Internships - General Information
What is an internship? This is usually a paid position with a company where you can learn in a real-world environment about the career you are working toward in your degree. This can be a job with a company specifically in your industry OR it can be a job in your intended field in ANY type of company. For example, you could be studying real estate and go to work with a big real estate company in any role, OR you could be an accountant and still go get a position at a real estate company, only this time you’d be targeting a job in the accounting department of a real estate company.
How do I get an internship? It’s like any job, you apply for positions at companies who have advertised openings through the career center or other channels. Or… you get out there and do what many people do and CREATE your internship by identifying a company you’d like to work for and doing the work of contacting them, reaching out to their personnel / HR department, sending a resume, making it happen! If you sit around and wait for a job to land in your lap, you may be waiting a long time. (Same goes for AFTER you graduate). Then you need to recruit a faculty member to take you on as a student. Start with a faculty member in Economics or Finance who you are familiar with and make a nice request. (Say please).
What if I already have a job? That’s OK, if you can convince your company to give you some added responsibilities, something related to your chosen job/career AND they’ll provide the necessary help evaluating your performance, your current job may work also! The key that your faculty supervisor will be looking for is making sure you’re not trying to get course credit for what you already do, have done, and/or something unrelated to helping prepare you for your career direction. Ideally, you’ll be working with or under the supervision of someone who is currently in the position you will be seeking upon graduation.
What are the next steps?
- First find the job (or develop the project/assignments at your current job)! Talk to your faculty advisor and visit MTSU's career center for some current opportunities.
- Then work with a faculty member (try your faculty advisor!) or Dr. Seagraves the department internship coordinator to take you on as an “Internship Student” and let them know that you have it all worked out with your company/job to provide you with supervision and help evaluating your performance.
- Complete the "Internship Learning Agreement" form and return it to your faculty sponsor. Click Here for the form
- Ask the faculty member to let Chad Carter or Debi Goodwin to know that you’re “Approved” so you can register for the class
- Register for the “class” and pay your tuition! (ECON4890 or FIN4890)
- Do an awesome job during your internship semester and provide plenty of documentation back to your faculty member in time for them to key an A into Pipeline by the grades deadline (If you deserve an A!!)
Is this difficult? Well of course it’s difficult. That’s exactly why internships are such a differentiator. Don't be lazy and expect other people to the items above for you! People who get internships are the people who work hard and are creative to get internships and that’s exactly why they’re valuable.
We're here to help guide you and give you advice on navigating the internship process – but it’s up to you to make it happen. And If you do, it will make a difference and so will you!