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An internship is work experience in an on or off-campus setting for which a student receives academic credit. The School of Business cooperates with local agencies and businesses to provide a wide variety of opportunities that give a real-world application of the concepts learned in the classroom. Supervision is provided for the student at the place of assignment by a designated on-site supervisor. The School of Business Internship Coordinator further supervises the student’s progress and may serve as a liaison between the work site and the University.
Information for Employers
Thank you for your interest in providing an internship experience for one or more students in the Southern Oregon University School of Business. Students have repeatedly commented that they found their internship to be a very rewarding part of their educational experience. Please contact the School of Business Internship Coordinator to discuss the possibility of setting up an internship agreement.
The SOU School of Business accepts internships that provide a professional onsite office employing multiple employees, one of whom will be the dedicated supervisor adept in the skills/knowledge the intern is learning, as well as internships that offer orientation and skills training.
Information for Students
Juniors and Seniors seeking a BA/BS in Business Administration are eligible for BA 409 internship placement. Juniors and Seniors seeking a BAS in Management should register for BA 402 internship placement. Graduate students are eligible for BA 509 internship placement.
A minimum 2.5 GPA in business administration coursework at SOU is required for internship placement. A student must work at least 30 hours for every one credit earned. Most students enroll for 4 credit hours and complete 120 hours of work. Students may earn a maximum of 12 credits in BA 409 toward their bachelor’s degree. Students may register for up to a total of 4 credits of BA 217 (lower division internship). Note: The maximum number of credit hours of internship for Oregon CPA candidates is 6 effective June 30, 2017.
More information about the Internship program may be found in the Student Internship Handbook
What steps should a student take to set up an Internship?
- Students must identify and receive approval for an appropriate internship from the Internship Coordinator prior to starting any work. Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA in business administration coursework and have completed appropriate classes in their major to register for an internship. If a student is applying the internship to a certificate program requirement, approval of the certificate coordinator must be obtained.
- Meet with the Internship Coordinator to discuss your internship.
- Register for BA 409 Internship credits (BA/BS Business Administration) or BA 402 Internship credits (BAS in Management students only) as directed by the Internship Coordinator. If you are starting your internship prior to the quarter you plan to enroll, please contact the Internship Coordinator and ask to be enrolled in the Moodle site.
- After registering, students will be enrolled in the Moodle site “Business Internships ‘academic year.'” For example “Business Internships 2019 – 2020.” Instructions for finding, starting and completing an internship and all assignments are on the Moodle site.
Before starting an internship, students must complete and submit the following forms to the Internship Coordinator:
- Student Internship Application (must be signed by the student, employer, and certificate coordinator if applicable)
- Student Agreement (must be signed by student)
- Work Site Agreement (must be signed by employer) – example attached here
Students may not start counting internship hours until those three forms are submitted and approved by the internship coordinator per directions on the Moodle site.
How to find an internship:
- Go to inside.sou.edu/careers . If you have never logged into this site before, you will need to create a login and password.
- Contact a company you want to work for and offer your services. Be prepared with a cover letter explaining why you want to intern with them and a resume.
- Talk with your major or certificate advisor and ask if they have any ideas. Faculty often hear about job and internship opportunities, and they may be able to provide some advice.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
What is an internship?
An internship is a work experience in an on- or off-campus setting for which a student receives academic credit. Supervision is provided for the student at the place of assignment by a designated on-site supervisor. The School of Business Internship Coordinator further supervises the student’s progress and may serve as a liaison between the work site and the University.
What is the academic background of students who apply for internship placements?
Juniors, seniors, and graduate students are eligible for internship placements. Juniors would have completed most of the general education requirements and all of the lower-division courses in the business core, including courses in basic computing, accounting, communication, and statistics. Seniors would have completed at least a year of upper-division courses in business administration, much of which would be in their specialty areas. Graduate (MBA or MiM) students hold a baccalaureate degree, in business or non-business areas.
What can the student do for a business or organization?
In addition to the normal duties performed by others in your business or organization, students might perform one or more of the following:
Assist in developing a business plan
Research and report on assigned topics
Conduct a survey
Prepare a personnel policy manual
Research tax matters
Install computer software packages
Devise an inventory control system
Conduct a financial analysis of your business
Assist in marketing/promotion efforts
Ideally, the work plan for the student should show an increase in knowledge and skill required and in the variety of tasks performed.
When can a student begin an internship and how long can they work?
Normally, the student will enroll in an internship at the beginning of a 10-week term and finish at the end of the term; however, the internship may begin and end at any time that is mutually agreed upon by the academic department, the site supervisor, and the student.
How many hours do students typically work?
The student must work at least 30 hours for every one credit earned. Most students enroll for three or four credit hours, and, thus, would work from 90-120 hours during the term. Additional credit hours may be granted under special circumstances. Students may earn a maximum of 16 credits in BA 409 Internship toward their bachelor’s degree; however, students must work closely with their advisor to determine the applicability of these credits toward their business degree.
What are the responsibilities of the employer?
The employer provides opportunities to apply theory to everyday business challenges, to further develop skills, and to network with professionals in the industry. The employer is expected to spend sufficient time supervising the student to ensure that the objectives of the internship agreement are met. The supervisor is expected to periodically evaluate the student and to meet and coordinate with the campus Internship Coordinator when planned or called upon to do so.
There is no obligation on the part of the business to pay the student. Traditionally, internships are paid in some industries; in others, they are not. Applications to list an internship should indicate whether or not there is intent to pay. If the issue of pay is not addressed in the internship description, questions may be directed to the Coordinator. Because many students must work in order to afford tuition and living costs, paid experiences tend to be highly appealing.
It has been established that students who are earning internship credit(s) are NOT employees of the university. The university is prohibited from accepting any liability for the acts, omissions, and conduct of the students and is prohibited from providing coverage with State Accident Insurance, liability insurance, or workers’ compensation insurance. Because this is a legal issue, no definitive answer can be provided; however, prudence would argue that the employer should at least provide workers’ compensation coverage.
What are the student’s responsibilities?
Students are expected to apply for an internship just as if they were applying for an actual job. They should supply a resume and transcripts if requested. They are expected to arrive at the work site on time, based on a predetermined schedule and to perform to the best of their ability. Whether the internship is paid or not, the students are expected to display the utmost professionalism and to communicate to the employer if they feel the internship goals are not being met for any reason. Students must establish specific goals for their internship at the beginning of the term and will report on their ability to meet those goals by the end of the term.
During the Internship, the student must obtain from the employer:
Internship Work Site Agreement
Student Internship Application
Signed Midway Time Sheet
Signed Final Time Sheet
The Internship Coordinator will email the Final Evaluation to the Intern’s supervisor. The evaluation of the student is an important part of the learning process. Candid, constructive, and immediate performance feedback is an important part of the student’s professional development. We greatly appreciate your involvement in the students’ learning process (more information is available in the student handbook on the internship student information page).
Are students provided with liability and workers’ compensation coverage?
It has been established that students who are earning internship credit(s) are NOT employees of the university. The university is prohibited from accepting any liability for the acts, omissions, and conduct of the students, and is prohibited from providing coverage with State Accident Insurance, liability insurance, or workers’ compensation insurance. Because this is a legal issue, no definitive answer can be provided, however, prudence would argue that you should provide for coverage, at least for workers’ compensation.
Does the student receive pay for their work?
There is no obligation on the part of the business to pay the student. Traditionally, internships are paid in some industries, in others they are not. Applications to list an internship should indicate whether or not there is an intent to offer pay for the internship. If the issue of pay is not addressed in the internship description, questions may be directed to the School of Business or to the Director of Business Services. Because many students must work in order to afford tuition and living costs, paid experiences tend to be highly appealing.
Will interested businesses and organizations have to sign a formal internship contract with the university?
A signed “Internship Work Site Agreement” form should be signed and on file with the Director of Business Services at Southern Oregon University for any organization offering internship experience.
How does an employer post an internship opportunity?
Employers may post internship and job opportunities on the University website at inside.sou.edu/careers/