Employer Frequently Asked Questions

Employer's Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Internship/Co-ops

1. What is an internship/co-op?

Internships and cooperative education (co-op) are both planned, out-of-classroom work experiences in which students can apply classroom learning in a work environment.

Common elements of each

  • Both have an academic component: Internships receive credit for one semester, whereas co-ops can be repeated. However, while a co-op is a course that appears on a student’s transcript, it does not have credits associated with it.
  • Each can be full-time or part-time. Minimum for each is one semester (15 weeks)

2. Why should I consider an Internship/Co-op?

Hiring a student for an internship or co-op enables you to:

  • "Test drive" potential future employees to maximize hiring opportunities
  • Gain a fresh perspective on your business
  • Obtain help with short-term projects
  • Develop relationships with faculty, staff, students, and the University community
  • Allow current employees to work on higher-level tasks
  • Allow staff to develop management skills as an intern/co-op supervisor

3. What level student can I hire?

Any student who meets the CBA's internship/co-op academic requirements is available for hire. Our students are hard working individuals at varying levels of academic preparation (sophomores, juniors, seniors, master's). All CBA students are encouraged to complete one or more internship/co-op experiences.

4. What is the duration of an internship/co-op?

In many cases, this decision is up to the student, academic department, and employer. In general, assignments should last for one semester (15 weeks). However, the quality of the experience is far more important than its length. In addition, some students may be available to intern full-time during winter break (December to the beginning of January) or may wish to work full-time during the summer. Students’ schedules usually change from one semester to the next, which may change availability.

5. How many hours should a student work?

During the school year, we recommend an average of 16 hours/week, as the students have rigorous classes. Accounting students must work 40 hours per week.

6. When should I start planning?

Employers who start planning early will enhance their chances of hiring top students. Internships and co-ops are on the school-semester calendar, so employers should post open positions at least one semester prior to the anticipated start date. For example, if you need a summer intern/co-op then make sure your position is posted no later than January of that year.

7. Do students receive credit?

Students can seek academic credit for their internships. Credit is arranged only with prior approval from the CBA.

8. Are internship/co-op students paid?

Our internship/co-op students typically are paid for their work, although we recognize that some high quality and career-related positions are unpaid. Employers should consult with their Human Resources Department as well as the U.S. Department of Labor and Wage Division.

9. How do I develop duties/responsibilities for students if I’ve never had an intern/co-op?

As with full-time positions, a detailed job description is important. While students recognize that many internship/co-op positions include some administrative work, internships need to also provide useful, career-related work. Once a student is hired, they should receive an orientation to the organization and follow all company Human Resources policies. Consult with the Internship Coordinator about creating an internship position.

10. How do I find an Intern/Co-op student?

Successful employers use multiple avenues to reach our students. Some options available to employers include: posting positions in Handshake, hosting a student information table or session in the CBA encouraging current employees or interns to share their experience with their peers; participating in participating in University sponsored events, and reaching out to our student organizations.