Carson College of Business Internship for Academic Credit Program

The Carson College of Business supports and encourages students to complete academic internships. Internships will allow you to gain tangible skills, earn academic credit, and network in your chosen career field. Completing an internship will allow you to take what you’ve learned from your classes and apply it in real business situations to prepare for your career.

Carson College Academic Internship Guidelines

  • Students must have a minimum of a 2.50 cumulative WSU GPA and have completed 30 credits at WSU.
  • Credit is not given for prior work experience.
  • Students must work a minimum of 100 hours to earn academic credit for this internship.
    • 100 hours will be 2 credits and students can work 150 hours or more to earn 3 credits.
  • Student can’t earn additional internship credits from the same employer unless there are new learning goals.
  • Student can earn a maximum of 15 total internship credits over five semesters.
  • All internship credits are awarded pass/fail.
  • Internship for academic credit must be paid.

Please note: Internship credit does not count as a business elective. If a student works in an internship setting without enrolling for credit, they are considered part-time workers or volunteers.

How do I find an Internship?

Students can secure an internship in different ways:

  1. Find it through your own professional network
  2. Handshake
  3. Carson College of Business Instagram
  4. Carson College of Business LinkedIn

If you have questions about finding an internship, please contact van.cbadvising@wsu.edu.

Putting together an internship for academic credit must contain the following pieces: A faculty sponsor, an assigned internship site supervisor, as well as establishing your assigned project and learning goals with your internship supervisor.

  • Your faculty sponsor ensures the internship has an academic component and connects with your major.
  • Your site internship supervisor is the person who agrees to directly supervise you at their place of business. Your supervisor cannot be another student or a family member.
  • Handshake is where all information about your internship is entered and recorded.
  • The student (You!) are the person responsible for bringing this together and ensuring that all parts of the registration process are completed by all parties.

How do I Register my Internship for Academic Credit?

Registration for all internships begins with submitting an Experience application in Handshake, which you will access with your WSU ID and password.

Important dates and deadlines

  1. Internship applications: due by the first Friday of classes starting each semester.
  2. End of internship hours and paper: due by the end of dead week each semester.
  3. Employer and student evaluations: due by the end of dead week each semester.

Internship Checklist

To prepare for your internship:

  1. Determine who will be your faculty sponsor.
    1. Note: Faculty sponsors must be a full time Carson College of Business faculty member who teaches in your major concentration. Not all faculty members are able to serve as a faculty sponsor.
  2. Contact your faculty sponsor and be prepared to share the following information:
    1. Name of company,
    2. Name of internship supervisor,
    3. Location,
    4. Your internship schedule/time frame,
    5. Job description,
    6. Draft of learning goals.
    7. Any additional pertinent information to your internship.
  3. Fill out the Experience Request in Handshake.
    1. Instructions on completing an Experience Request.

Note: Once you have completed this request, an email will be sent to your faculty sponsor and site supervisor for approval.

At the conclusion of your internship:

  1. Submit the following documents to your faculty sponsor and van.cbadvising@wsu.edu.
    • Learning Goals paper: Write a 2 – 3-page paper describing what you have learned. This paper should be divided into sections with each of your learning goals as a heading.
    • An Excel Log (.xlsx) of internship hours from start of the term to the Friday of closed week.
      1. To fill out the log, you will write out your learning goals in the top row of the excel file and track the weekly hours for each learning goal. Any work that does not fit into a specific learning goal can be logged under “MISC.”. The bottom row of the excel document will automatically calculate your total hours in each category as well as your total hours for the internship duration. Remember you will need at least 100 hours for 2 credits and 150 hours for 3 credits!
    • Complete the Student evaluation (PDF)
    • Have your site supervisor complete the Employer evaluation (PDF)

Carson College of Business Internship Expectations

As a student working through the Carson College of Business Internship Program, you will be seen as a representative of Washington State University. You will need to present yourself in a professional manner for special projects, the clients with whom you work and other students who may be interning with you.

Responsibilities of the student in a field placement:

  1. Set work schedule, be reliable, consistent and on time.
  2. Dress appropriately for your assignment.
  3. Use appropriate language.

Responsibilities of the employer/internship site:

  • Offer a true career-related experience that enhances academic learning. Hiring a student to perform busywork (data entry, filing, answering phones, etc.) is appropriate for an internship experience only when balanced with meaningful professional responsibilities. Internships serves as a link between classroom learning and practical application. Students should be involved in making decisions and learning about a field through hands-on experience.
  • Provide a position description that will describe the internship. Students who are earning academic credit are required to complete an Internship Learning and Participation Agreement form on Handshake. The agreement document is an opportunity for you and the student to define the job duties they will perform during this time-limited employment period. Include the name of the organization, position title and description, duration of employment, compensation information, qualifications required, location and application process.
  • Appoint someone to act as a mentor/supervisor during the experience. Introduce the student to the organization, employees, physical layout and order of responsibility. Be sure the student intern knows the general philosophy and procedures of operation for the organization as a whole. Inform the intern of rules and expectations to be followed.
  • Provide the Intern with feedback and assessment information. Be sure that the mentor/supervisor has the time to oversee the student's performance and offer constructive feedback. At the conclusion of the internship, a Final Employer Internship Evaluation (PDF) is due by the last day of closed week for each semester. Evaluations can be submitted to van.cbadvising@wsu.edu.

Note:

  • If a student is performing services for a business or organization (regardless of academic credit), then the student must be paid for their work.
  • EEO/Affirmative Action laws, as well as most overtime and minimum wage laws protect paid employees (including student interns).
  • Schools are not allowed to disclose any student information including individual student disabilities to potential employers.
  • States generally prohibit state agencies from entering into Hold Harm/Indemnification agreements with employers. Students cannot 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.

Academic Requirements for each Concentration (or Major)

An accounting internship is work at a professional level in the field of accounting. It may be a highly structured, project-oriented position officially titled “internship” or a part-time position of an ongoing nature. Internships for academic credits must show evidence of new learning or learning experiences that connect the accounting curriculum.

Key criteria include:

  • The job content is beyond clerical/bookkeeping
  • The student will be working with or for a professional accountant
  • The new responsibilities gained from the accounting internship must be significantly different from his/her current jobs
  • The student must be able to demonstrate the additional accounting skills and knowledge gained from the internship

A finance internship is work at a professional level in the field of finance. Internships for academic credits must show evidence of new learning or learning experiences that connect the finance curriculum.

Key criteria include:

  • The student will be supervised by a professional in the field of finance
  • The responsibilities associated with the internship advance the student’s practical experience in finance and are distinct from their current job duties
  • The student must be able to demonstrate the additional finance skills and knowledge gained from the internship

A marketing internship is work at a professional level in the field of marketing and sales including marketing research and analysis, social media and digital marketing, branding, pricing and new-product introduction, advertising, promotion, sales, distribution, retail management, e-commerce, sales, sales management, negotiations, and business-to-business marketing. Internships for academic credits must show evidence of new learning or learning experiences that connect to the marketing curriculum.

Key criteria include:

  • The job content is beyond clerical
  • The student will be working with or for a professional marketing/sales professional or organization
  • The new responsibilities gained from the internship must be significantly different from his/her current jobs
  • The student must be able to demonstrate the additional marketing or sales skills and knowledge gained from the internship

A management internship is work at a professional level in the field of management. Internships for academic credits must show evidence of new learning or learning experiences that connect the management curriculum.

Key criteria include:

  • The job content is beyond clerical
  • The student will be working with or for a professional or organization
  • The job responsibilities include one of the following: the planning, structuring and controlling of organizations; leading and motivating employees; managing teams; resource allocation and utilization; and the control of quality.
  • The new responsibilities gained from the internship must be significantly different from his/her current jobs
  • The student must be able to demonstrate the additional management skills and knowledge gained from the internship

A Hospitality Business Management (HBM) internship is work at a professional level in the field of Hospitality Business Management. Internships for academic credits must show evidence of new learning or learning experiences that connect the Hospitality Business Management curriculum.

Key criteria include:

  • The job content is beyond clerical
  • The student will be working with or for a HBM professional or organization
  • The new responsibilities gained from the internship must be significantly different from his/her current jobs
  • The student must be able to demonstrate the additional hospitality business management skills and knowledge gained from the internship

A Management Information Systems (MIS) internship is work at a professional level in the field of Management Information Systems. Internships for academic credits must show evidence of new learning or learning experiences that connect the Management Information Systems curriculum.

Key criteria include:

  • The job content is beyond clerical
  • The student will be working with or for a MIS professional or organization
  • The job responsibilities should include the application of technology, including identifying information needs and managing organizational change associated with the implementation of technology.
  • The new responsibilities gained from the internship must be significantly different from his/her current jobs
  • The student must be able to demonstrate the additional MIS skills and knowledge gained from the internship

Sample Learning Goals

Counting your internship for academic credit requires identifying 3–5 learning goals. Learning goals serve to explain professional development activities you will accomplish by the end of your internship. They should be developed in conjunction with your faculty sponsor and employer. You will track your learning goals and hours worked in your internship log. You will utilize the sample log to track your 3–5 learning goals over the semester. The log will automatically calculate the hours worked. Remember that you will need to work 100 hours for 2 credits or 150 hours for 3 credits during the semester.

Examples of learning goals