The UW Bothell School of Business is committed to providing students with the opportunity to earn internship credit for experiential learning in the business community. Well-designed and implemented internships contribute practical experiences to a student's curricular education thus enriching their preparation for the workforce. To qualify for an internship for academic credit, students must have completed all of the core classes (300, 310, 320, 340 and 350), be in good academic standing and the internship must adhere to the following:
- Students are permitted to receive both credit and pay for internships.
- Credit for an unpaid internship within for-profit organizations will not be permitted unless it meets Department of Labor criteria.
- Students are permitted to have unpaid, for-credit internships within non-profit organizations.
The guided internship is not a means simply to earn college credits by going to work; it is a structured, guided, intensive independent study project, involving the student, an academic sponsor, and the student's field supervisor, all of whom must understand and promote the fulfillment of the learning contract. The student will apply, critique and extend knowledge they have gained in the classroom. Students can seek out new theory and findings relevant to the particular context they are working in and produce a final project which presents their insights and recommendations in an academically rigorous, rhetorically competent manner.
Benefits of a Guided Internship
Career Exploration - Learn what you like and don't like about a field, a company, or a job. Your experience can help you in focusing your career direction.
Skill Building - Gain a better understanding of specific work functions such as writing press releases, managing employees, preparing reports, etc.
Networking Opportunities - Meet employees in your field of interest and their colleagues.
Remember that the more you put into the internship experience, the more you will get out of it! Active learning is the key to successfully completing your learning contract.
Partners in the Internship
As an intern you must complete an academic project and all assigned tasks, meeting mutually agreed upon criteria. It is your responsibility to initiate and complete the development of the learning contract and get approval from the academic sponsor and the field supervisor. It is also your responsibility to meet all deadlines and complete all activities and assignments associated with the internship. Midterm and final evaluations of your internship are required, as is a formal report detailing what you learned while completing the internship and how it applies to your classes at UWB.
The Academic Sponsor
Your academic sponsor needs to be a UWB full-time faculty member. The role of an academic sponsor is to assist you in developing your goals, meet with you on a regular basis to discuss your project and your experiences at your site, stay in contact with your field supervisor and assess your achievements at the conclusion of the contract. It is highly recommended that you work with a faculty member who has an interest or expertise in the area that you want to learn more about. It helps if you are familiar with them from previous classes so you are aware of their expectations, personal style, grading, etc. Discuss your plans with a potential academic sponsor and give them clear goals and structure for your internship.
The Field Supervisor
The person at your internship site who will know what and how well you are performing will be your field supervisor. Prior to and throughout the internship you should be working directly with this person, making explicit arrangements concerning overall goals, projects, duties, hours and other expectations. These criteria are to be laid out in the learning contract. The field supervisor should work with your academic sponsor to ensure that you are learning from your experience and making progress on your academic project, not just doing a job. Give your field supervisor a copy of the Student Internship Performance evaluation form when you are planning the internship.
Finding an Internship
It is the student's responsibility to plan the internship. Start looking for your internship site and academic sponsor at least a quarter before you plan on registering for the internship credit. In your search for an internship, check with the Career Center for internship postings and talk with faculty and friends about potential sites. Be aware that a successful internship is with a company whose culture/mission matches your own goals and values. A good internship site should offer you a learning experience with clear duties, substantive work and adequate supervision.
Credits and Time Commitment
Guided internships typically last for an entire quarter. They can be taken for a variable amount (1-10) of credits. Things to consider when choosing the number of credits for your internship are 1) the amount of time you have each week to spend working at an internship, 2) how you want the credits to apply to your degree program, and 3) maximum number of internship credits allowed.
How much time do you have for an internship? For each credit you enroll for you must work 3 hours at the internship per week throughout the quarter. This means that if you enroll in 5 credits, you will spend 15 hours a week at your internship, 3 credits equates to 9 hours per week, etc. Another way to look at the time commitment is that each credit equals 30 hours of work throughout the quarter. Using this calculation, a 5-credit internship requires 150 hours of work.
How do internship credits apply toward my degree? Internship credits may be used for general electives. For most students it makes sense to do an internship for 5 credits so that the internship credit can take the place of another 5-credit course. However, internships for less than 5 credits can be done as well.
How many internship credits will count towards my degree? A total of ten credits of internship and/or independent study are acceptable as a part of the Business Administration curriculum. If more credits are desired a petition must be submitted for approval.
Registering for your internship can be done only after you have developed a learning contract that is signed by all three partners (intern, academic sponsor, field supervisor). Bring a copy of the signed contract to a Business School Advisor to obtain the signature of the Associate Director of the School of Business. Once approved, an advisor will assist you with registration for the course. Click here for the internship learning contract form (please fill out as much electronically as possible).
Note: Please be aware that registration for BBUS 497 follows the registration deadlines in the Academic Calendar for the quarter and will be subject to late registration procedures and fees.
Completion Criteria and Grading
Your academic sponsor will grant academic credit when you have fulfilled the learning contract satisfactorily. Internships are graded on a credit/no credit basis only.
The following internship evaluation forms must be submitted to successfully complete the internship (Adobe Reader required to download forms):
- Mid-term Progress Report (completed by student)
- Final Internship Evaluation (completed by student)
- Student Internship Performance Evaluation (completed by field supervisor)
- Final report detailing what was learned and how it connects to classes at UWB. (completed by student)