Employer Services and Internships

Professional Engagement

Career Development is dedicated to creating connections between employers and students to develop professional preparedness, internships, networking, and career employment. We offer employers many avenues – from posting a job or creating internship programs – to engage students and tap into a pipeline of future talent.

2017 Career Fair

WSU Tri-Cities offers one Career Fair a year, during fall semester.  The Fair is open to WSU Tri-Cities students, alumni, and the general public.

The Career Fair offers students several programming components throughout the day, as well as opportunities to help students prepare and navigate the Fair.

Thursday, September 28
8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

9:30 to 10 a.m.: Open to WSU Tri-Cities students
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Open to students, alumni, and general public

 Recruiting and Job Posting Policies and Procedures

Post a Job or Internship

Job posting on the WSU Tri-Cities campus is easy and free.  Please fill in ALL the information below, copy and paste and email to careers@tricity.wsu.edu.  Incomplete or insufficient postings will be emailed back to submitter for completion.

Per our policy:

•   All jobs and internships submitted will be reviewed by Career Development staff; only those compliant with the WSU Tri-Cities Recruiting and Job Posting Policies          and Procedures will be considered.  

•  We do not select or interview for positions and can only recommend students to apply for positions and not until it is publicly posted to all students on our online             job board.

•   We do not accept attachments as we cannot upload them to our site.

•   Notify us once your position is filled so we can indicate it on the posting.

•    Your post should be up within 3 business days at www.cougcareers.tumblr.com.

 

  • Type of Major(s) Seeking:  (choose one or more:  business, engineering, education, science, psychology, etc. or All Majors)
  • Is this a Job or Internship?
  • Is Work Study Required?   (only applicable to WSU Tri-Cities on-campus jobs)
  • Job or Internship Title:
  • Employer/Company Name or WSU Tri-Cities Department Name:  
  • Job Location: (street address, city, state or WSU Tri-Cities campus, plus building and room number)
  • Job Type: (choose one:  Full-time or Part-time) 
  • Time Length: (choose one: Permanent or Temporary) (choose one:  Academic Year, Summer only, Seasonal)
  • Start Date: (write out month, date, and year)
  • End Date:  (only if applicable)
  • Compensation:  (required; sample compensation:  $12.00/hr or $15.00+/hr DOE or provide a salary range)
  • Summary of Position:  (instructions:  provide a very brief description or overview of the position)
  • Job Duties: (instructions:  provide as much detail as possible to get the best candidates; be clear on day-to-day duties, expectations, how many hours a week, work schedule M-F, 8am-5pm, available to work some evenings and weekends, knowledge, skills, abilities needed, customer service skills, computer skills, etc.)
  • Minimum Qualifications:  (instructions:  to get the best candidates applying to your position, it is best to list any degree requirements, certifications, technical or software knowledge, number of years’ experience, work experience, valid driver’s license, work study eligible-applicable only for WSUTC on-campus jobs, etc. required)
  • Preferred Qualifications:  (Optional, but will help narrow the pool of applicants)
  • To Apply:  (instructions:  indicate how to apply or what to send you; norm is to use “Send cover letter and resume to:” supervisor’s email and/or to provide a link to the job application or website)  
  • Closing Date:  (instructions:  indicate a date or if no deadline, use “Open Until Filled”)

 

To post jobs for the greater WSU community, to go:  https://ascc.wsu.edu/career-services/couglink/

Begin an Internship Program with WSU Tri-Cities
What is an internship?

In general, internships are short-term commitments between an employer and student wherein a student gains valuable exposure to a career field and the employer meets the goals of the company while supporting the success of a growing professional. While internships may lead to long-term employment relationships, the norm is for the internship to have a pre-determined termination date. Internships can be paid or unpaid experiences that may translate into academic credit.

What is a Co-Op?

Cooperative work experiences are much like internships with two basic differences: co-ops are most often paid positions and the employment relationship is aimed at taking a student from temporary student employee to permanent hire after graduation. Thus co-ops are longer-term commitments.

Internship/Co-op versus Job or Community Service

The key difference between an internship or co-op and a short-term job or community service is the experiential learning component. An internship or co-op should involve an element of the student being trained for, exposed to, or experiencing the professional world in their discipline. A proper internship or co-op should be a résumé-building experience that enhances the student’s academic course of study.

Questions?

Contact the Career Development Center at WSU Tri-Cities at 509-372-7600 or e‑mail careers@tricity.wsu.edu.

Internships, Co-Ops, Community Service

What is an internship?

In general, internships are short-term commitments between an employer and student wherein a student gains valuable exposure to a career field and the employer meets the goals of the company while supporting the success of a growing professional. While internships may lead to long-term employment relationships, the norm is for the internship to have a pre-determined termination date. Internships can be paid or unpaid experiences that may translate into academic credit.

What is a Co-Op?

Cooperative work experiences are much like internships with two basic differences: co-ops are most often paid positions and the employment relationship is aimed at taking a student from temporary student employee to permanent hire after graduation. Thus co-ops are longer-term commitments.

Internship/Co-op versus Job or Community Service

The key difference between an internship or co-op and a short-term job or community service is the experiential learning component. An internship or co-op should involve an element of the student being trained for, exposed to, or experiencing the professional world in their discipline. A proper internship or co-op should be a résumé-building experience that enhances the student’s academic course of study.

Questions?

Contact the Career Development Center at WSU Tri-Cities at 509-372-7600 or e‑mail careers@tricity.wsu.edu.

Student Guide to Internships

Why should I get an internship?

  • Build Your Résumé — Job hunting is very competitive and any relevant work experience, especially if the experience is in your related field, is an advantage.
  • Informed Career Choice — The life and profession you are imagining may not be the reality of real-world work. A quality internship can help you decide on the career path that is right for you or steer you toward a career focus within your degree field.
  • Networking — Professional connections can be critical to making career decisions. Networking can opens doors, steer you to job leads, and provide valuable references or recommendations. When it comes to getting hired, the most important factor is not always what you know or even whom you know, but rather who knows you!
  • Potential Permanent Employment — For many employers, an internship is a great way to discover future permanent hires. If the internship goes well, the employer may want to keep the intern employed during the school year or hire the student upon graduation. Even if the internship does not translate directly into a job, applications from students who have already worked as an intern for the company are stronger applications.

FAQs

  1. When should I consider looking for an internship?

    The true answer is “as soon as possible!” However, students who have just finished their sophomore year or later often are preferred applicants. Ideally your last two summers before graduating should be spent in an internship.

    As far as timing, many companies begin internship recruiting in the Fall. September and October are prime months for attending career fairs, surfing job boards, and watching your favorite employers to catch internships when they are posted. Commonly, companies take applications in the Fall, interview in January/February, and hire interns in early Spring for Summer internships. However, not all companies are always early or proactive. Keep your eyes open for opportunities year-round. It is never too late!

  2. How do I find an internship?

    There are several places to go to find internship opportunities.

    • You can check our job posting board at cougcareers.tumblr.com.
    • You can use job post websites; we recommend indeed.com.
    • Apply with a staffing agency to be considered for many summer internships with Hanford contractors (see www.anrinterns.com).
    • Check www.usajobs.gov for jobs that are federally funded.
    • Search specific company’s job openings online—PNNL, Energy Northwest, ConAgra, KADLEC, and other companies are just a few of the big employers that have regular postings.
    • Contact HR people or hiring managers at the company directly; ask about opportunities and sell your skill set.
  3. What kind of internship is right for me?

    If you are like most people, you will search for and consider just about any internship in your field as a first step, but before you apply, ask these questions:

    • Is this a paid or unpaid position? Does it work with my schedule?
    • What do you know about the company? It’s industry, culture, or mission?
    • What do you know about the job? What will you learn?
    • What is the time frame? Summer only? Is there a definite end date?
    • What long-term possibilities exist? Future permanent employment?
    • What opportunities will you be giving up if you take the internship?

    Only you can decide if the answers to the questions are good or bad. Ultimately, the internship has to add value to your overall career plans.

  4. If I am thinking of going to graduate or professional school, should I find an internship?

    Yes. Graduate and professional school applications are often stronger when you have a relevant work experience in your history. In addition, the professional with whom you work may be a great reference for the application. The experience itself my help you identify a specialty or particular focus within your discipline to pursue in school.

  5. How do I apply for an internship?

    Internship applications are very similar to full-time job applications. A high-quality résumé and cover letter will be needed. If you are applying with a staffing agency like ANR, you want your résumé to be expansive to show all your skills (and be considered for a variety of internships). If you are applying to a Federal program (like SULI), you will apply first through the appropriate site (like DOE’s science.energy.gov). For most internships, you will apply directly to the company in the same way you would for a full-time job. If you are unsure about what to do, visit the Career Development Center and let them help you!

  6. How do I get academic credit for my internship?

    Internships for academic credit have three significant requirements.

    First, you must enroll in a class (usually a 498 level class in your discipline) for a variable number of credits (often 2-6 credits). Talk this over with your academic advisor.

    Second, you must have a faculty of record for the class. In some cases you will have to ask a faculty member in your discipline to serve as the faculty of record.

    Third, you will have to work with your employer and faculty of record to determine what the work and academic deliverables will be to satisfy the work as well as get the credit. Your faculty of record and academic advisor will be instrumental in making sure your experience is credited on your transcript. As always, there will be form you can get from your advisor or faculty that will document the agreement.

    Be sure to discuss the internship with your academic advisor prior to making arrangements with the company or employer. Your advisor will be able to tell you if an internship for credit fits your academic plan and moves you toward graduation.

  7. Should I accept an unpaid internship?

    Yes. On a résumé, an unpaid internship is just as valuable as the same work done for a wage. Unpaid internships usually fall into one of three categories:

    • A 498 course for academic credit (see How do I get academic credit for my internship?)
    • A volunteer effort with a non-profit agency (like Junior Achievement or United Way),
    • A short-term job shadowing experience.

    All three types of experiences are valuable on your résumé and hold the same career benefits as for-pay internships.

  8. Can my current job count as an internship or be worth academic credit?

    For the most part, your current job will not count as a separate internship or 498 internship unless you are taking on a significantly different role or project. The important element for any internship is that is it an experiential learning opportunity: you should be gaining knowledge or skills that enhance your academic pursuit!

    To find out if your job would qualify, talk to your academic advisor or faculty of record.

Employer Guide to Internships

What are the benefits of hiring interns?

  • Cost Effectiveness — Interns cost less per man-hour than your full-time employees, especially when you factor in benefits. Hiring interns to take on appropriate tasks makes positive economic sense.
  • Pipeline of Future Employees — Internships are a great way to build up a ready pool of tried and trained future employees. In addition, interns who have a positive experience talk to their classmates who might be encouraged to apply to your company.
  • Complete Priority C Projects/Tasks — Internships can be a cost effective way to tackle those pesky back-burner projects that require less expertise but lots of time and energy.
  • Give Back to Your Community and University — Hiring interns is a responsible and valuable way to invest in local students, your local University, and your community. Companies that have an active intern program are positively perceived by others within and outsidethe company.
  • Infuse New Ideas and Excitement — Benefit from the cutting edge technology and applications learned in the classroom setting that students bring to your company. Students often bring fresh perspectives or enthusiasm that can ignite the same in your employees.
  • Increase New Employee Retention — Analysis shows that, after one year, roughly 75% of college hires with internship experience are retained by the company; 50% of hires with cooperative experience are retained. (see https://naceweb.org/internships/benchmarks.aspx)

 

Please note: This is Not Legal Advice

The information on this page is not legal advice – it is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult with your legal counsel regarding wage issues for your specific internship positions, compliance with Labor Laws, and issues of fair wages.

FAQs

  1. How do I start an internship program?
    • Start with role or project you want assigned to the intern. The best program gives the intern substantive work that is related to his major, is within his capabilities, but that grows his skill set and knowledge base. If routine busy work is part of the intern’s role, be sure there is enough substantive work to make the internship a true learning experience. Establish a list of deliverables and outcomes for the intern.
    • Set the timeline for the internship program including promotion, posting time, time for resume processing, hiring and onboarding, start date, end date, and dates for special events/deliverables.
    • Decide on the intern qualifications you desire. Think more in terms of foundational skills, like communication, leadership, organization, and teamwork, than technical skills or the experience you may not find in college students.
    • Decide on what you will pay the intern. You may want to find out what other firms pay interns of the same caliber to do the work your firm is asking be done.
    • Post your internship opportunity with all the normal routes you use to market for new hires. Give specific attention to sending the post to the colleges and universities from which you want to recruit. If you have a short reach or want to work exclusively with a particular school, make sure you work closely with their career development staff.
    • Sit back and watch the applications pour in. Remember as you decide on an intern to hire that you are setting great ground for a potential permanent hire later on.
  2. When is the best time to look for an intern?

    Many companies start their intern search process in the Fall by attending Career Fairs and generating interest. As a general rule, the broader your search and the more interns you are looking to hire, the earlier you want to being the process.

    Below are some general timelines depending on whether your company wants to begin early or later in the year.

    Task Early Mid‑range Later
    Recruit/Take Résumés Sept–Jan Jan–Mar Mar-Apr
    Interview/Hire Feb-Mar Mar-Apr Apr-May
    Work Start May-June May-June May-June

     

    The early timeline has the advantage of the deeper pool of students from which to recruit, time to reach more campuses, time to attend career events, and a non-rushed hiring process. However, good candidates are looking for positions right up until they leave the campus for the summer.

  3. What would an intern do?

    Internships have two areas of great opportunity: what can the intern do for you and what can you teach the intern. Think in terms of these two areas when deciding what tasks to give interns.

    In the what-the-intern-can-do-for-us category, interns are great at getting back-burner projects done. Some intern projects can be updating a policy or procedure manual, inventory counts, creating an inventory system, market research, or maybe help a professional on your staff. Ask your staff what they would have a intern do if one was available.

    As far as what-can-we-teach-the-intern category, consider all the different work settings, projects, and processes that would benefit an intern to experience. Seeing different work sites within your company, sitting in on significant meetings, making a presentation to senior management, or having a day of exploration within each department of your company could be a fantastic learning experience for the intern.

    Routine busy work—filing, data entry, “gophering”, etc.—should not be the majority of the intern’s responsibilities. Let the intern get a glimpse of the real working world.

  4. What are the employers’ responsibilities in an internship?

    The employer responsibilities for an internship are the same as for all employees in regard to fair wages, safe work environment, reasonable accommodations, etc. The areas of specific interest to interns are the following:

    Assign substantive, meaningful work. An internship is an experiential learning experience and the work the intern performs should be that which is within his capabilities but challenging. There will always be busy work to be done, but the intern should have more than just busy work.

    Assign a mentor or point of contact. The intern needs someone to ask about routine office practices as well as significant questions regarding the internship. Many successful programs provide an intern manager who is not a direct supervisor to be the mentor, organize intern activities, and make sure the interns are doing well.

    Have clearly defined expectations. The employer, the mentor, and the intern should have a clear sense of what is expected of the intern. Set down expectations on paper and sit everyone down at the beginning of the internship to cover the list.

    Hold an intern orientation. Introduce the intern to the key people with whom he will have to interact. Review the expectations, company policies, safety issues, etc. If everyone is at the table for this orientation, everyone will have shared understanding of what is expected.

    Check in with the intern. At select critical points in the internship the intern manager should check with the intern to make sure things are going well. Many interns may not know to say something if they are having a problem; being proactive can solve problems before they become unmanageable. At the least the intern will know his presence and experience are valuable to the company.

    Have an exit strategy. Have a definitive exit process for the intern. That may be a lunch time send off or a presentation to upper management. A good send-off will let the intern know they were valued and that will translate into positive buzz with the intern’s classmates as well as increase chance of the intern returning in the future.

  5. What liability issues come with internships?

    Medical Insurance — Students are responsible for obtaining their own medical insurance for injuries to self. WSU’s Office of Benefits and Payroll Services has student medical insurance available; the student may be able to be listed on their parents’ insurance policy; or the student could obtain insurance through a local vendor.

    Worker’s Compensation — If a student is paid in an employment capacity, the student should be covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation policy. If a student is unpaid or receives a stipend, it is highly advisable for an employer to obtain a rider to its existing workers’ compensation policy to cover the intern.

    Professional Liability — Many students are able to obtain liability insurance for a low cost through a WSU insurance policy offered through WSU’s Risk Management Office (see Student Experiential Liability Insurance ) or through a professional association in their field.

  6. How do I post my internship with WSU?

    WSU Tri-Cities broadcasts its internship and job opportunities specifically to its students through an internal blog as a free service to employers. Send post information to careers@tricity.wsu.edu for broadcast to WSU Tri-Cities’ students.

    Be sure you include the following information in the post: Employer Name, Location, Job Type: (full-time, part-time, internship), Time Length: (permanent, temporary, Summer only), Compensation, Job Description, Qualifications, To Apply, Closing Date.

    To post jobs with another WSU campus or university, contact that institution’s career services office.

  7. What are the Best Practices for internships?

    Provide interns substantive work assignments that are related to their major, challenging, valuable to the organization, and that fill the work term. Note: The best practices presented here assume the organization’s goal is to convert interns to full-time hires and is therefore paying its interns. Unpaid internships present a number of problems for organizations focused on intern conversion, not the least of which is legal issues that arise if the unpaid intern is given real work assignments.

    • Hold orientations for all involved to insure everyone starts with the same expectations and role definitions.
    • Provide interns with a handbook or website to serve as a guide for students in your organization with FAQs, policies, and procedures that pertain to the internship.
    • Provide housing and relocation assistance. Finding affordable short-term housing can be a daunting task; any assistance will be appreciated and valued by interns.
    • Offer scholarships paired with the internship, especially if you desire interns with a specific skill set. Scholarships can attract quality students with desired qualifications.
    • Offer flex-time or non-traditional work arrangements. Students in internships while also attending classes will benefit from a work schedule that meets their changing class schedule.
    • Have and intern manager to monitor the experience of the intern, provide valuable feedback to mentors, and to be the point of contact when an issue arises. An intern manager can organize orientations, group events, and exit events that add value to the internship.
    • Encourage recruiting team involvement with the interns.
    • Invite career services staff and faculty to visit interns on site. Visits from college staff can turn your intern into a spokesperson and facilitate later internships.
    • Hold new-hire panels to showcase your organization to interns as a great place to work.
    • Bring in speakers from your company’s executive ranks; meeting successful professionals is a high value addition for interns.
    • Offer training/encourage outside classes in both work-related skills and general professional development (e.g. time management). Offering access to development opportunities communicates value to the intern.
    • Conduct focus groups/surveys with interns as a way to assess the student perception of your firm.
    • Showcase intern work through presentations to executives and other employees as a way to showcase the internship program internally as well as add value to the intern.
    • Conduct exit interviews to ascertain the quality of the student experience, their likelihood of retuning, and areas of improvement that can be made.

    (Resource: https://naceweb.org/internships/best-practices.aspx)

  8. How can my intern gain academic credit?

    For the most part, an employer does not need to do anything to create an internship that qualifies for academic credit. To earn academic credit for an internship experience, the student will need to contact his academic advisor for the applicable information and forms.

    To qualify for academic credit the student will arrange for specific deliverables with his sponsoring faculty member. As the student works out the specifics, he or the faculty may contact the employer for more information.

  9. Can my internship be unpaid?

    Unpaid internships have come under increased scrutiny by the State of Washington in the past few years because of abuses. The issues of Fair Wage and Labor law are complex. You should consult your own legal counsel before making any decisions.

    In general, unpaid internships take one of three forms.

    • As part of a course for academic credit that fulfills a student’s academic major requirements
    • A volunteer effort with a non-profit agency that regularly uses volunteers in its operation
    • A short-term job shadowing experience

    The U.S. Department of Labor has a six criteria test for compliance with Fair Wage laws in internships. The fact sheet for the text criteria can be found at www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf. In short, an unpaid internship with a for-profit firm is possible, but a paid internship avoids a great deal of liability and grants the employer the most flexibility in regard to its interns.

    Please note: This is Not Legal Advice

    The information on this page is not legal advice – it is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult with your legal counsel regarding wage issues for your specific internship positions, compliance with Labor Laws, and issues of fair wages.

  10. What role does WSU take in screening/placing interns?

    Often employers want to know what WSU does to “place” students with employers or in internship positions. Generally speaking, the Career Development Center will help communicate opportunities and facilitate employer-student interaction. As far as helping to screen candidates, WSU is limited by FERPA laws that protect the student’s personal education information. The actions WSU may take on the employer’s behalf are:

    • Communicate the opportunity to the student body
    • Collect application materials from students to be sent to the employer
    • Set up interviews on campus
    • Verify “directory information” like major field of study, enrollment status, or grade level.

     

    If you would like help in engaging and recruiting WSU Tri-Cities students, contact the Career Development Center at 509-372-7600 or e‑mail careers@tricity.wsu.edu.

  11. How can WSU Tri-Cities help me find interns?

    The WSU Tri-Cities Career Development Center is committed to bringing employers and students together to make the most of employment and internship opportunities. To that end, the Center hosts several career events on campus during the school year, the most notable of which is our annual Career Fair. The Center also hosts workshops, professional panels, and networking events.

    If you would like to post an internship or job with WSU Tri-Cities or be involved in an on-campus event, call the Career Development Center at 509-372-7600 or email careers@tricity.wsu.edu.

  12. Can I hire a work-study student as an intern?

    Work-study is a government program that subsidizes student workers based on financial aid need. To learn how you might qualify as a work study employer, contact the director of work study at tricity.wsu.edu/careers/workstudy.php.

    Whether or not the work study appointment counts as an internship depends upon the experiential learning value of the work the employee is assigned. Generally speaking, work study employment is not considered an internship.

  13. How much should we pay an intern?

    We recommend identifying a fair entry-level starting salary for a similar position at your organization and multiplying it by a percentage to determine the intern’s salary. The percentage will vary depending on the intern’s education level and experience. For example, a senior may earn 85-90%, a junior 80-85%, a sophomore 75-80%, and a freshman may earn 70-75% of a typical starting salary for a similar position. If you follow this rule of thumb, you can offer increases each year to returning interns and stay within your current salary structure. (resource: https://naceweb.org/s01102013/intern-salaries.aspx)

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