What is an Internship?


What is an Internship?

An internship is a supervised work experience directly related to the student’s academic degree program (e.g., BIO or NRM). The internship takes place outside of the classroom, and is directed by a field supervisor and a Grand Valley faculty member. The internship may be full or part time, and may be a paid or volunteer work experience. An internship typically lasts for one semester, and can take place during the fall, winter, or spring/summer semesters. The internship must be planned with the faculty advisor and approved by the academic department the semester prior to when the experience will take place.

Internships provide students with opportunities to gain valuable career-related experience while earning credit towards their college degrees. Educational benefits of internships include learning new skills and applying existing knowledge in practical career situations. Internships allow students to explore a variety of career options, to develop realistic career goals and expectations, and to build professional relationships. In addition to gaining relevant experience and recommendations for future employment, students who successfully complete internships create the possibility of receiving an employment offer from a satisfied employer.

Credit-bearing internships may be initiated by the student, the faculty advisor, the internship sponsor, or the GVSU Career Services Office. The internship sponsor provides an opportunity for learning that is relevant to the student intern’s academic field. The internship sponsor also provides a field supervisor who directs the day-to-day activities of the intern and evaluates the student’s work performance at the end of the internship. Students also complete an academic component as assigned by the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor is responsible for final approval of the internship to ensure the experience meets departmental criteria, and assigns a final grade based upon the field supervisor’s performance evaluation, an internship evaluation completed by the student, and the assigned academic component work completed by the student. 

 Related Links:
GVSU Career Services Web Site: Internship postings, online internship evaluation forms, and other resources for students and employers interested in arranging an internship through GVSU. 
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) Web Site: Clearinghouse for a variety of quality conservation internships in over 50 disciplines throughout the United States. 
Procedures to Arrange and Complete an Internship: Procedures for students to follow to complete an internship through the Biology or Natural Resources Management Programs. 
Examples of BIO 490 Internship Sponsors
Biology Internship Course Descriptions
Examples of NRM 490 Internship Sponsors
Natural Resources Internship Course Descriptions 


Page last modified February 13, 2014