Internships

Group picture of people who visited the Kiewit Ethanol Plant at Rochelle, IL
Field trip to Kiewit Ethanol Plant

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Purpose

The purpose of an internship is to gain practical, on-the-job experience by working under the tutelage of an experienced professional. Each emphasis in the ITM degree requires at least three credits of internship, but you can take an additional five credits for technical elective credits. If you have a double emphais (e.g., BCM and BCSM), you must must take three credits of internship for each emphasis. An internship is for one semester. A co-op is an internship which lasts for two consecutive semesters: summer-fall, spring-summer, or fall-spring.

Fourty-six percent of our graduates tell us that their internship experience was "invaluable" to their success in their career. Another 29 percent tell us that it was of "high value". In other words, 75 percent of our graduates claim that the internship was very important to getting a great start in their careers.

The Players

  • Internship Coordinator — This is the chair of the industrial studies department.  The internship coordinator will assign the internship evaluators.
  • Internship Evaluator — Is a faculty member who is assigned to each intern by the Internship Coordinator. This person monitors the intern, reviews and evaluates the weekly progress reports, the employer midterm and final evaluations, and the final report on Desire2Learn.  This person also makes a site visit and grades the internship. This person may or may not be your academic advisor.   
  • Employer — This is the company, agency, or government entity who has hired the intern.
  • Worksite Supervisor —  This is the full time professional hired by the employer to whom the intern reports to.
  • Academic Advisor — This is the UW-Platteville faculty or staff person who is assigned by the chair of the industrial studies department to be the student’s advisor throughout his or her college career. All the internship application forms and paperwork are e-mailed as attachments to your academic advisor.  He or she must approve all the forms before they are forwarded to the department administrative assistant for permission to register.

Applying for An Internship

All the documents and forms discussed here are available for download on this web page.

  1. Read the Internship Handbook—at least humor us by giving it the heavy skim.  It contains information for you, the intern; plus, it contains information for your employer who is hiring you as an intern.  
  2. Set-up your UW-Platteville Password Self-Service.  This allows you to reset your password when it expires.  Your UW-Platteville password could expire while you are off-campus during your internship which would prevent you from submitting your weekly reports in Desire2Learn.  WARNING!  You cannot get a new password by calling or emailing to the UW-Platteville Help Desk.  The Help Desk will ask your academic advisor for verification.  Since faculty are not around during the summer, you will not be able to get a new password.
  3. Find an internship position.  This is your responsibility.
  4. Fill out the application paperwork.  Submit via email attachments (PDF files only) to your academic advisor.  Send both forms at once (your resume, Approval and Work Agreement Form).  Do not submit them piecemeal.  You do not need to sign the forms when you submit them via your UW-Platteville e-mail account. 
  5. Your advisor will review your paperwork.  If it is not complete and accurate, he or she will e-mail to you the required fixes so you can resubmit it. 
  6. Once your advisor approves of your paperwork, he or she will forward it to the department administrative assistant.  
  7. In unusual or special cases, the internship coordinator must approve the paperwork.  Once it meets their approval, they will forward it to the departmental administrative assistant. 
  8. The administrative assistant will enter the department approval in PASS.  She will notify you of this via your UW-Platteville e-mail account so you can actually register for the internship credits in PASS.
  9. WARNING!  By default, PASS will register you for one credit.  Make sure you enter the correct number of credits.  Double check to make sure you have enough credits in 3000 or higher courses.  If you are short, you may want to take additional internship credits.  (See FAQ below).  Once your internship begins, you cannot increase the number of credits.
  10. Two business days later, the internship course will appear on your Desire2Learn account.  You must upload all the paperwork (as PDFs) to the respective Desire2Learn dropboxes. 
  11. Once your employer has finalized what you will be doing, you need to complete the Goals and Learning Outcomes Form and submit it on Desire2Learn.  This form needs to be submitted no latter than the end of your first week of working as an intern.
  12. You are now ready to begin your internship.
  13. ATTENTION! Once you begin your internship, make sure you check your UWP email and the IS 4990 Internship class on D2L at least weekly—especially at the beginning.  If there are any problems or adjustments which must be made, the department will be using email and/or the D2L News to notify you.

Frequently asked questions

What are the requirements for taking an internship?

You must have completed the following courses: (a) English 1130 - Freshman Composition I, (b) English 1230- Freshman Composition II, (c) Speech 1010 - Public Speaking, (d) three credits of math, (e) Industrial Studies 2710 - Principles of Safety, and (f) 15 additional credits of Industrial Studies courses.  And of course you need to apply and complete all the paperwork.

How do I find an internship?

It is the responsibility of the student to find an internship position. There are several ways to find internship positions. The first way is attending the Career Fair every fall and spring semester. You need to attend several times to develop relationships with the employers. The second way is be an active member in the various student organizations. They bring in guest speakers and go on field trips. This a great way to build professional relationships.  Another way is to use contacts that you have from previous jobs and professional contacts that your parents, relatives, and friends may have.

How many hours of internship work must I do?

The intern must work 80 hours for each college credit hour to be earned. To earn three credits, the intern must work 240 hours or 6 weeks.

Can I quit my internship once I have worked enough hours?

No. The intern must work for the entire duration of the semester. Working less than a semester is blemish on the intern's professional résumé. Plus, it sours the employer from hiring interns in the future. Employers want a return on their investment of training an intern.

Can I quit submitting weekly reports once I have worked enough hours needed to meet the my credit hour requirements?

Most internship evaluators will let you quit writing the weekly reports once you have worked enough hours, but you need to ask your evaluator.  However, you should still keep a log of your activities for writing the final report.

Can I change the number of internship credits after the internship begins?

The answer is yes and no—it depends. You cannot increase the number of credits.  In the event that your employer loses a contract and does not have enough work for you to do, you can get the number of internship credits reduced at any time. Since this is beyond your control, you cannot be held accountable for this loss of work.

How many credits of internship should I take?

You must take at least 3 credits to meet graduation requirements.   You cannot have more than 8 credits of internship to count toward your degree.  Internship credits beyond 3 can be used to meet your technical elective requirements.  Students who started taking courses at UWP before the fall semester of 2014, must have at least 39 credits of courses numbered 3000 and above.  Students who started fall semester 2014 or later must have 42 credits of 3000 and above. 

What should I do if phone numbers, addresses, or other information on my forms change?

It is not uncommon for things to change; for example, you are transferred to a different work site. Merely update the respective form and resubmit it via Desire2Learn. It is very important that anything that may impact your site visit or your intern evaluator contacting you is kept current.

How should I name the files that I submit on Desire2Learn?

Since there are over 100 students interning every year, you must name your files as follows:  lastName_firstName_formName_versionNumber. PDF. Use the underscore rather than space to separate the various parts of the name. Desire2Learn does strange things with the space so an underscore is much better. Here is a sample file name:  Lincoln_Abraham_Resume_v3.pdf. Every time you update or modify the content of a file, kick up the version number by one.

What should I do if I submitted the wrong form or need to make fixes to files that I have already submitted to Desire2Learn?

It is very simple with the use of version numbers: (a) Make the fixes, (b) kick up the version number by one, and (c) resubmit it to the D2L Dropbox. You do not need to tell anybody to ignore the previously submitted file. We will always use the highest version number and throw way the lower version numbered files.

When will my intern evaluator for the summer be assigned to me?

It will usually be assigned during the second week of June. The internship coordinator sticks pins in a map to locate all the internship job sites. She clusters them to minimize the miles that need to be traveled. Most BCM interns will be visited by one of the BCM instructors, MTM by MTM, etc., but sometimes there will be some crossover to make travel efficient.

Why does PASS show that I received an "I" or "F" for my internship grade?

The end of the UWP semester usually occurs before you have completed your internship.  When this happens, the internship coordinator submits an "I" grade.  When you have completed and submitted your final report and your work supervisor has submitted the final evaluation, your assigned internship evaluator can do the final grading and submit a "Change of Grade" form.  If you don't meet the final deadline, the grading will get pushed back.  Eight weeks after the start of the next semester, all "I" grades automatically convert to an "F".  You don't want to miss the final deadline because having an "F" on your transcript when you start applying for jobs is a big blackeye for you.

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Industrial Studies: Common Pitfalls for Internships

Common Pitfalls
  1. Failing to register for your internship in PASS before the deadlines.  See the Academic Calendar as published by the Registrar for the various deadlines.
  2. Failing to register for the correct number of internship credits in PASS.  The default is 1, but most interns are taking 3 or more credits.
  3. Failing to submit your forms, weekly reports, employer evaluations, and final reports to the D2L dropboxes.  Submitting them to your advisor is not the final step.  These are not official until they are in the D2L dropboxes.
  4. Failing to ask questions when in doubt concerning any of the details about the internship.  Your academic adviser can help you find the answers.  You must ask. He cannot read your mind.
  5. Failing to make sure you have enough credits for graduation, enough credits for technical electives, and/or at least 42 credits of 3000 or higher courses.  You must take 3 credits of internship to graduate.  Any extra internship credits can be used to fulfill any or all of these three credit requirements.  Once the internship is started or completed, there is no way to get credit retroactively!
  6. Failing to get all the paperwork done before the end of the semester--that means the week before finals week.  Once finals begin, faculty seclude themselves to finish their grading.  Most faculty are on nine-month contracts. Once the semester is over, they are gone!  Many will not check their UWP email or be in the office until the start of the next semester.  If you don't have things done in time, you may have to wait until the next semester or redo your internship the following summer.
  7. Make sure you pay all the tuition for all your intern credits at the beginning of the term.  Waiting until later may result in a bureaucratic nightmare for you.

Industrial Studies: Virtual Desktop

Virtual Desktop

The virtual desktop (VDT) allows you to use special computer applications without having to use one of the computer labs on campus.  Here is a list of the software applications loaded on the VDT.  Active students, faculty, and staff can use the VDT.  Any computer connected to the internet can be set up to use the VDT.  To access the VDT, you must load a special client software on your computer.  This is like a specialize web browse.  The client software is free.

The following documents will help you get started using the VDT.

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