The Economics internships are designed to benefit both students and employers. Students receive practical experience in a economics-related career, while employers benefit from their skills and assistance, and may evaluate first-hand possible future employees.
- To offer the student the opportunity to correlate theory with practice within the business environment.
- To develop in the student an understanding of current problems facing the organization.
- To allow the organization an opportunity to benefit from objective inquiries by students into the organization's method of operation.
- To provide the student with intensive practical experience and permit the student to become sufficiently involved so that input from the student is solicited and received.
- To allow the student to assume appropriate responsibilities of a regular staff member and be able to function with a minimum of supervision.
- To enhance the student's capacity for intellectual inquiry and expository skills.
- To develop the student's understanding and/or ability to devise realistic strategies for improving the organization's operation.
Duration and Hours for Semester-length Internship
Internships generally coincide with one of Armstrong's academic terms, with the internship beginning the first week of classes and ending the last week of classes, for a total duration of 15 weeks during Fall and Spring semesters. Students normally work a minimum of 10 hours per week. Students may register for a 3 credit hours of internship. The department head's permission is required for any credit hours beyond that.
Expectations of Interns
Students must enroll in ECON 4520 Internship to receive academic credit for the internship. Interns are required to hold a minimum 2.5 GPA and junior level standing (60 semester hours completed toward degree). Interns are also expected to meet high standards of personal conduct and professional ethics, as well as to maintain attention to punctuality, deadlines and cooperation with others. In short, students are expected to work hard and become an asset to the organization they are serving.
Expectations of Employers
Employers are expected to offer a safe environment in which students can work, to provide substantive and varied work — beyond secretarial or "gopher" duties — and the materials students need to complete their assignments (a desk, computer, etc). We ask that employers go over the student's work with them regularly, and treat them as professionals. In addition, the conditions of an internship should be established with the student before he or she reports. These include the nature of the internship, supervisory arrangements, specific responsibilities of the intern, compensation (if any), and work schedules. The supervisor is also required to complete the employer's evaluation form at the end of the quarter.
Requirements for Completing an Internship
Grading and Requirements for Completing the Course (1 - 5):
- Report from your supervisor - A letter at the beginning of the semester from your employer describing your duties. At the end of the semester, a form will be mailed by the Department to your supervisor. The completed form must be returned directly from your supervisor to the department.
One-page summary of your internship activities - You should submit a one-page, typewritten summary of your internship activities on one sheet of paper separate from everything else that you turn in. (In other words, your summary should not be bound together with your paper, journal, or anything else.)
- Your one-page summary may be shared with future students who are considering the possibility of an internship, so do not include any confidential items.
Include the following in a coherent manner, limiting yourself to only one page:
- your name
- company name
- location of your internship
- dates you worked
- a short description of your major activities
- a short explanation of any special projects you worked on and any other information that you think would be of interest to future students considering an internship.
Journal of your daily activities - You should keep a daily written record of your on-the-job activities. Although this journal primarily is to help you in preparing your paper and your one-page internship summary, you must submit it to the instructor.
The journal may be hand-written or typed, and you may submit it in a bound notebook or on looseleaf paper. Be sure the dates of entry are kept in progressive order. Entries in your journal should focus on your major activities (see an example of journal in appendix).
Do not record every minor detail of your job activities. On days when you're performing routine activities you may enter only a sentence or two. Entries should be more detailed for days where you are performing special projects, such as preparing a proposal, analyzing a project.
Paper analyzing your employer and your activities - The paper is your most important written assignment and will be scrutinized most closely by the instructor. The paper is to be based upon your work experience. It should not exceed 20 pages, excluding appendices.
- Structure of the paper
- Use headings and subheadings to organize your paper
- Be sure to include page numbers
- Meeting with the faculty advisor - You are required to meet with your advisor twice during the semester and faculty will make at least one onsite visit.
You will be expected to comply fully with the University's policies regarding academic honesty. Please refer to the applicable materials available from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs if you have any questions about academic honesty standards at the University.
Some Hints for a Good Paper
The best internship papers consistently are generated by good internship experiences. While the faculty and staff may help you with student placement, you are the one person who can make the internship a complete success. Ask your job supervisor to provide you with a varied experience. Be proactive — ask for special projects, meetings to attend, and any other tasks that will broaden your understanding of your employing firm and the industry. Not only will your paper for this course be better, but you will be gaining valuable experience that will be recognized when you enter the job market.