Black School of Business Internship Program Guidelines

Black School of Business Internship Program Guidelines

The Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend is committed to providing the highest quality education possible to its students. We encourage students to complete at least one internship prior to graduation. Students benefit by establishing professional contacts, exploring career options, and gaining valuable work experience and a sense of personal accomplishment. Sponsoring organizations observe employment prospects on a relatively long-term basis and accomplish projects that might not be otherwise possible at existing staffing levels. Internships can be flexibly structured based on the needs of the sponsoring organization and the student (subject to Black School of Business Internship Policy Guidelines).

This document describes the responsibilities of the student, site supervisor, and faculty supervisor; the internship proposal form; and Black School of Business policies.

Who is Involved?

A successful internship program requires the cooperation of four individuals, each with specific responsibilities.

  • Student Intern: The intern is an enrolled student who has met eligibility requirements. Student eligibility is determined by school criteria, such as minimum semester standing, GPA, and/or completed course work.
  • Faculty Supervisor: This supervisor is an official University representative who has faculty status and is responsible for the academic oversight of the internship.
  • Site Supervisor: The site supervisor is the officially recognized professional at the sponsoring organization who is responsible for on-site supervision and evaluation of the intern.
  • Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC): This office serves as one link between the academic and business communities for potential internship opportunities.

Responsibilities

  • Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC): The ACPC maintains lists of business contacts and potential internship positions. When a business or organization requests an intern, the ACPC posts the position(s) and often notifies the Black School of Business faculty or staff members.
     
  • Student Intern: The student is responsible for obtaining an internship, meeting all departmental and Black School requirements, and completing appropriate paperwork. The signed internship proposal serves as the formal agreement for establishment of the internship and its evaluation. The student is responsible for completing all course requirements as indicated on the internship proposal form.

    Interns should conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. This includes developing respectful and cooperative relationships with the site supervisor and other employees at the sponsoring organization. The student should establish and maintain regular and punctual working hours as delineated on the internship proposal, and will conduct himself or herself in an ethical manner, conform to the sponsoring organization's policies and procedures, and execute the duties and responsibilities of the internship position. Failure to comply with the sponsoring organization's policies may result in suspension or termination of the internship.
     
  • Faculty Supervisor: The faculty supervisor determines whether the internship is worthy of academic credit based on the type of work to be performed and the contribution the internship will make to the student's learning experience. The faculty supervisor is responsible for the initial approval of the internship proposal and for monitoring the student's activities for the duration of the internship.

    The faculty supervisor may contact the site supervisor to check on the progress of the intern. Student meetings, consultations with the site supervisor, or on-site visits may be arranged by agreement among the parties. At the conclusion of the internship, the faculty supervisor will assign the grade for the internship in accordance with the internship proposal and departmental guidelines.
     
  • Site Supervisor/Sponsoring Organization: The sponsoring organization agrees to provide a supervised, relevant learning experience for the student intern. The exact nature of this experience will vary from discipline to discipline and from student to student. The internship proposal serves as the formal agreement concerning specific duties and expectations of each internship.

    The site supervisor will ensure that the student is aware of all relevant company policies and procedures. At regular intervals, the site supervisor will communicate with the intern regarding the quality of his or her work. If the site supervisor believes that the intern’s performance is marginal or poor, the intern should be notified and given steps to improve his or her performance.

    At the conclusion of the internship period, the site supervisor should forward a written and signed evaluation of the student's performance (form provided by the Black School of Business). This evaluation should include a brief description of the intern's activities and an assessment of the proficiency and general attitude demonstrated by the student intern. The site supervisor is encouraged to write an expanded evaluation of the student's work. This evaluation should be reviewed with the student by the site supervisor and the faculty supervisor.

The Internship Proposal Form

The proposal serves as a formal agreement between the student, the sponsoring organization, and the faculty supervisor. It should describe the internship, in detail, to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. The internship proposal should disclose any and all information concerning the internship that the parties believe is appropriate.

This form can be found in the School of Business Office, 281 Burke Center.

  1. The first draft of the proposal should be developed by the student through preliminary discussions with the site supervisor and other members of the sponsoring organization. The faculty supervisor should review the first draft to determine sufficiency of the internship experience for awarding academic credit. At this stage, the internship proposal may be approved, rejected, or approved subject to amendments.
  2. If the proposal is approved subject to amendments, the student can communicate the required changes to the site supervisor for consideration. If the site supervisor approves the amendments, the student should revise and resubmit the proposal to the faculty supervisor.
  3. The student, site supervisor, and faculty supervisor indicate agreement with the internship proposal by their signatures. A signed copy of the completed internship proposal must be on file in the Black School of Business office no later than ten days from the first day of classes for the semester. Failure to submit a completed internship proposal may result in cancelation of the student's internship course enrollment.
  4. A copy of the approved proposal should be attached to the Registration Drop/Add Form and submitted to the college Registrar.

At a minimum, the proposal should include the following:

  1. Brief statement of responsibilities/job description, hours to be worked, and general goals/objectives.
  2. Signature by the student, faculty supervisor, and site supervisor.
  3. Description/percentage assignment of how the intern’s grade will be determined (whether the intern is responsible for maintaining a work journal, submitting an academic paper, and/or delivering an internship presentation—to be completed by faculty supervisor).
  • Final papers should document how the work duties and responsibilities of the internship helped to achieve the internship objective, and should also include a personal evaluation by the student of the internship as a learning experience. Papers should analyze and discuss the internship experience by applying conceptual frameworks from academic course work to experiences and observations made in the work setting.

Black School of Business Policies

  • Academic credits: Students often earn three academic credits for one internship. No more than six credits will be applied to graduation requirements.
  • Minimum hours: At least 120 hours of field experience are required for three academic credits. Additional credits may be assigned on a 40-hour-per-credit basis. Hours in addition to the minimum may be undertaken without the assignment of additional academic credit.
  • The number of hours worked is not the primary basis for determining academic credit-worthiness. Grades are assigned based on the student’s performance in the categories described on the proposal form.
  • Grading: Grading is assigned within the normal scale (A B F). Pass/Fail cannot be used.
  • Students MUST register for academic credit in the semester the internship is performed.
  • To receive a grade for the internship, students must complete and return to the Black School of Business office a Drop/Add Form (which is either attached to this packet or may be obtained from the Black School of Business office) and the Internship Proposal form at the beginning of the internship.

*The internship proposal and registration information applies only students who wish to earn academic credit for their internships

Major-Specific Policies

  • Accounting (ACNTG)
    No additional criteria beyond those specified by Black School of Business Guidelines. Content and evaluation criteria for specific internships will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Business Economics (BECON)
    ECON 102 and ECON 104 successfully completed. Content and evaluation criteria for specific internships will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Finance (FNC)
    FIN 301 successfully completed. No additional criteria beyond those specified by Black School of Business Guidelines. Content and evaluation criteria for specific internships will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • International Business (INT B)
    5th semester standing or higher. Successful completion (final grade of "C" or higher) of ECON 102 and ECON 104. Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Either successful completion (final grade of "C" or higher) OR concurrent enrollment in one or more international business classes (e.g., ECON 470, FIN 471, MGMT 461, MKTG 445).

    For some international business internships, completion of additional coursework may be required as a prerequisite. Students with a GPA below 2.5 must receive a special exception from the program chair to be eligible for internship credits. No more than three internship credits may be applied to fulfill graduation requirements without special exception.

  • Management Information Systems (MISBD)
    ​Presentation required. Paper is to be written according to MIS syllabus requirements. MIS 430 successfully completed. Component percentages for the student's grade, per the course syllabus.

  • Marketing (MRKTG)
    Successful completion of Principles of Marketing (MKTG 301) and at least one other marketing course at the 300- or 400-level. Minimum GPA: 2.5 (overall); GPA: 2.75 (marketing courses). See MKTG 495. course syllabus for a list of specific prerequisites.

  • Project and Supply Chain Management (PSCM)
    SCM 301 successfully completed. No additional criteria beyond those specified by the Black School of Business Guidelines. Content and evaluation criteria for specific internships will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Remember to:

  • Read the guidelines.
  • Complete and sign the Internship Proposal Form with your site and faculty supervisors.
  • Bring your completed Internship Proposal Form and a completed Drop/Add form to the Black School of Business office.