This page contains some general information about internships and responses to “Frequently Asked Questions” the Partnership has received:
1. What is an internship?
Internships can be thought of as a system to provide on-the-job training, primarily for professional careers, similar to apprenticeships for trade and vocational schools. Internships are available in a wide variety of professions, industries and settings. They may be paid, unpaid, partially paid or supported through awards or stipends, and may also provide you with academic credit.
2. How is an internship different from having a job?
Unlike having a job, the primary objective of an internship is to provide a training and educational experience that benefits you, the student intern.
3. How could an internship benefit me more than a job?
In today’s challenging job market, it is increasingly essential that college students acquire real-world experience in their chosen field before they graduate. While both an internship and a job will provide you with work experience, and although each may also provide you some level of compensation, an internship can be beneficial in more ways to you both now and in your future. For example, an internship can provide you with the opportunity to:
- Experiment with different kinds of work to help you determine what career path you wish to pursue.
- Apply the knowledge you are learning in the classroom to real-world problems and situations.
- Gain real life skills that relate directly to your desired profession.
- Earn academic credit (requires faculty approval).
- Receive financial compensation for your efforts – if it is a paid or partially paid internship – or if you are eligible for and receive a stipend through an internship award or other financial assistance through the Partnership and/or UMF.
- Learn about the regional community, become involved in it and contribute to its well-being.
- Meet new acquaintances, form connections, and begin building a network of contacts that can be beneficial to you now as well as in your future career.
- Build a record of employment while still in school.
While having undertaken internships is not a guarantee for future employment, it is not uncommon for interns to find permanent, paid employment with the companies for which they interned, or through connections they made during their internship experiences.
4. Who is eligible to apply for an internship?
Any student, First Year through Senior, who is enrolled at UMF is eligible to apply for an internship through UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement.
Eligible Junior and Senior applicants will receive preference in awarding the limited number of internship awards that are available each semester.
A Senior who graduates in May is eligible to apply for an internship during the summer or fall semester immediately following their graduation. A Senior who graduates in December is eligible to apply for an internship during the spring or summer semester immediately following their graduation. Internships for such graduating seniors are subject to the following standards:
- If the graduating Senior has no outstanding academic requirements to complete, they would not be eligible to receive either academic credit or an intern award for their internship.
- If the graduating Senior has outstanding academic credits to complete to fulfill their graduation requirements and “officially” graduate, they would be eligible to receive academic credit upon approval of faculty for an internship secured to acquire some or all of those academic credits. If academic credit is approved for such an internship, the student would qualify to apply for consideration for an internship award as long as they have registered for the academic credits approved for their internship.
- If the graduating Senior has not yet fulfilled a mandatory requirement to complete an internship as a condition of graduating in their major, the student would qualify to apply for consideration for an internship award as long as they have registered for the academic credits approved for their internship.
5. How do I decide on an internship for which to apply?
If an internship is required for your major and/or minor in order to graduate, look at the “Fields/Interest Areas” noted for each internship. Review those that are relevant to your academic coursework first, as you will be seeking academic credit for your internship. Review the internship(s) you are considering with your faculty advisor to ensure they will approve it for credit.
Even if an internship is not required for your course of study, you may nonetheless wish to select one that is related to your academic coursework in order to seek academic credit. Or, you may wish to use the opportunity an internship can provide to gain more experience and/or experiment to find out more about jobs in other areas that are of interest to you.
If you have a particular interest or a specific goal for an internship experience that may not be represented in the Partnership’s current Internship listings, please contact us so we can help you identify and contact potential community sponsors.
Regardless of your situation or interest, the Partnership strongly encourages you to apply for more than one internship to help ensure you will be matched and placed in an opportunity that is appropriate for you. Since the Partnership’s online application form asks questions formulated to elicit responses that are specific to the responsibilities and qualifications of each internship, a separate application form is required for each position to which you apply. Also, please note that some organizations may require you to complete their own application form in addition to the Partnership’s and/or provide them with additional materials.
Please consider reviewing the Partnership’s Internship Application Form as you are deciding the internship(s) for which you would be interested in applying.
6. I want to do an internship, but cannot afford to do so without some type of financial assistance. What kind of options to I have?
Some internships are paid by the community partner sponsoring the internship. If the internship you need or want is not paid or only partially paid, review the “Scholarships and Stipends” page of our website to learn about special awards, stipend and other financial assistance available for student interns. The Partnership will be glad to help you, so please call us to discuss sources of financial assistance that may be available to you.
7. How do I get academic credit for an internship?
Academic credit for internships requires faculty approval. Contact your faculty advisor to discuss the internship opportunity and request approval to receive academic credit.
Please note that approval of academic credit must be obtained before you begin your internship, so please get your faculty member involved early in the process – we suggest doing this when you submit your application. If you need help connecting with the appropriate faculty member, the Partnership will assist you. Please note that students are required to pay UMF for any credits they receive for performing their internship at the normal per credit hour rate.
8. When should I apply?
You may apply for an internship through the Partnership at any time during the year. In deciding when to apply, please consider the following:
- The engagement periods for internships are generally scheduled around your academic calendar – i.e., during the spring, summer, or fall semesters – so you want to make sure your application is submitted well in advance – we suggest at least 2 months prior to the beginning of the semester during which you wish to intern. For example, if you want to do an internship during the spring semester, you should have your applications in by early November to allow sufficient time for the review and hiring process, consideration of requests for academic credit and/or financial assistance, and completion of required paperwork prior to the start of your internship in January.
- Unpaid internships may be supported by intern awards in the form of a financial stipend that is paid out to the intern while they perform their internship. Recipients for these awards are generally determined twice each year (in late March to early April for summer and fall internships, and in late October to early November for spring internships). In order to be considered for a such an award, your application for an internship and indication of your eligibility must be submitted online by the deadline date that will be posted each fall and spring. Check on the “Scholarships and Stipends” page of our website for more details.
9. How do I apply?
Applying is easy – is done completely online – and can be completed in 4 simple steps:
Step 1: Review the list of available internships under the “Opportunity Board” section of our website. This listing will show you when each internship is available, where it is located, and to which fields (academic or professional areas) or interest areas it would best relate.
Step 2: Review the full descriptions and details of the internships in which you are most interested by clicking on their titles in the listing.
Step 3: Decide the internships to which you wish to apply and from which faculty member you will request a reference (you will need to identify your faculty reference on each application form).
Step 4: Complete and submit your online application – a separate application form is required for each internship for which you apply. We suggest that you review the information and questions required on the application form and compile your responses prior to completing the online form.
If you have any questions about applying, the form, or information needed, please feel free to contact the Partnership office for assistance (Telephone: 778-7593 or 778-7516 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
10. What happens after I submit my application(s)? When will I find out if I was selected for an internship and/or if I was approved for some type of financial support to undertake the internship?
The Partnership will send you an acknowledgement to let you know we received your application(s), generally within 24-36 hours. If you do not receive such an acknowledgement within 2 or 3 days, please call us at 778-7516.
All applications are reviewed initially by Partnership staff. If you meet the minimum qualifications required for the internship, the Partnership will send you a notification to let you know that information from your application form is being sent to the community organization or business sponsoring the internship. You will also be notified at this time if you have been determined to be eligible to receive a stipend award in the event you are “hired” for that internship.
After reviewing your information, the organization may call you to schedule an interview. If you are then offered and accept the internship, the Partnership will finalize a formal agreement among UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement, the business or organization sponsoring the internship, you, and, if you will be receiving academic credit, with your faculty mentor for your internship. The documents comprising this agreement (Memorandum of Understanding and Engagement Description) reflect the roles and responsibilities of each party. If you have been approved for an intern award, other stipend or financial assistance, the Partnership will also work with the appropriate administrative office at the University to set up the required accounts and get the necessary paperwork completed prior to the start of your internship work.
Partnership staff will review these documents and expectations for this internship with you before you begin your internship. At this time they will also review some general, but important expectations for interns, explain the support and assistance the Partnership can provide to you during your internship and the Partnership’s evaluation process once your internship work has been completed. Staff will also inform you about the mandatory Orientation and Training required for all student interns.
11. What contact or support may I expect from the Partnership during my internship work?
The Partnership staff strongly encourage all student interns to keep them informed about how their experience is going throughout the course of their internships. We monitor all internship placements both during and at the conclusion of the internship work. Partnership staff will call you and the community organization sponsoring your internship during the course of your internship to see how your work is progressing, and if needed, assist in dealing with any issues that may have arisen.
At the conclusion of your internship the Partnership will request that you and the organization sponsoring your internship each complete a formal evaluation of the internship placement.
12. A Final Word
The University, Partnership, community organizations and businesses, and the donors who support the Partnership for Civic Advancement all realize that while you are gaining experience through your internship, you are also contributing in important ways to our regional community and we want to make sure that your contributions are recognized through media releases periodically and an annual dinner event near the end of each calendar year.
Contact Us:University of Maine at Farmington Partnership for Civic Advancement 149 Quebec Street Farmington, Maine 04938 Telephone: 207-778-7516 or 778-7593 Facsimile: 207-778-7840 TDD: 207-778-7000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org