Employers look for candidates that already have relevant career experience. Participating in an internship is your chance to gain that competitive edge.
Internships can be known by a variety of names, including cooperative education (co-op), field experience, service learning, or practicum. Regardless of the name, they allow you to receive academic credit for working with businesses, community groups, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
If you are interested in an internship, first talk to your faculty advisor to discuss how internships fit with your curriculum and career goals. Then meet with an advisor in the Office of Career Services in Bailo Hall. They can help you identify and compete for internship opportunities.
Am I eligible to participate in an internship?
Eligibility to participate in an internship varies from major to major. In general, you should:
- Be a junior, senior, or graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences or Business Administration. All hospitality and tourism management majors can compete for internships.
- Have advised electives in your major available.
- Maintain a minimum 2.0 QPA (some departments and employers have higher requirements).
- Be approved to participate by your academic department chair.
How do I find internship opportunities?
- Your faculty advisor often has contacts in employment fields related to your major.
- The Office of Career Services will help you prepare an effective résumé, develop job search strategies and forward your résumé to employers who are seeking interns. Here is a list of some recent employers that have hosted Niagara University interns.
- Check the Get Hired Portal regularly.
- Join professional associations (SHRM or the Accounting Society, for example) related to your major or career goals.
- Regular employment may also qualify for an internship. Based on your job description, your academic department chair may determine whether or not employment qualifies for academic credit.
How do I register for an internship?
To receive academic credit for an internship, you need to register and pay tuition. Depending on your major and the type of experience, you either register through your faculty advisor or through the career services office. Tuition for the internship is included in your semester bill.
Your professor will develop a syllabus that specifies the goals and requirements of the experience and you will be required to prepare a reflective project to show what you have learned.
In addition, since you are representing the university to an employer, as an intern you must:
- Abide by the regulations and policies of both the university and your employer.
- Remain at the assignment for the contract period and meet the required number of contact hours (between 120 — 200) or risk loss of credits and an unsatisfactory grade.
- Not sign a liability, indemnity or hold-harmless agreement with the employer on behalf of the university. Any such agreement must be forwarded to the career services office.
- Immediately notify the university if your work status or contact information changes.
- Show evidence of health and accident insurance.
- If you accept a paid position, you will have to pay tax on your earnings and when you complete your internship, you cannot collect unemployment insurance.