Employer Internship Guidelines
Internships are short-term, hands-on learning experiences designed to allow students to gain industry exposure and apply classroom knowledge to real-world work in mentored environments. Internships can be paid or unpaid, part- or full-time. Students complete internships in positions related to their majors and earn academic credit for mastering learning objectives and completing a supplementary educational component such as a paper, project or readings. Students offer employers enthusiasm, fresh ideas and familiarity with cutting-edge technology. Therefore, the role they play with an organization as an intern should be one of professional responsibility.
Interns are required to take at least one academic credit of internship, registering for a 198, 298, 398, 498, 598 or 698 course number. Registering for credit is critical as this is the only way student interns are covered by Montana University System’s liability insurance policy.
- Determine the intern’s role in your organization, whether the internship will be paid or volunteer, and develop a job description that details duties, responsibilities, compensation, and dates.
- Complete an Intern Request Form on our website or complete one manually that we can email you upon request. You may also enter and edit your own internship opportunities on Griz eRecruiting by following the Post an Internship link on our website. Regardless of the method selected, please include complete qualifications, responsibilities, benefits and application deadline and requirements (e.g. resume, cover letter, transcript, application, and recommendations).
- Decide whether application materials are collected by Internship Services or are sent directly to you by the student. If you want application materials sent directly to you, please specify your preference for mailing (post or email) and materials (hard-copy or electronic format.)
- Review and rank internship candidates as applications are received by your organization.
- Conduct interviews at your office. We would be happy to coordinate on-campus interviews if more convenient for you.
- If you posted a deadline date, please wait until that date to make a hiring decision because students often submit application materials on the deadline date.
- Once you select an intern, notify our office. If you do hire a student intern prior to the deadline date, please notify our office immediately so we can stop the internship advertising.
- Interns must complete a Learning Agreement and review it with you to ensure responsibilities and duties are correct and complete. They should attach their Learning Objectives. Developing learning objectives is meant to be a collaborative effort among the intern, employer and faculty advisor; therefore, the student may seek your guidance. Once complete, sign the Learning Agreement.
- Take time to orient the intern to your work environment and employees.
- Provide your intern direction and mentoring from beginning to end, making certain the student and employees understand the intern’s role.
- Schedule regular meetings with your intern. A Supervisor’s Evaluation of the Intern will be mailed to you near the semester’s end. Complete the evaluation and discuss it with the intern prior to returning it to our office. The student’s grade will reflect your evaluation.
Successful Internship Steps
- Set challenging, yet attainable objectives for your intern. Early in the internship, schedule a meeting to confirm that the intern's expectations for the internship match your expectations.
- Provide your intern orientation to the work environment and company policies/procedures. Topics of discussion may include: performance standards, appropriate attire, communication procedures, decision-making channels, confidentiality, and background for assigned projects. If the intern is new to the area, it is helpful to send them information in advance about the area, housing options, and the weather.
- As your intern becomes trained and adjusts to the work environment, increase complexity and responsibility of assignments. Make every effort to involve your intern with meaningful, challenging projects that relate to his/her academic major and career goals.
- Explain how the intern's work relates to your company's goals and makes a meaningful contribution which in turn, will allow the intern to feel like a part of your team.
- Interns may be intimidated to approach you with problems or concerns, so it is best to designate a supervisor for the intern and hold regularly scheduled supervisory meetings.
We are available to assist employers who might encounter a difficulty with an intern during the internship and, if need be, will facilitate conflict resolution. Our staff conducts a limited number of staff visits each year. Please feel free to call us if you would like us to visit your intern on site or if we can help in any way.
The University of Montana is committed to Equal Opportunity in education, employment, and participation in university activities and programs, including admissions, without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, political ideas, marital status, physical or mental disabilities, or national origin.