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Internships

The Parker College of Business encourages all students to complement a their formal education with practical work experience. An internship provides the opportunity for students to apply concepts and theories learned in the classroom to practical situations, projects, and problems under the supervision and guidance of a practicing professional.

Internships are fantastic opportunities to gain insight about your major field in practice, learn more about an intended career path, and gain competitive work experience prior to graduation.

The majority of internships take place in the summer, but they are usually available throughout the academic year. Internship programs are often offered by private businesses, government organizations, and non-profit organizations and may be paid or unpaid positions.  Paid internships are highly encouraged.

Finding an Internship

The search for an internship should begin several months before your ideal start date.  Give yourself time to find a position that meets your personal needs, and educational aims.  There are many resources at your disposal, but finding an internship requires that students are proactive.  Make sure you have an updated and well-edited resume ready.  Here are some tips for getting started:

  1. Use Handshake.  This is the primary and preferred method for employers who want to advertise through the university.  You will often see internship advertisements come through email from your major department or this office.  Be on the lookout, and check often.
  2. Make sure to visit all career and networking events.  These can include the Eagle Expo, STEM fair, and Professional Development Day.  But it is also important to get involved in departmental events designed for specific majors, as well.  Recruiters at all of these events are looking for interns as well as full-time hires.
  3. Be flexible about your location to open up your options.  Some students get stuck on needing to be in a specific place, but often this can make it harder to work in the industry or company you really have your eye on.
  4. Use a variety of online job boards: LinkedIn, Indeed, and other major sites will offer many positions with companies that may not yet be advertising at Georgia Southern.
  5. Reach out to companies/people directly if you are really interested in a particular employer.  This is often the case at small businesses. Calling over email can often yield the best response.
  6. Plan financially, as well, if an internship takes place out of state or away from Statesboro or your hometown.  The Office of Career and Professional Development offers an Internship Scholarship Program for students who would have to miss out on the opportunity of an internship due to cost. Depending on the internship, an investment now can pay dividends later.

Academic Credit

In many instances, academic credit may be awarded for an internship and applied toward your degree requirements.  Please read through the eligibility, guidelines, and policies sections thoroughly before applying for academic credit.  Students must apply for academic credit before their internship begins. 

Because academic credit is earned, students who register for internship course are responsible for paying all related tuition and fees.  Internship courses are graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

*Note: the Parker College cannot award academic credit for internships or co-op rotations completed with Gulfstream, per their company policy.  Please see the “CO-OP Credit” tab to register your internship experience.

Student Eligibility

Applicants for academic credit must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Have junior standing (at least 60 earned credit hours) by the internship start date.
  2. Be in good academic standing at the time of application.
  3. Completed at least one upper division course in the major or minor area by the internship start date.  (Example: a student who wishes to earn accounting internship credit must have completed at least one upper-division ACCT course.)
  4. Graduate students must be regularly admitted to their program of study, and have good academic standing.

Students who do not meet these requires should see the “CO-OP Credit” tab for directions on how to register their internship experience.

Internship Guidelines

Internships to be approved for credit must apply directly to your program of study, and should clearly display that your position and job responsibilities are related to your program of study.  You need to spend substantial time gaining new knowledge, skills, and abilities that enhance your employability after graduation.

  1. Work performed during the internship must be applicable and provide “value added” to your program of study;
  2. Internships with current employers may only be considered if the internship is in a different area (e.g. department, division) than your current job;
  3. Internships in a business owned by your own family and/or require that you directly report to a family member are not permitted.
  4. Students should seek to work no fewer than 135 total hours, though a minimum of 250 hours of work is recommended.  Students completing a major in Hospitality should check with their department for specific hour requirements.

In cases where the applicability of an internship is unclear, the department chair or program director will be asked to make a final determination.  As an important note: the job description is far more important than the job title for determining whether an internship is applicable.

General Policies

  1. All internships performed within the U.S. or a student’s home country are awarded three (3) credit hours.
  2. Students will be allowed to register for a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours (including internship hours) during the semester of his/her internship.
  3. Students may only apply one internship for credit to the major and minor requirements.  A single internship may not be “counted twice” for two different majors or minors.  A second internship may be completed for the second major or minor, or for general elective credit.
  4. Students should complete the internship during the same term that academic credit is awarded.
  5. Applications for internship credit must be approved before the student starts working the semester begins.  Internship credit is not awarded retroactively.

Application and Deadlines

Applications for academic credit are only accepted via Handshake.  Make sure to use our specific Parker College application.  There are separate applications for undergraduate and graduate students.

Visit Handshake through this link or Your MyGeorgiaSouthern homepage
See the “How-to” Guide for Navigating to the Application

Deadlines for submitting applications during the 2020-2021 Academic Year are as follows:

  • Fall 2020 – August 12, 2020
  • Spring 2021 – January 6, 2021
  • Summer 2021 – May 10, 2021

CO-OP Credit

Students not eligible to earn academic credit for their internship can still register their experience.  This will ensure the experience is officially noted on your transcript and validated by the university.

Students who register their internship will enroll in COOP credits, which have zero cost.  Please note that these credits do not apply to degree or major requirements.

Students interested in this option should contact Ms. Caitlyn Cofer (ccofer@georgiasouthern.edu) in the Office of Career and Professional Development, or visit their website.

International Students

Students with F or J status are able to participate in internship activities. During an internship, Georgia Southern University remains the authorized student’s sponsor, and the student maintains their current status.  An employer does not have to provide any type of visa sponsorship.  Georgia Southern University must authorize the student to engage in any type of employment, to include internships. 

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is the most common type of work authorization for internships and must be provided whether a student is earning academic credit or COOP hours.  CPT authorization must also be provided before a student begins their employment.  Unauthorized employment can cause you to lose your status! When CPT is authorized, you will be issued an updated I-20 that displays this work authorization.

How can I apply for CPT?

You should apply for CPT using the application in the ISSS Portal of MyGeorgiaSouthern.  You should submit your CPT application after you receive an approval email from Handshake regarding your internship request.

What else should I know about CPT?

Authorization for CPT:

  • Can only begin after your first academic year is complete;
  • Is for full-time or part-time work;
  • May be paid or unpaid;
  • Can be located anywhere in the U.S.;
  • Must be relevant to your major/program of study;
  • Requires that a student be enrolled in an internship course.  If academic credit is not available, a student may seek to pursue COOP hours.

Students should also be aware that there is no time limit to CPT, but engaging in full-time CPT for more than 364 days will impact later eligibility for post-completion OPT.

For more information about CPT and its regulations, students should speak to an advisor in and review the complete regulations posted by the Office of International Student Admissions and Programs.

For Employers

Georgia Southern Parker College of Business interns bring fresh perspective, the latest knowledge, and energy to your operation.  Many organizations employ interns for specific fields of work and projects, and hiring an intern is a great way to identify candidates for future full-time positions.

Majors

Students from the following undergraduate majors in the Parker College of Business are readily available to participate in an internship:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Hospitality Management
  • Information Systems
  • Logistics/Supply Chain Management
  • Management
  • Marketing

Each student should have the opportunity to add value to their degree, and students in all fields are encouraged – and in some cases required – to complete an internship for credit.

Compensation

Unpaid internships are acceptable, but we suggest offering students a fair salary during the internship period; this is often paid as an hourly wage.  The goal is to commit to student interns and provide an experience that adds value to their program of study: increased practical knowledge, skill, and abilities that are developed by working alongside and being treated as other employees.

Timing and Schedules

For planning purposes, internships typically run according to the university’s scheduled Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.  (Please note that students who elect to earn academic credit for their experience must apply prior to the start of the term in which they plan to earn credit, and must work their hours during the term in which are enrolled for credit.  They are also required to limit the number of additional courses they concurrently complete while enrolled for internship credit.)

The length of an internship and the number of hours worked are determined at the discretion of the employer based on your needs.  We do encourage students to seek out internships of a substantial nature, though, since many students elect to earn credit hours to apply to their degree requirements.  A range of 200-250 hours is recommended.

Typically Fall and Spring internships will be part-time (roughly 20 hours per week), while Summer internships are often full-time (roughly 40 hours) over the course of the term.

Employer Responsibilities

Should you choose to take on a Parker College of Business intern, the following are expected of all employers:

  • Provide the intern with carefully planned, varied assignments that enhance their degree program objectives.  Unskilled, clerical labor should not comprise the bulk of an intern’s expected workload;
  • Prepare a written job description;
  • Verify the student’s arrival to the internship site and notify the internship coordinator if the student departs the internship prior to the agreed upon end date;
  • Supervise the intern’s work in a manner that adds value to the learning experience;
  • Explain work rules and standards of conduct to the intern at the start of the internship;
  • Complete an evaluation of the intern’s performance and review said evaluation with the intern.

Advertising an Internship

All employers are welcome to list an open internship position via Handshake with the Office of Career and Professional Development.

For assistance with accessing Handshake or working with the Parker College to offer an internship opportunity, please contact Danielle L. Smith, Director of Experiential Learning & Student Engagement.  She can be reached via email (daniellesmith@georgiasouthern.edu) or phone (912.478.6047).

Conclusion

The best advice anyone could offer on internships is to start early; don’t wait until the last minute!  A successful internship takes time and planning.  The process starts with research regarding potential internship sponsors, polishing your résumé, and submitting a thorough and error-free application.  Qualification interviews often follow where important considerations like the venue, job description, beginning and ending dates, and training opportunities are discussed.

Internships continue to be increasingly popular with Parker College of Business students.  Make plans, now, to join the growing ranks!

Last updated: 4/6/2021