Ideally, every Western Michigan University student will gain work experience in their chosen field before graduation. Almost 90 percent of our undergraduate degree programs require or strongly recommend an internship before graduation. In fact, many students complete more than one internship by the time they graduate.
An internship is considered educational—a chance to learn the skills and practice with the supervision of a more experienced professional. Most internships are paid experiences, where students are performing work for the benefit of the employer. A few exceptions exist, for example, intern teaching is non-paid and required prior to earning teaching certification. In these cases, the University is closely involved in the internship, and the student must complete the experience satisfactorily to receive credit.
Advice for employers:
- The U.S. Department of Labor has identified six criteria to help students and employers determine if an intern can be non-paid. View the Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Interested in hosting an intern or several interns in your organization? The Internship Toolkit is the perfect guide to the process. Review the WMU internship guidelines and WMU internship timeline.
- Call our office, (269) 387-2745, for a consultation about the best program(s), majors or student candidates to fill your internship. You can post the position, search resumes, and connect with faculty and student organizations.
Advice for students seeking an internship:
- Contact your academic advisor to determine if an internship is required in your field of study; identify the requirements and time frame.
- Visit Career Services to prepare your application materials, identify possible internship sites and practice interviewing before the real thing.
- Review the Internship eBook to get advice from students who have held internships recently; tips from experts on resumes, cover letters, interviews, networking, choosing between
internships, and how to stand out at your internship; and best places to work for an internship.
- Register with BroncoJOBS and other internship resources to be alerted to opportunities as they are posted. Consider registering with the following:
Use BroncoJOBS, the Career and Student Employment Services job and internship tool to find opportunities for you.
Find internships in Michigan through a unique online matching system that connects students and employers.
Idealist.org helps you find internships in the nonprofit sector.
GoAbroad.com helps you find internships all over the world.