Internship requirements — Mathematics, Data Science and Statistics

Internship positions relevant to students in mathematics, data science and statistics include those of actuary, biostatistician, data scientist, operations research analyst, and systems or software engineer and analyst. An internship is an opportunity to explore a profession and employer for a limited time, typically during your junior or senior year. By acquiring important on-the-job skills during an internship, you will significantly enhance your desirability in the job market. Internships also provide excellent networking opportunities, and it is not uncommon that an internship turns into permanent employment down the line.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers three academic internship courses with variable 1-4 credits:

  • MATH 350I Mathematics Internship
  • DATA 350I Data Science Internship  
  • STAT 350I Statistics Internship

which can be used to fulfill requirements of the Industrial and Applied Mathematics major, Data Science major, Industrial and Applied Mathematics minor and Applied Statistics minor. The number of credits is determined by the length of your internship: 40 hours of internship work correspond to 1 academic credit, 80 hours correspond to 2 academic credits, and so forth.

We strongly encourage you to research and discuss internship opportunities of interest to you with your advisor or the Mathematics and Statistics Department Internship Coordinator for feedback and advice well in advance of your intended graduation or application deadlines.

First steps in planning is to contact the Mathematics and Statistics Department Internship Coordinator, Professor David Jacobson, at mathstat.internships@metrostate.edu and describe your internship plan. Academic internships have several requirements that have to be met and procedures that have to be followed. The Math & Statistics Student Resources D2L site contains the document “Internship Resources for Mathematics and Statistics Students” which lists resources for finding internships in the Twin Cities and other resources.

Requirements

  • You need to be an enrolled Metropolitan State University student majoring/minoring in Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Data Science, or Applied Statistics with both a minimum composite GPA of at least 3.00 and a minimum program GPA of 3.00. If you are unsure whether you meet the GPA requirement, talk with your academic advisor.
  • You must have completed appropriate courses (as determined by department review) for the proposed internship. If you are majoring in Industrial & Applied Mathematics, at least 12 upper division credits in the program must also have been completed.
  • Internships must be approved in advance by the department (including work scope and site supervisor, based on resume noted below). Credit will not be granted on a retroactive basis.
  • The internship must be independent, self-directed work which is upper-division in nature.
  • You may do more than one internship, but the maximum credit limit for each internship is 4 credits. 
  • The internship must be supervised, and the site supervisor must be willing to evaluate your work on a regular basis during the semester. The site supervisor must be qualified to supervise and this should be demonstrated in a brief résumé which is provided to the Mathematics and Statistics Department Internship Coordinator. 
  • Evaluation of your internship work must be done by the site supervisor in consultation with the department faculty internship evaluator. (See Evaluation Section below.)
  • The grading option for internships is S/N only. The final grade will be submitted by the faculty internship evaluator based on the internship site supervisor’s evaluation, your reports and/or presentations, and an exit review between you and the faculty internship evaluator.
  • Your site supervisor must not be related to you (e.g., a parent, sibling, child, uncle, aunt, cousin, in-law, domestic partner). Check if you are not sure – this list is not exhaustive. You also must not be related to the faculty internship evaluator.
  • You may do an internship at your present work location, even for your present supervisor. The work, though, must be something that is new learning for you. It also must be significantly different from the work that you do for this organization.

Note: In general, internships do not replace required courses in programs. In rare instances, your advisor may waive a program requirement after extensive review of the internship project, reports/presentations, and any other appropriate output.

Learning outcomes

All internships must offer students the opportunity to gain the following outcomes. The student will learn:

  • Self-management skills, those skills needed for personal and professional success;
  • Thinking and processing skills, the analytical skills needed for analysis and decision making; 
  • Communications skills, those skills needed to effectively communicate (written and orally) analysis results; 
  • Interpersonal skills, those skills needed to work productively and enjoyably with others, including people from dissimilar backgrounds or perspectives; and
  • The internship site’s goals, understand the industry, business, and customer perspective.

Evaluation

All evaluation measures should be linked to a clear and concise set of documented student learning outcomes for the internship. All measures need to be included on the Internship Agreement Form.

  • The intern will submit a bi-weekly summary to the site supervisor and the faculty internship evaluator on the status of the project and what the intern is learning.
  • The intern will provide a formal report or prepare and give a presentation on the project at the internship site twice during the semester (approximately during the middle of the semester and at the end of the semester).  The site supervisor and the faculty internship evaluator will be recipients of the report or be at the presentations.
  • Any additional evaluation measures that are documented as part of the agreement between the intern, site supervisor, and faculty internship evaluator.

Procedure for student seeking an academic internship

  1. Inform yourself about the process
    Congratulations, you are doing this right now! You will also want to involve the Mathematics and Statistics Department Internship Coordinator, Professor David Jacobson, early on by contacting mathstat.internships@metrostate.edu.
  2. Prepare your résumé
    A sample résumé is provided on the Math & Statistics Student Resources D2L site for you to use as a template. You can also find résumé resources at the university’s Career Center (metrostate.edu/students/support/career/job-search/resume). Faculty in the Mathematics and Statistics Department will be happy to provide you feedback on your résumé.
  3. Find potential employers and send out your applications
    The Math & Statistics Student Resources D2L site contains the document “Internship Resources for Mathematics and Statistics Students” which lists resources for finding internships in the Twin Cities. The Mathematics and Statistics Department Internship Coordinator can also assist you. Summer internship positions are usually posted in the fall (as early as September) with interviewing starting in the fall and continuing until all positions are filled. So, it’s in your best interest to research internship opportunities at least a year in advance.
  4. After you have successfully secured an internship, follow the steps below to apply for an academic internship:
    1. Ask your internship employer to identify a site supervisor who would be willing to help in evaluating the academic internship.
    2. Contact the Mathematics and Statistics Department Internship Coordinator at mathstat.internships@metrostate.edu and describe your internship plan. If your internship plan is approved by the Mathematics and Statistics Department, you will be assigned a faculty evaluator.
    3. Attend an internship information session. Contact the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship (ICES) at 651-793-1289 or internships@metrostate.edu. You can also access the schedule of meetings on the ICES website at http://www.metrostate.edu/ices. These are held on a regular basis. After this meeting you will receive an internship packet via an email attachment, which includes all the necessary paperwork for your internship. As an alternative, schedule an appointment with the ICES internship coordinator to discuss your potential internship and to get the internship packet.
    4. Work with your faculty internship evaluator to complete the Academic Internship Agreement which will include the title of the internship noting which discipline: MATH 350I, DATA 350I or STAT 350I.
    5. Submit the Academic Internship Agreement to the Mathematics and Statistics Department Internship Coordinator at mathstat.internships@metrostate.edu for review. The coordinator will forward to the chair of the department to sign and date the agreement, and will forward it to the ICES Internship Office.
    6. The Internship Office will send you an email approval and a copy of the agreement which states your full internship registration.

Student responsibilities in the workplace

  • Maintain a professional demeanor and attitude at all times as you are a representative of Metropolitan State University and the College of Sciences.
  • Abide by all organization rules, regulations and policies.
  • Maintain confidentiality of organization, company and/or client information.
  • Set a work schedule and keep the work schedule.  Inform your site supervisor in a timely and professional manner if you must miss work.
  • Keep the faculty internship evaluator informed of any change in work status or job duties / responsibilities.
  • Complete a Student Evaluation of Internship at the end of the internship.
  • Write and send a letter of appreciation to the site supervisor.