The Department of Technology encourages our students to seek out opportunities for both internship and cooperative (co-op) education experiences. Internships and co-ops are similar opportunities for students to work in regional businesses and industries to gain a "real world" experience. They are similar in that they are both composed of employment experience and students are usually paid for their time, but differ, in that academic credit is available for an internship and include regular visits by the University Internship Coordinator, weekly seminars, and additional reporting by the student. Co-ops are largely supervised by the company and do not require weekly seminars on campus.
Internships and co-ops are self-directed learning experiences based on the requirements of specific jobs that will allow each student to transfer academic knowledge and skills into competencies required for successful careers. Each student is expected to take control of the learning experience and manage the learning process. The self-directed experience develops critical management abilities such as decision-making, time management, and scheduling, in addition to developing technical job-related competencies.
Why should your organization hire a student for an internship or co-op?
By working in varied jobs and settings, students learn what they like and don't like before committing to a career. They also develop an understanding of the connections between theory and practice. Each learning experience informs the next. Many students end up working for the company where the completed their internship or Co-op after graduation. This gives you, the employer, an opportunity to screen a potential new hire before making a long-term commitment. In fact, research has shown that students who complete internship and co-op experiences are highly valued by their employers.
How much do students get paid during an internship or coop?
Most internships and co-ops are paid employment, but some are not. In the cases they are paid, the employer determines the pay rate based on the job requirements and qualifications.
How do I arrange for an internship or co-op?
To arrange for an internship or co-op contact the director of that activity as listed below.
William G. Pooler
University of Southern Maine Department of Technology
211 John Mitchell Center, Gorham, Maine 04038
Phone: 207-780-5440 Fax: 207-780-5129 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org