Internship guidelines

An intern must be in good academic standing and have completed at least one semester as a certified Business major. Please note that individual Business faculty may have additional criteria to secure their internship supervision.

What is an internship?

Any carefully monitored work or service experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what she or he is learning throughout the experience.

These learning goals may include:

  • Academic learning - the individual can apply knowledge learned in the classroom to the workplace;
  • Career development - the individual gains a knowledge of the qualifications and duties of a position and can explore their interest in a field;
  • Skill development - the individual gains an understanding of the skills and knowledge required in the workplace;
  • Personal development - the individual gains decision making skills, critical thinking skills, increased confidence and self-esteem.

The important element that distinguishes an Internship from a short-term job or community service is the intentional "learning agenda" that the intern brings to the experience. (From the National Society for Experiential Education)

Academic credit

The WSU Vancouver Carson College of Business fully supports academic credit for your Internship experience. If you wish to receive academic credit for your Internship, you need to check with your faculty advisor about this option before beginning work. You will also need to complete all appropriate paperwork as required by the University for enrollment. Only full-time tenure track Business faculty can supervise a Business Internship and they do so at their discretion.

Students can earn one semester credit for each 50 hours of work related to the Internship academic learning objectives of the student. Credit is not given for just work experience. Students can earn no less than 2 credits and cumulatively no more than 15 total Internship credits over five semesters.

All Internship credits are awarded pass/fail.

Students must register for their Internship by the 10th day of class. No late registrations will be allowed. Students must also register for Internship credits with a supplemental registration form. Students can not register for Internship credits online through zzusis.

Choose an internship sponsor

You have to choose a full-time faculty member to ‘sponsor’ your Internship and schedule a meeting with that person. The more information you are able to present in this meeting, the better (i.e., name of Internship supervisor, location, schedule, time-frame, job description, etc.). Once a Learning Agreement has been made between you and the faculty sponsor (signatures obtained), the Participation Agreement signed by all parties, and you have signed the Release of Liability form, you may register for academic credit (be sure to obtain the proper signatures on the Supplemental Registration form).

Here are some things to consider before registering for Internship credits:

  • How will the Internship fit into your program requirements?
  • Do you have general electives or a major elective where you can apply the Internship credit?
  • Do you want the Internship to appear on your transcript?
  • Will the Internship provide you with career-related experience and assist you in building important skills?
  • Do you have time to do the extra assignments required to gain academic credit?

Please note that if a student works in an Internship setting without enrolling for credit, they are part-time workers or volunteers. As part-time workers or volunteers, they are considered employees of the Company and are not representing the university in any official capacity.

If a student is performing services for a business or organization (regardless of academic credit), then the student should be paid for their work. Any time that an employer derives immediate benefit from the activities of the student, then the student should be paid. Students are not paid if the Internship involves training similar to a vocational school or if the student is job shadowing. Paid employees (including student interns) are protected by the EEO/Affirmative Action laws, as well as most overtime and minimum wage laws.

Schools (as employment recruiters) can be held liable for violations of such laws by the employer. Schools are not to disclose individual student disabilities to potential employers or for that matter any student information. States generally prohibit state agencies from entering into Hold Harm/Indemnification agreements with employers. Students can not sign away their personal rights to sue for unforeseen harm or discrimination. It is also not appropriate for students to sign non-compete agreements with employers.