall (late August through early December); spring (mid-January through late April); and summer. Most students do internships for three credits. A student must work a minimum of 126 hours per semester, which is usually 9 to 12 hours per week, to earn the three credits.
- Throughout the internship, you should meet with the intern to talk about the progress of the internship, discussing any concerns you may have and giving feedback concerning the intern’s work. As the internship progresses, it is beneficial to give the student more complex tasks. Two weeks prior to the end of the internship, you will be sent a form to evaluate the student’s performance. You are not asked to assign a grade as the faculty member will do that.