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Faculty Coordinators - Frequently Asked Questions

Employers

What benefits will my business or organization gain by having an internship program?

There are many benefits an organization can gain by having an internship. Students usually are energetic and eager to learn many things. They are up-to-date on the latest theories and patterns in their particular field. With this experience, student employees can help bring exciting change to an organization. Internship programs are highly cost efficient for employers. You can recruit new full-time employees from your pool of interns. By trying the intern out in the company prior to hiring them for full-time, you ensure that you are hiring only the best workers for your company. Other are listed in the Employer Benefits section.

How much of a time commitment will hosting an intern require?

The amount of time required for an intern varies for each company. There typically is more time needed before the internship begins and at the beginning stage of the internship. The initial time commitment consists of hiring the student(s). Once an intern is selected, training of the intern is needed. Some companies need more time to train or orient a student than others. Once the student is trained, the time commitment tends to decrease. The remaining time commitment will consist of regular meetings between the supervisor and the student.

How do I advertise an internship or co-op with the University?

First, develop a job description for the position, including work responsibilites, qualifications needed, dates and location for the position, salary, and applications procedures. Next, post the position with the Career Center. You may do this by phone (207-581-1359), fax (207-581-3003), mail (5748 Memorial Union, Orono, ME 04469-5748), or post it directly into our database yourself. Once the Career Center receives your listing, we will actively promote your position to students and faculty using UMaine’s First Class Conferencing System.

If a student wants to do an internship for credit what are my organization’s responsibilities?

If a student wants academic credit for an internship, the organization will have to help the student develop a learning contract. Other responsibilities include supervision and evaluation of the student. The Employer Responsibilities section of this guide will further answer this question.

How much are co-op and intern students paid?

The pay range varies depending on the industry, a student’s major, and the skill level required to perform the job, among other things. The student and the employer arrange the rate of pay. Some internships are performed on a volunteer basis, while others pay a stipend for the work that is completed. Ultimately the pay rate is determined by the company’s ability to finance additional personnel. If you would like help with determining an appropriate pay range, please feel free to contact the Career Center – we can advise you of the “going rate” based on similar positions posted at UMaine.

Are there resources for a company to help pay for hiring co-op or intern student?

Non-profit organizations are eligible for help from the federal work-study program. With proof of non-profit status, this program will allow the organization to pay 50% of the intern’s salary while the federal government pays the other 50%. Companies that utilize this option would be able to hire only students that have been given federal work-study as part of their financial aid package. Contact the Office of Student Employment at 207-581-1349 for more information.

How do students find out about co-ops and internship positions that are available?

The University of Maine has a Co-op/Internship Database that students can search. The database is accessible from our website. All of the internships that we receive from companies are entered into the database. If a company is coming on-campus to interview for a co-op or intern student we also utilize the First Class E-mail system to inform students and the faculty coordinators of interview dates, application deadlines, and the job description.

Can I interview on-campus for interns and co-op students?

Companies can come on-campus to interview students for internships or co-ops. For more information about the process of on-campus interviewing check out our Information for Employers. You can set up an interview date and have your questions clarified by calling the Career Center at 207-581-1353.

Students

I would like to find an internship, how should I begin?

The best way to start your internship search is to determine what career field and geographic location interests you. To search for internships, begin by utilizing the Career Center’s database, check it on a weekly basis. Check with your academic department; many academic departments maintain bulletin boards and notebooks announcing current internship opportuniities. If you would like some help finding an internship, call the Career Center at 581-1359 for an individual appointment.

Will doing an internship really help me when I am searching for full-time employment?

Yes, an internship experience is highly regarded by employers. It helps you to gain skills that are relevant to your particular field of interest. Sometimes internship positions can turn into full-time employment if the right circumstances are in place. Another way that internships help you when you are searching for full-time jobs is the experience you gained completing the job search process. You have acquired cover letter writing and resume writing skills. You will also be more relaxed at full-time employment interviews if you have gone through the process during the search for internships.

What benefits will I receive from doing an internship?

You will develop many skills by completing real work experiences. Other benefits can include better starting salaries, an integration of classroom experiences with employment experiences, and more. For a more complete list, check out the Student Benefits section of this guide.

How do I get academic credit for my internship?

After you have accepted an offer for an internship you need to sign up for the field experience course in your particular major. You then need to meet with your faculty coordinator to develop a learning contract that you need to fulfill in order to receive credit. The faculty coordinator must approve the internship prior to the start of the internship or co-op; no academic credit will be granted after the fact.

If I have not declared a major, can I still do an internship or co-op?

Students who have not declared a major are eligible for internships or co-ops. Some of the jobs require specific majors or backgrounds in a specific field, but many of the jobs can be performed by students who have undeclared majors. Internships are great ways to explore various careers. Doing an internship while you are undecided might help to clarify a career field for you to pursue.

Can I do an internship or co-op as a first-year student?

It is never too early to start to gain experience in your chosen field of study, however many companies require that these positions be filled by sophomores, juniors, or seniors. This should not discourage first-year students from seeking out experiences that are related to your major. Some companies are willing to hire first-year students. It can be especially helpful to find a summer job working for a company that is in your field of interest. Even if this job is not doing the exact type of work that you want to be doing, it can help you get your foot in the door. It may also give you a better chance of landing an internship or co-op with this company or another company in the same industry.

If I apply for an internship or co-op job, am I guaranteed to get one?

A student is not guaranteed an internship or co-op. Though there are many internships available, geographic location, field of interest, pay rate, dates of availability, and employer requirements are all factors in getting an internship. The process of finding an internship is much like that of finding a full-time job. The applicant needs to be persistent, resourceful, and creative to find an internship or co-op that meets all needs.

Can I receive credit for work that I have done in previous semesters that is related to my major?

No, in order to receive credit for an internship or co-op you must be signed up for a field experience course while you are working on the job.

Can I receive financial aid if I’m doing an internship or co-op?

It depends on the total number of credit hours you are enrolled in for that term. You must be enrolled at least half time to receive Federal Financial Aid* (six credit hours for undergraduate students). If the co-op is for less than six credit hours and you are not taking any additional courses, you are not eligible for financial aid. If you are doing a co-op for three credit hours and taking a three-credit class, you would be enrolled half time and therefore eligible for financial aid. If the co-op or internship is worth six or more hours, you are eligible for financial aid.

*In some cases Federal Pell Grant recipients are eligible for a Pell Grant even if enrolled less than half-time.

If my co-op or internship is only for three hours and I’m not taking any additional classes, can my Federal Stafford Loans be deferred?

Yes. A student who is completing a co-op or internship is automatically reported to his/her Stafford Loan lender as being enrolled full-time. As a result, Stafford Loans are deferred for that period of time. A student is not eligible to receive new Stafford Loans during this time unless he/she is enrolled at least half time. Each student’s case is different. We strongly recommend that you contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you are planning to participate in a co-op or internship program.

Am I obligated to work for my employer after graduation?

There are no guarantees that you will be offered a job at the end of your internship or co-op. However if you are offered a job, you are not obligated to work for the employer after graduation. An internship or co-op job is a great time to determine if you would enjoy working full-time for the company or organization.

Faculty

Are students covered by liability insurance?

University of Maine students who are enrolled in cooperative education, internship, field experience, or practice work/learning courses are covered by the University liability insurance plan. A cerificate of insurance may be obtained by employers by contacting Lorraine Wentworth at the Risk Management office in Facilities Management. Requests must be made in writing , by fax (207-581-2673) or email (lorraine.wentworth@umit.maine.edu). Employers should give a simple description and dates; the contact person and full address. this certificate is only necessary for off-campus employers. Students working on campus are covered by the University and no certificate is needed.

How do I report student placement information?

Please forward theto the Career Center via campus mail or First Class to Janice Madore the information needed (course number/credits, student’s name, job title, and employer). This information updates and expands our potential/active co-op employer database as well as provides descriptive grade transcript information for the Office of Student Records. It is extremely important to students that their co-op/internship descriptive information be included on their transcripts; sometimes it can even help them earn a larger salary with their first job after graduation. Your students will thank you for providing this information in a timely manner!

How does the Career Center help students seeking internships/co-ops?

The Career Center provides individual career counseling and job search advising for students seeking a cooperative education or internship (career related) work experience. The Career Center has a co-op folder on FirstClass, as well as a database found on the Career Center’s website, which lists new internships and co-op positions. The Center also provides assistance with job search strategies including: mock interviews, resume and cover letter critiques, and the Maine Mentor Program. The Maine Mentor Program is an excellent way to introduce students to mentors in their career field. For a student just getting started, we recommend calling the Career Center at 581-1359 to schedule an individual appointment with a staff member to learn how to best find an internship using Career Center resources.

 


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