What is an Internship?
Students attending Mercyhurst College have the opportunity to participate in cooperative education/internship experiences. An internship is the combination of classroom and on-the-job work organized in an educationally sound manner and coordinated so that experiences in business, industry, government and various public agencies become an integral part of a student’s college education. Students who participate in the internship program usually come away from their experiences more professionally and personally developed.
Students can complete from three to four internship experiences during their four years at Mercyhurst. By meeting all the departmental requirements for an internship, students can earn up to 12 academic credits toward graduation.
To make an internship in your company available to our students, begin by creating an employer account in CareerConnect, Mercyhurst’s online job and internship database.
There are two kinds of internships. One is limited to the junior and senior years. A student is in school for a period of either three or six months and then participates in an on-the-job assignment for the same period of time. Although students are employed full time, they are considered students by both employers and the college. Employment may be available locally or in a student’s home area.
The second option is open to students who have completed a minimum of 57 credit hours. A student in this plan remains in school and is employed on a part-time basis at an internship site. On rare occasions this experience is available to third-term sophomores.
Grading options for cooperative education/internship experiences are “Pass” for those students doing above satisfactory work and “Fail.”
How Internships work
The student, on-site supervisor and the internship coordinator establish measurable learning objectives that students must meet or exceed during their on-the-job experience in order to receive academic credit. Once students are placed in a cooperative assignment, the coordinator makes periodic visits to the companies where students are employed to discuss their progress. The coordinator uses on-site visitations and an employer evaluation form to determine if students are successfully combining the theory of the classroom with practical experience
What are the benefits?
Students get to blend their acquired classroom theory with unique practical experiences. They gather an understanding of the professional work world. They solidify invaluable networking contacts. They gain specific experience to be incorporated into a resume and an interview. Finally, students may be able to request from their immediate supervisor a letter of recommendation that will strongly support their application for future full-time employment or graduate school.