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Learn New Skills Through an Internship

Written by: Matt Lubega ‘ 20
Communication Studies Major | Leadership Studies Minor

 

Faiza Jama, Third-Year majoring in Computer Science with minors in Management Information Systems and Mathematics. In the summer of 2019, Faiza interned with Thrivent Financial as their Marketing and Insights Intern. A typical day in this role was working on various projects that consisted of gathering beneficial information and data for Thrivent.

 

Faiza was excited about this internship because she got to learn new tools that will benefit her in a future career. She learned tools like Python, which is a programming and coding language that is used for website development. Faiza had little experience working with Python entering her internship, but at the end of her internship, her Python skills improved tremendously.

 

Faiza related her struggles with the internship, “This internship was challenging but in a good way! Don’t be discouraged, struggling on projects can also be a form of learning. So any student who is looking for an internship or career that involves data should be prepared to find outside resources to support you throughout your work. It sounds weird, but a lot of YouTube videos on coding and research helped me out through my projects this summer.”

 

She also mentions the importance of problem-solving in an internship as “Your supervisor will be impressed with you if you’re able to problem-solve on your own. So utilizing your outside sources may be better than constantly asking your supervisor how to fix or do things. Still don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor questions or guidance if you’re stuck!”

 

After this internship experience, Faiza realized that coding daily may not be the best thing for her, but she enjoyed the market research aspect of this internship.

 

When asked about advice for students during the beginning of their internship Faiza states:

“Try to get to know the people in your workspace, You’ll never know which people can help you succeed or who could be a great resource. Also, you can meet life-long friends with other interns or staff!”

Faiza is a 2019 recipient of the Augsburg University Endowed Scholarship.

Find your own internship opportunity through Handshake or one of the many career fairs that are hosted throughout the year.

Finding a New Future by Being an Intern

Written by: Matt Lubega ‘ 20
Communication Studies Major | Leadership Studies Minor

 

Alexandria Avre is a Fourth-year majoring in Communication Studies. Alexandria is the current intern for BestPrep, which is a non-profit that provides students with career and financial skills. Alexandria is their Communication and Events intern for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.

 

A typical day in this position consists of creating clever social media posts, editing photos, and attending team meetings. Alexandria has always loved event planning, and this internship is aallowing her to gain real experience in planning, facilitating, and coordinating events for a larger audience. When events are approaching, Alexandria’s days can switch from social media related tasks to developing plans for decorations, food, rentals, and creating promotions for the events.

 

So far, Alexandria has assisted with two major events for BestPrep which was a luncheon and a fundraiser. This is where she was able to leverage her communication skills by coordinating and promoting the events. This allowed her to communicate internally and network with employees of BestPrep. The fundraiser event is where she put her social media marketing skills to the test to help promote the campaign.

 

Alexandria shares how she got this internship by volunteering for BestPrep during one of their summer events. This example shows how important networking and volunteering can be towards your future career. As she was actively seeking an internship and received a recommendation after volunteering.

 

When asked about how this internship would affect her future, Alexandria states: “Being an intern at BestPrep made me reconsider where I may end up in the future. Before I started, I had no idea how I would apply my major in the workforce or the route I may take.  During my time there I came to realize I enjoy being on the developmental side for events and value the concept of teamwork.”

For opportunities to explore careers and find jobs and internships visit Handshake.

Making the most of Augsburg’s Career Fair

I came to the career fair to solidify my future career

Hasna Ali ‘20 said about the fall Career and Internship Fair, “I came to the career fair to solidify my future career and with all of the amazing employers I met today I believe I achieved that goal”. Nearly 200 of Hasna’s peers joined her to engage with employers like Best Buy, U.S. Bank, 3M, Travelers, and Wells Fargo to search for their next internship or job at the On-Campus Career and Internship Fair hosted by the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work and supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Employers at this career fair are intentional about partnering with the Strommen Center and recruiting Augsburg students. Many of the employers participate in programming and events throughout the year to provide additional value to students by hosting discussions about career choices, offering technical training, and providing helpful tips about interviewing. 

The career fair is also an opportunity for students to explore career options and open up additional possibilities they were not considering or did not even know about. Reggie Agyen-Boateng ‘21 reflected, “I came in looking for internships related to Sociology and I realized that I can apply the skills that I have learned in my Sociology courses in other disciplines such as Marketing or Human Resources”. Engaging with employers is one way that students are able to identify jobs they might be interested in. Alumni and professionals coming to campus to speak to students also helps students explore career options and understand how their degree can lead to many different types of jobs.

I learned how to represent myself

The Career and Internship Fair also helps students grow as individuals and practice new skills. Ma’Rissa Rowe ‘21 said “Not only did I learn about internship opportunities I learned how to represent myself and be more confident in front of employers”. For many students, this event is the first time they have to present themselves in a professional setting to other professionals. It can be an anxiety provoking experience as noted by Simone Rask ‘20 who said,  “I was super nervous at first, but I used the Strommen Center’s resources and prep video to prepare myself to give my best first impression to employers”. Following the Career and Internship Fair students completed 88 on-campus interviews for jobs and internships with these employers. For students who have an interview coming up they may want to take a look at the interview prep resources on the Strommen Center’s website (https://www.augsburg.edu/strommen/interviewing/).

Even though 71% of employers are recruiting right now for 2020 jobs and internships there is still time to find an opportunity. Visit Handshake to see open internships and job opportunities and mark February 27, 2020 for the Minnesota Private College Career Fair.

International Students Steps to Register Internship & Augsburg Experience

UNDERGRADUATE – INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN F-1 STATUS

International students in F-1 status wishing to complete an off-campus internship opportunity, must register their internship for academic credit and apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) prior to beginning an internship experience. Below is a step by step guide to registering your internship experience. For additional information on regulations for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), please visit the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Employment page or contact an ISSS Advisor.

1.  Attend a CPT Group or 1:1 Advising Session

2.  Report Your Internship Site

3.  Complete One of the Following Registration Forms

  • INTERNSHIPS FOR CREDIT (2 or 4 credit): Internship Registration Form  We strongly recommend that you discuss your internship with your faculty supervisor prior to completing this registration form.  Each department has assignments that are required as part of your internship, so receiving approval in advance is important. Students registering for internships in PSY, URB, SOC, BUS have internship seminars required as part of your for credit internship. This form will automatically be sent to your faculty supervisor, department chair and the Strommen Center for approval.
  • 0-CREDIT INTERNSHIPS:  Complete the online Augsburg Experience Internship Form      (Minimum 80 hours per semester are required) Schedule a 15-minute virtual registration appointment with Sandy Tilton in Handshake  prior to completing the online approval form.

4.  Meet an ISSS Advisor for CPT Authorization

  • Bring the completed Curricular Practical Training Request and Verification Form   and the job offer that includes the position title, employer name and address, work hours/week, etc. to your meeting with your ISSS advisor.
  • You will receive a new I-20 form with the CPT authorization printed on the 2nd page. Page 2 of this new I-20 form serves as the legal proof to your off-campus employment eligibility during the time period you are authorized.

5.  You May Begin Your Internship.

  • Due to government regulations, you must have CPT authorization before you begin your internship. You can not start training, orientation, or work before you complete your paperwork with Strommen and ISSS.

Work Connections (AU Students)

  • Work Connections is available for Adult Undergraduate (AU) and Weekend & Evening College (WEC) students only.
  • The AU/WEC Work Connections option will meet the same criteria and goals of all other Augsburg Experience options but allows AU/WEC students to utilize their rich and often extensive work history to meet the requirement.
  • Students who are currently working full or part-time will have the option of registering their related (current) work experience in lieu of an internship.
  • The 0-credit Work Connections course will include writing learning goals that integrate experience with classroom learning and utilize reflection assignments based on the current work experiences/jobs of the students.

WORK CONNECTIONS REGISTRATION PROCESS

  • Identify opportunities with your employer to gain experience in a new functional area, or enhance a skill set or experience related to your major.
  • Consult with the Strommen Center staff prior to the term you wish to register to discuss requirements and to have your proposed work experience approved. You can schedule an appointment in Handshake for an in-person meeting or a phone conversation.

Internship & Augsburg Experience FAQs

If you are thinking about doing an internship, check out some of the most Frequently Asked Questions below.  If you have additional questions, please make an appointment to speak with a career coach in Handshake.

Does my internship satisfy the Augsburg Experience?

  • If you complete an off-campus upper division internship for-credit that will automatically satisfy the Augsburg Experience graduation requirement.
  • If you would like to use an internship not-for-credit to fulfill the Augsburg Experience requirement, please meet with Sandy Tilton in the Strommen Center prior to beginning your internship to have your experience approved and set learning goals.

 Can I be paid for my internship?

  • Internships done for academic credit may be paid or unpaid.
  • Some internships that are unpaid may require you to take them for-credit.

I’m an international student, are there additional steps needed to register my internship?

  • International students in F-1 status wishing to complete a paid off-campus internship opportunity, must register their internship for academic credit and apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) prior to beginning an internship experience. For additional information on regulations for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), please visit the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Employment page or contact an ISSS Advisor.
  • Unpaid internships in your field of study can be used to fulfill your Augsburg Experience graduation requirement. Paid internships for credit will also satisfy the Augsburg Experience graduation requirement.

How am I graded on my internship?

  • Internships may be graded on a Traditional or P/N basis. In some departments, internships are graded on the P/N basis only.
  • At the beginning of the  internship you will write Learning Goals to outline the academic expectations for the internship, this must be approved by your faculty supervisor.  Most faculty require students to complete a daily/weekly journal, an extensive final reflection paper, a portfolio, final evaluations, and other assignments as related to the major.  The faculty awards a grade or pass based on how the student meets the expectations outlined in the Learning Goals.

 How many credits can I receive for completing an internship?

  • Students can receive 4 credits or 2 credits for an internship.
    • 4 credits involves a minimum time commitment of 160 total hours (on average, 12 hours per week).
    • credits requires a minimum time commitment of 80 total hours
  • Internships registered for credit are counted in your semester course load, you can have up to 19 credits per semester without additional charge.

How many internships can I do?

  • Student can complete up to 16 credits of internship courses to count towards graduation.
    • If a student wants to complete additional credit at the same internship site, the site must offer new learning opportunities.
    • Students can complete as many internships (not for credit) as desired.

When should I start looking for an internship site?

  • Most employers begin recruiting one season ahead (ex. employers will hire at the beginning of fall semester for a spring internship).
  • Some employers (particularly large companies) with competitive internship programs start hiring interns up to 9 months in advance.
  • Check out our online resources for links to find internship opportunities.

Can I get academic credit for an internship I completed in the past?

  • No, academic credit is awarded for intentional learning achieved, not for the work experience alone.
  • If you want academic credit, you need to register your internship at the beginning of the experience and work with a faculty member in setting up learning goals and assignments to complete during the internship.

Can I use my job for an internship?

  • There are cases where a part-time or full-time job could be used as an internship.  Prerequisites include:
    • You need to have opportunity to learn something new above and beyond your past responsibilities, you cannot get credit for work performed in the past.  For most people this means taking on an extra project or doing work for a different division.
    • The work needs to be related to your major
    • Your supervisor must be supportive of this as a learning opportunity.
  • The site must be approved by a faculty adviser and department chair in order to be considered an academic internship.

How do I know what course number to register for?

  • Internship course numbers are based on if the internship is on-campus or off-campus, how many credits you are taking, and if it is a lower or upper division credit.
  • In most academic departments, students can register for either lower division or upper division credit for internships.
    • Upper division internships are closely connected to students’ majors and are done in the junior or senior year.
    • Lower division internships allow for an academically connected career exploration experience during freshman or sophomore year.
On Campus (2 credit) On campus (4 credit) Off Campus (2 credit) Off Campus (4 credit)
Lower Division 198 196 197 199
Upper Division 398 396 397 399

Site Supervisor Best Practices

The Strommen Career & Internship Center at Augsburg University appreciates your willingness to supervise an Augsburg University Intern. Thank you for providing a valuable on-the-job learning experience for one of our students. We believe you and your organization will receive capable assistance, enthusiasm, new ideas, and other numerous benefits.

We understand and appreciate your investment of time in supervising a student. Your important guidance, training, and feedback are the essential components that make an Internship different from other part-time jobs. Students receiving internship credit for their work experience hope to apply classroom learning to actual situations, learn new skills and understanding, and test out career interests. In this relationship, you become a supervisor/teacher and the student a worker/learner, working together to achieve your organization’s goals and the student’s learning objectives. Additionally, you gain the personal satisfaction of helping prepare a future member of your professional community.

To encourage the best possible work and educational experience, we suggest the following best practices for supervisors.

ORIENTATION      

  • Provide a position description. Explain specific duties and expected standards of performance.
  • Clarify schedule, acceptable attire, deadlines, degree of independence, and to whom the student will report.
  • Give the student a tour of the office and company/organization. Introduce the student to key personnel and point out supplies, resources and basic office procedures.
  • Describe your organization and your department. Supply an organizational chart if available. Explain the student’s role within the organization. Relate how your department fits into the big picture.
  • Offer the student websites, brochures, newsletters, manuals and reports that can provide information on your organization’s purpose, development, policies and activities.
  • Discuss with the student the learning objectives that she/he would like to accomplish.

ACADEMIC CREDIT

Augsburg students have the option of registering for academic credit for their work-based internship experience. If the student wishes to receive credit, he/she is required to work with a faculty member and develop specific goals and objectives for the work experience, a strategy for achieving each objective, and a method of evaluation.

SUPERVISION

  • Schedule regular meetings to go over assignments, answer questions, and offer feedback. Encourage the student to contribute ideas and suggestions.
  • Review performance on an informal, on-going basis. Discuss strengths and areas for improvement. Most students welcome constructive feedback on their performance. Don’t forget positive reinforcement. Many students are concerned about how they are doing, but may feel uncomfortable about asking.
  • Adjust the level of responsibility, if necessary. Add new tasks or provide more training.
  • Include the student in some staff meetings, if at all possible. Explain why and how certain departmental or company decisions are made.
  • Share your own career path. Introduce students to professional literature and resource persons in your organization. Recommend further experiences or courses in your field. Encourage and facilitate similar discussions with other professionals.

EVALUATION

Evaluation Feedback: We ask you to assess the student’s performance at the end of the experience using the evaluation form that will be provided by Augsburg University (an internal organization evaluation form is also acceptable). We encourage you to discuss your evaluation with the student. Please discuss your perception of accomplishments and the student’s level of knowledge and skills and how this may affect future education and career goals. An optional letter of recommendation, written on your company letterhead, may be valuable to the student for future post-graduation employment or graduate school.

* * * * *

We hope you find working with an Augsburg student an exciting and rewarding experience. Your efforts in this working partnership are greatly appreciated.

If you have any concerns or comments, please contact: strommen.internships@augsburg.edu

Faculty Internship Resources

Internship experiences take on a wide variety of forms depending on the discipline, and the interests and needs of the student and the employer. Despite the technical differences in each experience there are some key guiding principles in encouraging student learning. The following resources are designed to support faculty and academic departments in developing internship guidelines and standards for the internships they oversee.

The following are the required steps for students completing internships for academic credit at Augsburg University.

Registration

  • After a student secures an internship site, they will meet with their faculty sponsor to receive approval to earn credit for the site and position. During this meeting, student and faculty discuss potential learning goals, department criteria, and academic requirements for the experience.
  • Faculty will indicate anticipated assignments on the internship registration form, but can be edited later on the internship goals form.
  • Department chairs will review and sign off on the registration form.
  • The Strommen Center provides the final signature and explains the university’s internship requirements with the student.
  • Students report the internship site and supervisor information online and watch an orientation video to complete the registration process.
  • Students should register their internship during the term in which they complete the majority of their hours.

Internship Goals

  • Within the first 3 weeks of starting the internship, students are required to submit their official Internship Learning Goals Form online. A copy of the form will be sent to the student and the faculty sponsor once received.  Preview the questions before filling out the online form.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 80 hours (2 credits) or 160 hours (4 credits) on their internship site.

Evaluation

  • Final evaluations are sent to the student and the internship site supervisor in the last 2 weeks of the semester.
  • Copies of both the student’s self-evaluation and the supervisor’s final evaluation will be sent to the faculty sponsor and the student after they are completed.
  • Faculty sponsors award a traditional grade or “pass” based on the student’s academic reflection work completed during the internship.

Best Practices for Internships

  • Provide samples of internship goals for your discipline, here is a guide for Developing Internship Learning Goals to help students get started.
  • Sample guidelines for Internship journal entries.
  • Sample index for an Internship Portfolio.
  • Offer a department based or interdisciplinary internship seminar to encourage dialogue between students about their internship experience.
  • Conduct a site visit to see the student in their internship environment.
  • Hold a final meeting in-person with the student to discuss the internship.
  • Ask students to update their resume.
  • Encourage students to ask for references (if applicable) and connect with their supervisor through LinkedIn.
  • Additional tips on encouraging final reflection for students: Reflecting on your internship.

Staff in Strommen Career & Internship Services are available to meet with your department to share additional internship best practices. Please contact us at strommen.internships@augsburg.edu or call 612-330-1148 to schedule a meeting with your department.

External Resources for Internship Best Practices

INTERNSHIP & AUGSBURG EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

Watch this 2 minute video

Submit Learning Goals

  • Completed form due within 3 weeks from internship start date.
  • Preview the questions before filling out the online form.
  • PSY 400 & SOC 399 students will complete their learning goals in class. All others will fill out the following form.
  • Learning Goals Form.

Final Internship Evaluations

  • As you wrap up your internship, final evaluations will be emailed directly to you and your site supervisor to complete two weeks prior to the end of the semester.
  • Please contact the Strommen Center if you would like your evaluations sent earlier – strommen.internships@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1148.

Reflection Assignment

  • 2 or 4 credit internships: your faculty supervisor will determine the assignments and due dates.
  • 0 credit Augsburg Experience: you will turn in a final reflection paper at the end of the semester. Check your Moodle course for instructions and due dates.