Entrepreneurship Intern Program
Frequently Asked Questions
- When should I apply?
Once you have met the qualifications outlined in the Entrepreneurship Internship Program Guidelines, contact the Internship Coordinator, Dr. Kristen Shanine, (Kristen.Shanine@mtsu.edu) to complete the forms and to get approval the semester prior to the semester you plan to register for the internship.
As a matter of overall timing, if you can, you may want to take the internship in a semester that is as close to the semester in which you will graduate. You may want to be available full-time in case an internship leads you into a longer-term opportunity. You may enroll in the internship during any semester, but many students like summer (or any time when their other academic course obligations may be smaller), so they can concentrate on maximizing the experience.
- I have been emailing potential employers and asking about openings, but no one is
You may also be asking the wrong questions. Students who ask (especially small business owners), "Do you have any openings?," are likely to receive a series of negative responses as the answer. To obtain a fulfilling Internship, one should instead focus on the problems that these businesses might, and probably do, have. For instance, in the day-to-day struggle that is typically associated with entrepreneurial survival, many business founders end up "flying by the seat of their pants." They do not have a business plan, a publicity plan, a Web plan, an employee policy manual, a training and development program, a sales management plan, or a contingency plan that addresses what they would do if a minor interruption or a major disaster struck and impacted their respective businesses.
There are certain ways to get at the suggested areas above, and one of them is to ask related questions, or a series of questions. For instance, ask a small business owner, "Are you happy with your sales?" If the answer is "yes," (which is somewhat unlikely), you can always probe some more. However, since many will say no, that would suggest the need for a marketing plan, a publicity plan, a sales training effort, or some other response on the part of the business to improve the situation. All of these suggest possible projects or "door openers" for an Internship. Thus, instead of asking about openings, you should ask about problems.
- How do I sign up?
Once you have familiarized yourself with the Entrepreneurship Intern site, if you already have an employer in mind, you will also notice application forms that can be downloaded. To sign up, you will need two forms: a Student Internship Application Form and an Employer Data Application form. They are both simple and straightforward, primarily contact information and a description of the duties that the student will be fulfilling.
After these forms are completed, return them to the Internship Coordinator by mail, fax, or in-person delivery. The Internship Coordinator will approve the forms if they fulfill the appropriate criteria (mainly, is this a legitimate position that will help the student advance in his or her entrepreneurial career?). After the application forms are approved, a permit will be entered on the MTSU course registration system. Next, and this is an important detail, you must go online and register, just as you would for any other course.