Create a Real-World Experience for Our Students

At the University of Minnesota Crookston, the student learning experience is comprised of more than just the traditional classroom experience. Providing our students with “real-world” educational opportunities—including field trips, site visits, special projects, and internships—is one of our goals. It’s a part of U of M Crookston's long tradition of applied, experiential teaching and learning. 

What is a student internship?
An internship is an educational experience in a setting that provides practical applications to a student’s program of study. An internship augments their learning in the classroom as it gives them the opportunity to see the actual practices behind the theories. An internship is also a great way for a student to build a resume and to help answer the question “is this really what I want to do?” Students receive academic credit for these internship experiences.

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Agriculture and Natural Resources Department

Agriculture & Natural Resources Department

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Kristie Walker, Unit Head
Leah Stroot, Administrative Assistant

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Business Department

Business Department

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Shawn Boyne, Unit Head 
Whitney Myers, Administrative Assistant

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Humanities, Social Sciences and Education Department

Humanities, Social Sciences & Education Department

Student interns in the following majors: Applied Studies; Communication; Criminal Justice; English

Shawn Boyne, Unit Head
Michelle Beeghly, Administrative Assistant

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Communications majors:
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English majors:

Math, Science and Technology Department

Math, Science & Technology Department

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Kristie Walker, Unit Head
Molly Ramey, Administrative Assistant


Are student interns supervised?
Students are actively supervised by both a faculty supervisor on campus as well as a site supervisor at the internship site. The faculty supervisor is a member of the student’s academic department, and the site supervisor is typically an owner, manager, or supervisor in a place of business or organization.

Are student interns paid?
Internships can be paid and unpaid. While the majority of student interns are paid or receive some type of financial support, it is not uncommon for some organizations to use unpaid student interns. These arrangements are typically established months before the student begins the internship experience.

When do students take part in internships?
Most students take part in an internship experience during the summer, while classes are not in session. There are, however, opportunities to take part in an internship during fall or spring semesters. As for when in the academic sequence, students generally elect to have their internship experience between their junior and senior year, but that, too, is somewhat flexible.

How long does an internship typically last?
The length of a student internship varies by program of study and academic department. It also varies depending on whether the student is interning full-time (35 to 40 hours a week) or part-time. The length and number of hours the student experiences is typically worked out in advance between the student, campus supervisor, and employer/host site supervisor. In general, however, summer internships last between 10-16 weeks.

What are the benefits of hosting a student intern?
Hosting a student intern provides benefits to both the students and the organizations that host them.

Benefits to the student include:

  • The opportunity to apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom in a day-to-day work setting.
  • The opportunity to more closely explore whether a career is a right fit for them.
  • The chance to further develop and refine their professional and leadership skills.
  • The chance to gain valuable work experience in their chosen field.
  • The opportunity to add relevant work experience to their resume and network with professionals in their field.

Benefits to the internship employer/host site include:

  • The opportunity to bring fresh, enthusiastic individuals into the work place.
  • The ability to explore contemporary perspectives and new ideas in their organization.
  • The chance to recruit talented new employees.

What are the expectations of a employer/host site supervisor?
Student interns are supervised by a staff person employed by the host site. Typically, the site supervisor has experience and expertise in the area in which the student is interning. In most instances, the role of the site supervisor is not fundamentally different from their responsibilities when supervising any new employee in their organization.

Site supervisors are, however, asked to recognize that in addition to the intern’s work role, the internship is an educational experience. Because of this, site supervisors are asked to meet regularly with their student interns to discuss how the internship is progressing.

Employers/host site supervisors are asked that no more than 25 percent of an intern’s responsibilities be comprised of routine filing, cleaning, or mundane chores. While the university recognizes that such routine work is often part of any new employee’s job, it is not the most educational component of an internship experience.

What are the expectations of a campus supervisor?
The campus supervisor is typically a faculty member in the student’s academic department and/or program of study. This faculty member helps provide a structured educational experience for the student.

Because academic credit is earned during an internship, students are required to maintain records of their experiences and submit regular reports and reflections to their campus supervisor during the internship period. The campus supervisor is in regular contact with the student throughout the internship, although most of that contact may be invisible to the employer/host site supervisor.

Occasionally, the campus supervisor may make a visit to the host site. This will be coordinated with the student and the employer/host site supervisor.

What are the expectations of a student intern?
Students are expected to perform assigned duties to the best of their ability to justify the time and effort of the internship host/employer, the university, and the campus supervisor. They are encouraged to keep the employer’s best interest in mind at all times and be punctual, dependable, and dedicated to the firm. They are instructed to follow directions, avoid unsafe acts, and be honest in all dealings with the employer and the organization’s customers.