Career Services Center - St. Cloud State University

Career Services Center - St. Cloud State University

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SCSU Career Services

Internship Information - Employers

Welcome to St. Cloud State University’s Internship Program! The following information should help you decide if offering an internship within your business or organization would be beneficial to you. SCSU can provide your business or organization with student interns from five different colleges which include 175 undergraduate programs. These full or part-time internships are a mutually beneficial experience between the intern and the employer and can be customized to meet the needs of both.

For more information contact Bobbi Murphy, Employer Relations, SCSU Career Services Center, 320-308-3753 or e-mail .

Post your Internships Here

What is an Internship?

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theories learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. An internship provides students with an opportunity to develop their competencies as professionals in their areas of study, while still being identified as learners, rather than solely as employees. Students earn academic credit and are evaluated according to a job description that is incorporated into a course.

This work/learning arrangement is overseen by a faculty member of the student's educational institution and by a designated employee of the host organization. The work/learning experience is usually the length of a semester, may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid. Academic learning objectives are integral to the internship, distinguishing them from volunteer positions or jobs. Internship requires some form of reflection where students apply theories and concepts to their on-the-job experience to improve their performances as professionals.

For-profit organizations that provide internships should review the guidance provided by the Department of Labor on distinguishing between internships and employment at

Why Should my Company or Organization Offer an Internship?

  • The University internship program offers companies access to highly talented and skilled SCSU students who are eager to learn.
  • Employers find internships to be a valuable strategy for reducing turnover and gaining assistance with short-term staffing needs, special initiatives and seasonal projects.
  • Many take this opportunity to choose high-potential students and evaluate their performance as prospective full-time employees.
  • Local businesses and organizations that hire SCSU interns are doing their part to keep well-trained graduates in the St. Cloud area business community after college. 
  • Internships also provide the opportunity for business to provide feedback to the university on the needs of business and make suggestions to curriculum.

Guidelines for Hosting Internships

What Does an Employer Need to Offer an Internship?

The following questions will help you assess if you are able to offer internships of value both to the student and to you, the employer:

  • Do you have support for the internship throughout the company/organization – does your business or organization have the time and resources to support an intern?  It quickly becomes clear and often times uncomfortable if an intern has been “forced” on an organization’s personnel.  Support for the internship is critical.
  • Are you going to provide pay or other remuneration such as a stipend, parking, or lunch? Consider the benefits to the intern.  Benefits do not have to include pay, though the internship will generate more interest from possible applicants if there is pay offered.  Additional benefits such as training opportunities or networking sessions with other professionals spark interest for students as well.
  • Are you willing to work with the student and SCSU campus to offer academic credit for the internship?   This involves working with the student and faculty internship coordinator to fulfill the student’s credit requirements. 
  • What physical resources do you have to support an intern?
    • Safe, adequate workspace
    • Computer and internet, as necessary
    • Telephone, fax and other communication resources as necessary
    • Parking and easy access to the facility
    • Access to people who would be colleagues, customers, clients, mentors, etc
  • Are you able to provide supervision for the intern?  Effective supervision is active supervision that begins with a willingness on the part of the employer to share both their time and experience.
  • Will there be regular meetings between intern and supervisor for communication and feedback?  Ongoing communication goes a long way in ensuring satisfaction for both host and intern.
  • Do you have well-defined job descriptions?  It is important for students to have a clear understanding of your expectations of them during their internship experience. Having a clear and accurate job description will allow students to have a better understanding of your company’s needs and objectives, as well as the demands that may be placed on them.
  • Is the work you’re asking the intern to do of value? Meaningful assignments should be provided to the student intern and the work should resemble that of entry-level professionals.  Clerical and administrative duties should be at a minimum.
  • Is there an opportunity for the student intern to assume responsibility? Good internships provide an environment where students feel productive.  Projects that are challenging, yet achievable, and that provide students with the opportunity to solve problems, incorporate their creativity, and experience intellectual rigor are ideal.
  • Will there be a chance for the individual to learn new skills?   Interns look for experiences that provide them with increased technical training, professional-skills training, and personal development.
  • Can you provide an inclusive environment?  When appropriate, include student intern in agency events, programs and meetings.  Inclusion in such meetings and company events will not only give the student a sense of acceptance, but they will also become more aware of the background of the agency and how it functions.  These student interns can become wonderful advocates for your work.

Please don’t be intimidated by all of this information.  The purpose in offering these guidelines is not to overwhelm you but to provide a framework to help you decide whether or not providing an internship is for you. We are happy to work with you to make these internships happen, and look forward to many more and mutually beneficial  partnerships with local, national and international employers. 

Working with students from St. Cloud State University is a rewarding and fun endeavor and we hope you choose internships as a way to increase your human resources and productivity as well as offer our students a “window to the world of work!"

About Compensation

Some university programs require that internships be paid. Some do not. Paid internships tend to encourage a larger pool of highly qualified applicants. Pay rate is negotiated between the employer and the intern and is typically between minimum wage and $25 per hour. Pay requirements and rates may be impacted by the career area of the internship and/or internship requirements determined by the academic department. Stipends are an option as well, although you may wish to check with your human resources department to explore any legal issues regarding alternative payment.

For profit business and/or organizations that provide internships should review the guidance provided by the Department of Labor on distinguishing between internships and employment.

Unpaid student employment will not violate the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act if it is a training program which meets the following criteria:

1) The training should be similar to that given in a vocational setting

2) the experience is for the benefit of the student

3) students do not displace regular employees

4) the site sponsor provides the training and receives no immediate advantage from the activities of students

5) students are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period

6) the site sponsor and student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

Fair Labor Standards Act specifically as it relates to Internship Programs:

Paid or not paid, the quality of the internship experience is extremely important.

"I hear and I forget."
"I see and I remember."
"I do and I understand."

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