How your internship works at Metropolitan State University

By Robert Boos
Posted June 17, 2016

How your internship works at Metropolitan State University

Internships are a ubiquitous concept repeated in television, websites and radio. There was even a poorly conceived movie called “The Internship” with Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson that centered on an internship with Google. But the realities of an internship through Metropolitan State University’s Academic Internship Program are more nuanced and personal.

More than anything, internships are practical real world experiences undergone for the completion of a student’s program of study, but even though everyone must take them does not mean they are uncategorical. There are three types: individual, group and program specific.

The individual internship is the traditional avenue extolled in popular culture. In it, a student works with a business, nonprofit or government agencies/officials to design a real-world learning experience. And at Metropolitan State, internships are not the demeaning labor that has been popularized in our culture. Metropolitan State encourages meaningful, rewarding work experience and financial compensation for interns.

Group internships are similar to individual internship, but are developed by faculty and don’t require the Academic Internship Agreement (AIA). Students experience professional or community involvement (or both) while attending seminars led by faculty, for discussion and reflection. It’s a multi-prong approach to ready students for the real world.

Program Specific Internships are more complex and tend to be unique to the academic departments. For further information contact the specific department, which include social work, urban teacher program, nursing, law enforcement and criminal justice, and human services.

Some of the features of an internship are similar to most classes, such as tuition and credit. For instance, internships can last 180 days. The duration comes from the number of credit hours a student can work each week. For a four-credit program a student would need to intern for 160 hours.

Before all of this, a student must find an internship, and Metropolitan State can help with that. Your first option is an information session to learn strategies, policies and procedures on locating an internship and filling out the accompanying paperwork. Internships that are provisionally approved are listed on Handshake. All group internships are listed in the Class schedule. In addition to Handshake are many other websites that can assist you in your search.

Students should understand that internships are their responsibility and the tasks and obligations associated with them may be surprising. Make sure you’re not taken unaware. Looking over the Student Guide, which offers a Student Process Checklist for Academic Internships. Contact the internship offices at for questions or concerns.