Internships@State Guide for MSU Departments

During the summer of 2020, the Internships@State program transitioned to a self-serve framework designed to help MSU departments create and manage on-campus internship opportunities. The new Internships@State (I@S) framework supports MSU departments who provide MSU students with internship opportunities. Supervisors can use the I@S Learning Agreement to help post internship experiences to the My Spartan Story platform for recognizing MSU student learning activities outside of the classroom.

Contact Karin Hanson for help identifying opportunities in your area, locating candidates for an internship, or assistance with the I@S internship management framework. Thank you!

What is an internship?
An internship is “a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what the student is learning through the experience” [National Society for Experiential Education]. Internships are an important piece of the experiential learning process – “learning by doing.” Internships provide MSU students with:

  1. Practical experience outside of the classroom
  2. Professional mentoring, training, and networks
  3. Enhanced critical skills needed for after graduation

Best practice requirements for a student employment position to be considered an internship include:

  1. Must be an MSU student (Interns are subject to same policies and procedures as all student employees)
  2. Internship should be a minimum of 6 weeks in length (offer meaningful learning experiences)
  3. Position offers student professional development AND adds value to the department (a win-win)

 FAQs About the Internship Process

Internship Checklist 

1) Identify internship opportunities in department 7) Complete Learning Agreement with new intern
2) Develop internship “job description” 8) Conduct regularly scheduled supervisory meetings
3) Post position on Handshake 9) Hold mid-evaluation discussion at midpoint
4) Interview candidates to find best fit 10) Hold final evaluation discussion near end
5) Hire intern in EBS with position title “Intern” 11) Review any adjustments for future internships
6) Provide dept. orientation and necessary training 12) Repeat the process for your next student intern!

Internships@State Framework Forms
A high quality, high impact internship is defined as “an intentional learning experience that includes regular feedback and coaching from a supervisor along with reflective learning by the intern.” The I@S framework provides a Do-It-Yourself collection of documents that help supervisors support their interns.

  • Learning Agreement is the foundation document that should be completed by the student and supervisor within the first few weeks of the internship start date.
  • My Spartan Story platform: Information and language in the completed Learning Agreement form aligns with information required when creating an internship experience record in the My Spartan Story platform .
  • Mid-Evaluation Supervisor and Mid-Evaluation Student forms are completed individually and then used in an “evaluation meeting” to help foster a constructive discussion around the mid-point of the internship experience.
  • Final Evaluation Supervisor and Final Evaluation Student forms are completed individually and then used in an “evaluation meeting” to help foster a constructive discussion that helps the student reflect on what they learned (and helps the supervisor plan for future internships).

For help with the Internships@State framework forms, contact Karin Hanson at