• Career Development Center

  • Student Internship Guide 

    An internship is a student-planned and directed learning experience that provides an opportunity to integrate academic, professional, and personal skill development. The internship program allows students to experience supervised, meaningful work in a professional setting.

    The internship search and application process is an essential part of the internship learning experience; thus, obtaining the internship is the responsibility of the student. The CDC can help at every step of the way by providing the resources, preparation, guidance, and information you will need to be successful. Plan to begin your search at least three to four months before you would like to start your internship. 


    Types of internships
    Internship requirements 
    Situations requiring prior approval
    Registering for an internship 
    Completing the LEAD Learning Agreement  
    Sample LEAD Learning Objectives
    Timeline and evaluation process
    Faculty, site, and staff roles
    Tips and resources for finding an internship
    Other LEAD experiences 


    Types of Internships

    Individual Internships
    Individual internships are completed independently by students under the supervision of a faculty supervisor. It is the student's responsibility to identify a faculty supervisor. Supervision meetings and communications procedures between the student and the faculty supervisor are to be determined together and detailed on the LEAD Learning Agreement (LLA) portion of the internship paperwork.

    Practicum/Seminar Internship
    Several departments at Hamline require or encourage students to participate in a class concurrent with their internships. Consult with your major advisor, the course bulletin, or the Internship Program Director to determine whether your major requires or encourages the practicum/internship seminar option. A practicum/internship seminar requires students to obtain the internship, attend class, follow the course syllabus requirements and complete and submit the internship paperwork consistent with CDC deadlines. The professor for the seminar will be the student's faculty supervisor.

    Credit vs. Non-Credit Internships
    Internships may be registered as credit-bearing or non-credit bearing. All academic and work related expectations for credit internships also apply to non-credit internships. Both credit and non-credit internships satisfy the Hamline Plan LEAD requirement ("W"). Credit internships earn four credits toward graduation. Internships for more or fewer credits require special approval by the Internship Program Director. Up to 12 internship credits can be earned toward graduation over the course of a student's time at Hamline. Credit-bearing summer internships require payment of summer school tuition. Non-credit bearing summer internships require a registration fee. Consult the Internship Program Director or the Summer Term Catalog for details. 

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    Internship Requirements

    • Internship must be registered (see instructions below).
    • Internships require a minimum of 120 hours of work at the internship site. There is no maximum limit to the number of hours worked. The total number of internship hours and the work schedule are negotiated by the intern and the site supervisor. NOTE: Legal Studies majors are required to complete 150 hours (see below)
    • Interns must have a site supervisor at the internship site with whom they meet on a regular basis.
    • Interns must complete academic and reflective work under the supervision of a full-time Hamline faculty member.
    • Interns must complete the paperwork contained in the Internship Packet (available in the CDC). Internship paperwork includes: a LEAD Learning Agreement (LLA) to outline internship objectives and supervision meetings and communications, as well as a Two Week Review, a Midterm Evaluation, and Final Evaluation to be completed jointly with the site supervisor over the course of the internship.
    • The internship must take place during the term in which an internship is registered. For a typical 120 hour internship, 80 of the hours must occur during the term in which credit is sought. Interns may obtain up to 40 of their internship hours before the start of the semester. Interns may also obtain up to 40 of their internship hours after the semester has ended, but they must work with their faculty supervisor to fill out a Undergraduate Request for Incomplete Grade, available on the Registration and Records website.  Any additional documentation or paperwork required by your faculty supervisor should be submitted to that individual by the agreed upon date. The remaining hours should be completed within four months after the end of the registration term.
    • It is never possible to retroactively register an internship after the site experience has been completed.
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    Special requirements for Legal Studies internships and practicum seminars:  

    • Legal Studies students must complete 150 internship hours and take a concurrent Practicum/Internship Seminar through their department.
    • If students wish to begin counting hours prior to the start of the semester, they must consult with the faculty for the Practicum/Internship Seminar.
    • Students must also be supervised by a licensed attorney. See your Legal Studies advisor for more details and specific departmental requirements.

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    Situations That Require Prior Approval from the CDC

    Long-term internship experiences spanning two terms and exceeding 240 hours require re-registration as well as filing a new LLA and learning goals each term (spring, fall, summer or J-term). The position description for the second internship must reflect some new or more advanced tasks, responsibilities, or projects than the original job description. Make an appointment to discuss your plans with the Internship Program Director.

    Don't assume that your current job will qualify as an internship. If you want to consider turning your current job into an internship, make an appointment with the Internship Program Director to discuss your plans and to obtain approval. Before proposing your current job as an internship site, consider the following questions: How will an internship at this site help me achieve my academic, professional, and personal development goals as well as my post-college career goals? What new tasks and responsibilities will I take on during my proposed internship? 

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    Registering for an Internship

    Internships seeking academic credit, including LEAD credit, must be registered like any other classes during the registration or drop/add period:

    Individual Internship: Register for a CDC Internship (INTD 3990) by completing an add/drop card and having it signed by the Internship Program Director in the CDC in accordance with the term's add/drop deadlines.  

    Practicum/Internship Seminar: Register online or with an add card (obtain a signature from the course instructor) for a Practicum/Internship Seminar class. Refer to the class schedule on Piperline for the course number. Summer internships may require completion of the Summer Session Registration Form (available online). Note deadlines for a summer tuition discount.

    All internships:  

    • Pick up an internship packet at the CDC, which includes the LLA and evaluation forms. If necessary, schedule an appointment with the Internship Program Director to review the packet.
    • Ask a faculty member to be your faculty supervisor and discuss your internship plans and goals with him/her before you begin applying.
    • Obtain an internship. Send your resume and cover letter to the prospective internship sites. Schedule an appointment with the Internship Program Director if you need assistance with your search.
    • Complete the LLA and attach your internship job description. Discuss your learning goals and objectives with both your site and faculty supervisors and obtain their signatures.
    • Bring the original LLA with attached job description to the CDC within two weeks of beginning your internship and no later than the LLA due date. A $25 late fee will be applied to your student account after the deadline. The Internship Program Director will sign the LLA and forward copies to you, your faculty supervisor and to Registration and Records.
    • The internship registration will be complete after you turn in the LLA to the CDC and the CDC forwards the paperwork to Registration and Records.

    NOTE: Registration for an Individual Internship will automatically be withdrawn if a LEAD Learning Agreement is not submitted to the Career Development Center by the last day to withdraw.

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    International Students: Special Requirements and Registration

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Guidelines
    It is important that you begin the internship search early so that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) work authorization is obtained by the time the internship is scheduled to begin.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum and must be related to the major field of study. CPT is available to undergraduate international students (F-1 visa status) who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least nine consecutive months.

    CPT cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic terms, however, during breaks you may work up to 40 hours per week.

    NOTE: Participation in part-time CPT does not affect OPT (Optional Practical Training) eligibility, but if you accumulate 12 months of full-time CPT you will not be eligible for OPT.

    Application and Authorization Procedures  

    • Meet with the Internship Program Director to discuss your internship plans
    • Follow the registration process detailed above
    • Make an appointment with the Internship Program Director to have your LLA approved and signed. Bring a copy of the signed LLA and your I-20 to International Student Services. They will update the USCIS online database system (SEVIS) with the CPT information.

    Once the CPT is approved by USCIS, you will be given an endorsed CPT authorization that will be attached to your current I-20. The I-20 will be returned to you. Make a photocopy of your signed I-20 and give it to your site supervisor.

    Under no circumstances may you begin working before the final USCIS authorization. The CPT authorization is not retroactive. Please consult with International Student Services if you have questions or concerns about this. 

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    Completing the LEAD Learning Agreement

    The LEAD Learning Agreement (LLA) is a document that summarizes your internship plans and includes your academic, professional, and personal learning objectives for the experience. This key document will be copied and shared with you, your faculty supervisor, Registration and Records and the CDC; therefore, it is important that the document be complete and legible. If your site supervisor would like a copy of the LLA, please encourage him/her to make a copy when he/she signs it.

    LEAD Meeting Dates

    To facilitate your learning and development, you should meet with your site supervisor on a regular basis throughout your internship. These meetings will allow you to ask questions, discuss expectations, share information and insights, and receive mentoring from your site supervisor. At the beginning of the internship, discuss how often you will meet and indicate that meeting schedule on the LLA. You should meet with your site supervisor at least once a week. You will arrange and indicate a regular meeting schedule with your faculty supervisor as well.

    The Job Description
    Obtain a job description from your site supervisor and attach it to the LLA. If your site supervisor is unable to provide you with a job description, you may work together with this individual to draft a description that accurately reflects your tasks and responsibilities for the internship.

    Learning Objectives
    Learning Objectives allow you to be intentional about your internship experience and focus on specific outcomes. You are required to create two objectives in each of the following categories: academic development, professional development, and personal development. Your objectives include learning objectives, a learning plan, evidence of learning and a completion date.

    Effective objectives are:

    1. Specific. Use specific terms to describe what you plan to accomplish.
    2. Realistic. Objectives should be realistic, so be sure to review them with your site and faculty supervisors to ensure they can be accomplished during your internship.
    3. Measurable. At the end of the experience you should be able to prove that you achieved your goals.

    Learning Plan Your learning plan contains the steps you will take to meet your objectives. This plan will probably involve a few steps for each objective. Each step should be specific.

    Evidence of Learning
    Evidence of learning is the tangible proof that you met your learning objectives. The evidence of learning will also include specific academic and reflective work that you complete for the internship. Be sure to discuss this evidence with your faculty supervisor as he/she may have specific expectations and assignments for you. All evidence, academic, and reflective work should be turned in to your faculty supervisor upon completion of your internship to assist him or her in determining your grade.

    Utilize the following handouts, the final evaluation form, and input from your faculty and site supervisors to help you draft your learning objectives. When your objectives are complete, be sure to discuss them fully with your site and faculty supervisors.

    Questions and Examples to Help Complete the LEAD Learning Agreement 

    Sample LEAD objectives: 
    Sample I - Arts & Humanities Internships  
    Sample II - Business/Management Internships
    Sample III - Criminal Justice Internships  
    Sample IV - General/Social Sciences Internships  
    Sample V - Legal Studies Internships  

    After you have obtained a job description and completed your objectives and the remainder of the LLA, obtain final signatures from your faculty and site supervisors and turn the completed LLA in to the CDC. 

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    Internship Timeline and Evaluation Process

    Internship Begins
    When you have accepted an offer, obtain a job description from your site supervisor. Complete the LLA and return it with the job description to the CDC.

    After Two Weeks or 20 hours Have your site supervisor complete the Two-Week Review. Meet with him or her to discuss internship expectations, performance, and feedback. Discuss how the internship is proceeding with your faculty supervisor. This is the time to decide whether or not the internship should continue. Return the Two Week Review to the CDC.

    Midterm (or after 60 hours)
    Have your site supervisor complete the Midterm Evaluation. This is a more formal evaluation between the student and the site supervisor. Return the Midterm Evaluation to the CDC.

    Last Day to Withdraw from Class
    You must file the LLA in the CDC, or withdraw from the internship by this date. Otherwise a “W” grade will be issued.

    Internship Ends
    Have your site supervisor complete the Final Evaluation and return it to the CDC. Turn in your academic and reflective materials as outlined in the LLA to your faculty. The faculty supervisor sends your grade to Registration and Records. Send thank-you notes to your site and faculty supervisors! If appropriate, ask your site supervisor to serve as a reference and/or networking resource.

    In addition, you will be emailed a student site survey toward the end of your internship. Your feedback will be shared with the Internship Program Director and will be made available in the CDC to other students who are considering internships at your organization.

    Evaluation forms: 
    Two-Week Review 
    Midterm Evaluation 
    Final Evaluation 

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    Individual Internships are graded High Pass, Pass, or No Credit and are not calculated in your cumulative GPA. Students may request that their faculty supervisor grade them on an A-F scale. You must discuss this request with your faculty supervisor and obtain his/her signature to approve this grading arrangement in the designated space on the LLA.

    NOTE: Grade mode changes will not be accepted after the LLA due date.

    Practicum/Seminar Internships may be graded on an A-F letter grade scale or High Pass, Pass, No Credit basis. Please check with your faculty supervisor to determine how you will be graded. 

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    Faculty, Site, and Staff Roles

    The Faculty Supervisor is a professor who helps you develop learning goals, supervises the academic components of the internship, evaluates your growth and learning, and submits your final grade to Registration and Records. The faculty supervisor provides guidance and feedback when needed or when problems arise. You should meet with your faculty supervisor on a regular basis during your internship.

    The Site Supervisor should be a knowledgeable professional who can mentor, provide guidance and introduce you to the organization as a whole. The Site Supervisor helps you develop goals, orients, trains, and supervises you on a daily or weekly basis, and reviews your work performance and assesses professional and personal development. You should meet with your site supervisor on a weekly basis during your internship.

    The Internship Program Director supports students throughout the internship search and registration process by providing information, resources and individual assistance. The Internship Program Director serves as an information and problem solving resource for both interns and supervisors.

    The LEAD Program Director oversees all LEAD activities and can be a helpful resource in explaining the LEAD requirement at Hamline and considering other options besides internships.

    CDC Career Counselors are available to assist you with resumes, cover letters, and interviewing. They can guide you through the internship search process. 

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    Tips and Resources for Finding a Great Internship

    Begin at least three months before you plan to start the internship. You will need a resume, cover letter and a plan. Resume and cover letter samples and assistance are available at the CDC. Think about the following questions:

    • What kind of internship experience do you seek?
    • What skills do you hope to acquire or enhance during the internship?
    • What are your academic and personal goals for an internship?
    • What are the characteristics of your ideal internship site?

    Schedule an appointment with the Internship Program Director to discuss your interests and brainstorm ideas and resources for the internship search. Then follow the steps below:

    1. Check the internship listings regularly by logging in to your Hamline Career Link account as new listings are posted daily.
    2. Explore other web resources for finding internship opportunities, such as the Online Internship Resources page of the CDC website.
    3. Contact prospective internship sites directly. Many internships (and jobs) are never posted through the CDC or anywhere else. For ideas about who to contact, consult the Internship Program Director as well as the CDC library or other resources such as:
      • The Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal Book of Lists (profiles the largest Twin Cities employers in a variety of industry areas)
      • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
      • MN Women's Directory
      • Findlaw, a searchable database of law firms 
    4. Develop a personal network. Networking is a simple and powerful internship and job search tool. Most people are eager to help sincere, motivated college students explore interests and launch careers. Talk to family, friends, faculty, former or current supervisors, etc. to get ideas of where to find internship opportunities. Consult with the Internship Program Director for ideas about how to connect with people in your field of interest.
    5. Ask for help at the CDC. A typical internship search in the metro area requires as many as 15-20 site contacts and two-three interviews with different employers. Make an appointment with the Internship Program Director if you are:
      1. overwhelmed and experiencing difficulty getting started on the search;
      2. having trouble locating the right type of internship opportunities;
      3. have applied at 10-15 sites and haven't received any offers that interest you;
      4. are interviewing but not converting the interviews to internship offers.
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    Other LEAD Experiences

    Internships are one of the most popular ways that Hamline students obtain LEAD credit. There are several alternative ways that students may obtain LEAD credit, however. Some departments offer classes that award LEAD credit by requiring a minimum of 20 hours of service-learning or other forms of experiential education. Consult with specific departments or the class schedule on Piperline to learn more.

    Apprentice Teaching, Collaborative Research, Student-Designed LEAD, Independent Studies or Internships Abroad are all additional options that students may pursue to obtain LEAD. All of these experiences are done under the direction of the LEAD Program Director, Jane Turk. Contact Jane at 651-523-2483 or jturk02@hamline.edu for more information about these opportunities and how to register them for credit.

    To determine what kind of LEAD experience makes most sense for you, think about what experience is most beneficial to your future career goals. Consult with faculty, academic advisors, career counselors, the Internship Program Director or the LEAD Program Director to discuss your options and decide how to incorporate LEAD into your Hamline education.

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  • Student Stories
    Connor Moore - WCCO TV - Sports Intern

    Connor Moore '12 
    Connor interned at the WCCO - TV as a Sports Intern for the Fall 2010.