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Internship Procedures

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External Internships

Students are encouraged to seek employment off campus through an External Internship. However, the Department guarantees an equivalent experience for students who cannot locate an external internship, or who prefer to work on an internal project. This alternative situation is referred to as an Internal Internship

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  1. General Internship Meeting: The student should attend a general meeting on the internship experience at least one semester before the student plans on taking the course. This meeting will present the requirements, procedures and resources for the internship.
  2. Job Search: Following the General Internship Meeting, the student will begin his or her job search. The search is basically the same as any prospective employee would conduct to obtain a job. The search typically includes the preparation of a resume, locating prospective employers, contacting the employers to request employment and performing other placement activities, such as an interview. Students should be looking for a job that is both creatively and technically oriented; typically involving programming. There are a wide variety of resources available to the Intern in his or her search. For example, the ESU Career Services Department can help the student with preparation of the resume, interview preparation and job searching.
  3. Salary: The Employer is not required to pay the Intern for his or her services and no salary statement will be submitted to the Department. However, most off-campus organizations do pay their interns. The Intern will generally be better motivated and more productive if adequately compensated.
  4. Letter of Appointment: The Employer will issue a Letter of Appointment to the Director about their intent to hire the student. The Director will review this document to determine if the proposed internship meets the stated standards. If it does not, the Director will take action to rectify the situation. These actions range from requesting additional clarification to prohibiting the internship at that Employer. The letter must be printed on the Employer's letterhead paper and include the following items:
    • Project description
    • Required technical skills
    • Estimated number of hours of employment
    • Student's supervisor for his or her internship
  5. Registration: Students are required to enroll in the course CPSC 486 Computer Science Internship. This enrollment is required to run essentially concurrent with the period of employment. Exceptions to the requirement of concurrent enrollment/employment are rare and require prior approval of the Director. Enrollment requires the student to specify and pay for the number of credits for which the student will be employed. The student is required to enroll for a minimum of 3 credits and is allowed to take a maximum of 12 credits. Each credit requires a minimum of 60 hours of employment. Therefore, an Intern is required to work a minimum of 180 hours, but may work more if both the Intern and the Employer agrees. Note that there are special forms and deadlines for summer internships.
  6. Employment: The Intern is expected to conduct himself or herself in a manner appropriate for any professional employee. Please keep in mind that the Intern's behavior reflects on the Department in particular and East Stroudsburg University as a whole. Areas of particular importance include meeting Employer standards for dress, promptness, and quality of work. During the period of employment, the Intern is an employee and should attempt to resolve work related problems using normal organizational channels, typically through his or her Supervisor. At the same time, the Intern is a student, and therefore should keep the Director advised of any such problems. If the Employer's policies and procedures do not resolve the situation, the Intern is encouraged to call the Director to act as a mediator. As a last resort, the Department reserves the right to terminate the internship relationship with the Employer.
  7. Reporting: The Intern must keep a daily log of the hours worked, major activities performed and other items of importance. The Intern must also make regular, informal progress reports to the Director. This contact must occur at least monthly, or after each quarter of internship hours have been completed. This report is intended to be informal; a phone call or note by electronic mail is sufficient. Interns with network access are requested to include the current portion of his or her log as part of the progress report.
  8. Site visit: Approximately half of the way through his or her employment, the Intern should make arrangements with the Director and his or her Supervisor for a site visit. The purpose of the visit is to verify the Intern's employment status, observe the progress of the Intern's work and interview the Supervisor. Other outstanding issues can also be resolved at this time. If the internship site is sufficiently far enough from East Stroudsburg to make a site visit difficult, the Director will use alternative methods of conducting the site visit. This will typically involve a phone call, but remote presentation of the Intern's work should be considered if network access is available and appropriate technical/security constraints could be reasonably satisfied.
  9. Letter of Completion: The Employer will issue a Letter of Completion to the Director to document the completion of the Intern's employment. It will be accompanied by the Intern Evaluation. The letter must be printed on the Employer's letterhead paper and include the following:
    • Description of the projects on which the Intern actually worked
    • Total number of hours for which the Intern was employed
    • Evaluation of the Intern's conduct and the quality of the internship experience
  10. Final documentation: The Intern must provide sufficient materials to document his or her experience. This includes:
    • Daily Log - A daily log of the Intern's activities.
    • Internship Evaluation (Microsoft Word) - A checklist summarizing and evaluating the student's internship experience.
    • Internship Report - A report describing the internship experience. This report is to be submitted in hard copy to the Director for evaluation. This report will be accessible to other students who are seeking employment and will be kept on file for two (2) years.
    • Supporting Materials - The report is to be accompanied with supporting materials that document the Intern's work. These materials include functional specifications, design documents, program listings, test plans, etc. Submission of these materials must be approved and coordinated with the Employer. Employers have the right to impose a variety of constraints on the release of these materials. Some common options include:
      • Full, unrestricted release of the materials. This is the easiest and most desirable form of release.
      • Restricted release of the materials, solely for review by the Director. Materials must then be returned to the Intern, who is responsible for returning them to the Employer.
      • No release of materials. This is typically only used if there are federal security constraints or severe proprietary concerns. Employers that choose this option must compensate by providing a more detailed and comprehensive Letter of Completion.
  11. Presentation: In the semester following his or her employment, the Intern will present a short seminar (10-15 minutes) on his or her experience. The Director can waive this requirement for interns who are graduating on completion of his or her internship or if there does not appear to be sufficient interest in the subject of the internship. These seminars will typically be presented in conjunction with the meetings of the ACM student chapter.

Internal Internships

An Internal Internship follows exactly the same procedures as an External Internship. The main difference is that a sponsoring faculty member assumes the role of the Employer. Students in this situation should contact the Director to determine possible internship projects. Students can also query other faculty members of the Department about possible research projects they may have been considering. Normally an Internal Internship is unpaid, but occasionally funds are available from contract research and other sources to pay for a specific project. The student should contact the Chair about the availability of such funds. All correspondence between the Intern, the Director or the sponsoring faculty member will be by electronic mail. The preparation of a resume is still required.

Acceptable Jobs

  • Programmer/Analyst - The intern would be responsible for designing computer solutions to a problem that requires a combination of hardware and software. This would require a variety of tasks such as hardware or software specifications, hardware or software evaluation (for purchase) and software designing and typically programming.
  • Application Programmer - The intern would be responsible for creating programs, often designing them before coding and debugging.
  • Microcomputer Specialist - The intern would be responsible, under supervision of qualified personnel, for all aspects of microcomputer operation in an organization. This would include system implementation, software installation, operating system configuration, system customization and user training.
  • Network Specialist - The intern would be responsible, under supervision of qualified personnel, for all aspects of network operation. This would include installation, configuration, traffic analysis and trouble shooting.
  • Database Specialist - The intern would be responsible, under supervision of qualified personnel, for all aspects of database operation. This would include database design, modification, security and application programming.

Unacceptable Jobs

  • Operator - Employee is responsible for all aspects of computer operation, typically in a large data processing center. This includes execution of scheduled jobs, minor hardware maintenance and mounting consumables such as paper and removable media.
  • Data Entry - Employee is responsible for typing data into the computer system.

Job Search Resources

  • ESU Bulletin Board - Hard copy job notices will be posted in the departmental offices.
  • ESU Alumni Database - The Department keeps on-line records of past alumni placements. Such companies may be willing to accept additional interns.
  • ESU Internship Database - The Department keeps on-line records of selected companies/organizations who have indicated their willingness to accept additional interns.
  • ESU Career Services - Maintains lists of job opportunities and on-campus interviewing. Career Services is located on the second floor of the Flagler-Metzgar Building. For additional information, call (570) 422-3219.
  • Newspaper Advertisements - Companies that are hiring permanent employees may be willing to accept an intern.
  • Personal "Network" - Student's should not overlook his or her circle of friends, family, neighbors, family friends, etc. in looking for a job. It is not an uncommon occurrence for someone in this group to be able to create an internship opportunity for the student.

Internship Report

The Internship Report is a summary of the Intern's employment experience. It will typically be three (3) to five (5) pages long and should include the following:

  1. Title page - Containing a title, Intern's name, Employer's name and period of employment.
  2. Employer - A short description of the Employer, typically 2 to 10 paragraphs. If the Employer is large enough to be subdivided into divisions or departments, each of the major subdivisions that are connected with the Intern's employment should be described using a similar treatment. This includes the following topics:
    • Full name and address of the Employer.
    • Name and address of the Supervisor and any contacts which might be useful for other students attempting to seek employment at this organization.
    • A description of the product or service provided by the Employer.
    • Size of the Employer - typical indicators such as the number of employees, number of customers, total assets or income, approximate market share.
  3. Assignment - A short description of the work assigned to the Intern, typically 2 to 10 paragraphs. If multiple projects were assigned, each should be described separately.
  4. Computing Environment - A short description of the computing environment used by the Intern as part of his or her employment, typically 2 to 10 paragraphs. Of particular interest are the computer systems, operating systems, languages, data base managers and networks used by the Intern. Include an indication of the size of the system; such as execution speed, amount of disk storage and number of terminals/workstations.
  5. Academic Experience - The Intern is to relate his or her internship experience to his or her degree program by correlating the employment experience with the courses in the degree program, with emphasis on the upper division courses. Of particular interest are any areas where the program was especially strong or weak in preparing the Intern for this employment experience. Complete this analysis by a general critique about the value of the internship experience.
  6. Documentation - The Intern is to submit a variety supporting materials with the report. These may include functional specifications, design documents, programs listings, user manuals, etc.

Site Visit

The purpose of the visit is to verify the Intern's employment status, observe the progress of the Intern's work and interview the Supervisor. Other outstanding issues can also be resolved at this time. Site visits typically last between one to two hours, although they occasionally last longer. The agenda for any particular site visit may vary in length or order. The agenda is marked to indicate who will be presenting to the Director.

Agenda

  • Overview of Company/Organization - A brief description of the Employer, including the organizational structure and product or services provided by the Employer. [Intern or Supervisor].
  • Overview of Project - A brief description of the project on which the Intern has been working, including the impact on the Employer. [Intern or Supervisor].
  • Review of Intern Performance - A brief summary of the Intern's performance on the project [privately by the Supervisor].
  • Computer Science Strengths & Weaknesses - A brief summary of the program's strengths and weaknesses as reflected in the Intern's skills and preparation for the job. [Supervisor, possibly privately]
  • Facilities Tour - A brief tour to the Intern's physical working environment. [Intern]
  • Demonstration of Project - A brief demonstration of the interns portion of the project [Intern].
  • Computer Science Strengths & Weaknesses - A brief summary of the program's strengths and weaknesses as reflected in the Intern's skills and preparation for the job. [Intern]
  • Other Presentations - Other presentations which the Supervisor, Intern and Director agree would be appropriate and interesting. For example, tour of other company facilities has often been informative. [Supervisor or Intern]
  • Review of Internship Procedures - A review of internship procedures that need to be completed for the submission of a grade and the definition of a timeline for their completion.