Internships

Willamette MBA students bring the motivation, curiosity and knowledge necessary to help your organization achieve its goals and objectives. Internships provide a unique opportunity for the student and the employer to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. Employers gain added talent and support while students add valuable experience to their resume. Each year, we typically have over 90 students seeking full-time paid summer internships. Students are able to stay with the same employer for an entire year if both the student and the employer wish.  Our Resume Books serves as a great resource for employers and recruiters to identify students with specific backgrounds and skill sets. A complete list of qualified interns can be accessed by creating a login on MBAFocus.

What makes a great internship?

MBA internships are typically project based. You might think of interns as consultants that can bring an outside perspective to your organization. Sample projects might include a feasibility study of entering a new market, the preparation of a financial forecast or budget, the analysis of an organization's or a recommendation on ways to reduce expenses. Our students want to make an impact and provide value to your organization. 

Basic requirements for approval for the first semester of an internship:

  • A minimum of 135 hours of work over a period of at least 6 weeks.
  • An opportunity to build upon or extend the student's first year learning and student career goals. Core coursework and areas of interest include marketing, finance, data analysis, human resources, operations, project management, supply-chain management, consulting, business analyst or systems analysis, sustainability, not-for-profit management, accounting and public finance. Details on coursework can be found here.
  • A project that gives the student an opportunity for the student to solve an organizational or departmental problem and add 2-3 accomplishments to the students resume.
  • The ability to interface with upper management. Often internships include brown bag lunches with management or the opportunity to present the findings from their internships at a staff meeting. The ability to interact with other staff on a regular basis. NOTE: We do not approve remote work situations for the first semester of internships.
  • An organization (public, private or not-for-profit) that is established. NOTE: We do not approve business plan creation for start-up organizations.
  • Remuneration - graduate students seek paid internship opportunities, although the amount of salary isn't as important as the opportunity to add value. In summer 2014, the range was up to $35/hr with an average of $18/hr. We do have a not-for-profit scholarship program specifically designed for not-for-profits that need an intern, but do not have the funding, consider applying for our Not-for-Profit Internship Scholarship Program.  

Internship Program Responsibilities:

The internship program includes some coursework the student does in conjunction with the internship work they do.  This coursework establishes a framework for students to monitor achievement of their objectives, goals, strategies, and tactics.  It also enables students to reflect upon their learning during the internship.  A faculty internship coordinator (FIC) is assigned to each student/employer.  The FIC communicates during the term with the employer, makes a site visit midway through the term, and acts as a mentor/advisor for the student.  

In addition to a site visit during the semester, we also require that the employer provides a face-to-face performance evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. This should provide the student with both positive feedback as well as actionable suggestions for areas of improvement. We also require employers to complete an online assessment of students. This assessment is also completed by students. The data from this assessment provides key information to improve our curriculum each year.  

Internship Length:

Although the minimum length of an internship is six weeks, the majority of students do a ten to twelve week internship over the course of a semester. In addition, we have a 3-2-1 program which enables a student to continue in the same internship over the course of an entire year earning three credits the first semester, two the second and one the third. The two credit internship requires only 90 hours of work and the one credit internship requires only 45 hours of work. All internships must last a minimum of six weeks. This program allows our students to use up to six credits from internships toward their graduation requirements.  

Internship Schedule:

Summer Term: May-August

Fall Semester: August-December

Spring Semester: January-May

Class Projects:

Willamette MBA is nationally recognized for innovative experiential education. Please contact us if your organization is interested in participating with student projects or case studies.