University internships benefit students and employers: Part 1

Students and employers may find mutual benefits through a variety of college internships widely available today.

College internships provide an opportunity for students to participate in a supervised learning experience in a real business setting. Internships are available in a variety of operations such as businesses, non-profit organizations, government and education. They may be full-time, part-time, paid or unpaid. A formal internship will usually involve agreements between the employer and university or college and provide academic credit upon successful completion.

“Career-based internships are invaluable to both students, employers and even faculty,” according to Luke Reese, Associate Professor at Michigan State University. “For students, internships are a way to test and develop a career-based network and to discover if they are headed in the right professional direction. For employers, internships are a way of developing their employee pipeline while getting short term projects staffed and completed. In addition, internships can be used as a test of potential future employee compatibility which has a time limit and limited financial obligation. For faculty, interns return to the classroom better prepared for study as they have knowledge of real-world applications and how academic preparations apply.” 

A 2008 internship experience with Michigan Works! Berrien Cass Van Buren eventually lead Michigan State University Business Administration graduate, Dan Peat, to a career within the organization, including being the point person for the new Intern to Work Program. Peat worked in Chicago for several years following his post-graduate internship. “Though I didn’t end up hiring on right away, the experience made me buy into the mission of the organization, and I never forgot that,” said Peat.

For information about internships, contact Jill Cords, Career Services Specialist, at Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at, or visit, a comprehensive resource for employers and students.

Related article: Michigan employers can set up student internships now: Part 2

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