Steps For Accepting an Internship

  1. Review the Internship Syllabus
  2. Complete the Google Form
  3. Update your Handshake profile
  4. International Students: Before you begin the internship search it is critical to attend the International Internship Workshop with Chris Andresen ( and comply with all of the required steps necessary to receive timely approval of your internship. Please see where you can login to "my folder" on the top left and find a sample employer letter and all the other instructions you need.
  5. For any concerns or questions, set up an appointment with Career Management.

What makes a great internship?

MBA internships are typically project based. You might think of interns as consultants that can bring an outside perspective to your organization. Sample projects might include a feasibility study of entering a new market, the preparation of a financial forecast or budget, the analysis of an organization's or a building's carbon footprint or a recommendation on ways to reduce and save an organization money. Our students want to make an impact and provide value to your organization.

Basic requirements for approval for the first semester of an internship

  • A minimum of 135 hours of work over a period of at least 8 weeks
  • An opportunity to build upon or extend the student's first year learning and student career goals. Core coursework and areas of interest include marketing, finance, data analysis, human resources, operations, project management, supply-chain management, consulting, business analyst or systems analysis, sustainability, not-for-profit management, accounting and public finance. Details on coursework can be found here.
  • A project that gives the student an opportunity for the student to solve an organizational or departmental problem and add 2-3 accomplishments to the students resume.
  • The ability to interface with upper management. Often internships include brown bag lunches with management or the opportunity to present the findings from their internships at a staff meeting.
  • The ability to interact with other staff on a regular basis. Remote opportunities must have a clear communication plan and be approved by the faculty internship advisor.
  • An organization (public, private or not-for-profit) that is established. NOTE: We do not approve business plan creation for start-up organizations.
  • Remuneration - Graduate students seek paid internship opportunities, although the amount of salary isn't as important as the opportunity to add value. The typical range is $12-$40/hour, with an average of $20-$25/hr. We do have a not-for-profit scholarship program specifically designed for not-for-profits that need an intern, but do not have the funding, consider applying for our Not-for-Profit Internship Scholarship Program. Question: Can Internships be unpaid? Answer: There is a very strict six point test for assessing whether an organization can offer an unpaid internship. NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) addresses this question here.

Internship Program Responsibilities

The internship program includes some coursework the student does in conjunction with the internship work they do. This coursework basically sets up a framework for a student to set out and monitor achievement of their objectives, goals, strategies, and tactics. It also enables a student to reflect upon their learning during the internship. A Faculty Internship Advisor(FIA) is assigned to each student/employer. The FIA communicates during the term with the employer, makes a site visit midway through the term, and acts as a mentor/advisor for the student.

In addition to a site visit during the semester, we also require that the employer provides a face-to-face or zoom-based performance evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. This should provide the student with both positive feedback as well as actionable suggestions for areas of improvement. We also require employers to complete an online assessment of the student. This assessment is also completed by the student. The data from this assessment provides key information to improve our curriculum each year.

Length of Internships

Although the minimum length of an internship is 8 weeks, the majority of students do a 10-12 week internship over the course of a semester. In addition, our students can complete multiple semesters of internship. Students who would like to complete three semesters of internship (summer, fall, spring) for the same employer may do so through our 3-2-2 internship program, which enables a student to earn 3 credits the first semester, 2 credits the second semester, and 2 credits the third semester. A three credit internship requires 135 hours of work. A two-credit internship requires 90 hours of work. Willamette's internship program allows our
students to apply up to 7 credits from internships toward their graduation requirements.

Willamette University

MBA Career Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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