Internships

Internships are an invaluable transition from academia to your career. These beyond-the-classroom learning experiences leverage student expertise and host organization demand. Every business student has the opportunity to participate in an internship, earn academic credit, and satisfy the Business major’s experiential learning requirement by doing the internship fieldwork as a senior (or rising senior) and enrolling in BUS 489.

Students may do their internship fieldwork with regional employers, national and foreign firms, government agencies, and non-profits. Internship fieldwork may take place in Asheville, elsewhere in the US, or elsewhere in the world! 

Internship information session dates and proposal deadlines are below. “STEPS” below detail what you must do to enroll in BUS 489.

Note: The internship course (BUS 489) is limited to 12 students. Enrollment priority will be given to students who are graduating that semester.

What internships qualify for academic credit?

Many organizations label opportunities as “internships” because they need a temporary employee and/or they want to see if students fit in the organization before hiring the students. However, just because an organization labels something as an “internship” does not mean it can qualify for academic credit: UNC Asheville cannot legally award academic credit without an academic experience.

BUS 489: Any student can do an internship of any kind for non-academic credit. But, for internship fieldwork to qualify for academic credit, it must be tied to an academic experience. BUS 489 provides this academic experience. To earn credit, students must enroll in BUS 489 and adhere to the UNC Asheville Policy for Credit-Bearing Internships.

  • Students must have a minimum of 30 credits in business courses before they can enroll in BUS 489. These 30 credits may come from courses in BUS (previously MGMT), ACCT, and ECON.
  • Students must enroll in BUS 489 during the same semester they conduct their internship fieldwork. The UNCA policy will not allow us to award retroactive credit. For example, if your internship fieldwork is done in the summer, you must register for the summer section of BUS 489.
  • BUS 489  is offered every semester (fall, spring, and summer) so you may do your internship during any of these semesters.

Your time commitment:  To receive academic credit for your internship, UNCA requires 35 hours of work for every credit earned. BUS 489 is a 4 credit-hour course, therefore you are required to complete 140 hours of work total, including both classwork and fieldwork. This averages to approximately 6-9 hours of fieldwork per week during the fall or spring (approx. 15 weeks) and 9-12 hours of fieldwork per week during the summer semester (approx. 9 weeks).

Internship location:  Your internship must be with an organization (including local, national, or international, for profit or nonprofit, governmental, or on-campus). Fieldwork may be remote and include online communication, but the communication with the organization must be continuing and intentional throughout your internship.

Internship content: The internship must produce a product AND/OR expose the intern to substantial business and professional skills.

  • For a project-based internship, you must solve a problem the organization has and produce a product (a deliverable) that involves your project management skills to creatively plan, execute, and deliver. This product must be created entirely by you, be delivered to the host at your internship site, and be included in your portfolio of items that will be graded in the BUS 489 course. To determine the product for your internship, have a discussion with the people who will supervise you at your internship site–they are the ones who are most familiar with that organization’s problems/challenges/opportunities and the product(s) you can produce to address these.
  • For non-project-based (skills-based) internships, you must be gaining substantial business and professional skills. Discuss the nature of the internship with the internship coordinator (below) before you write your proposal.

How early should I begin the process? Dates and Deadlines 

3-4 months before your internship begins…
Attend an internship information session (dates below) and begin searching for internships (see Step 2 below). If you wait until the last minute, the Internship Coordinator will not have enough lead time to discuss your interests, and you will not have enough time to search for internships and schedule interviews with host organizations that fit your interests.

2-3 months before your internship begins…
Confirm your internship and submit your internship project proposal by the deadline (see Deadlines and  Steps 3-5 below).
Once your internship project proposal is approved and the agreements are signed, you may register for BUS 489 (Step 6 below).

 

INTERNSHIP INFORMATION SESSION DATES: If you wish to do an internship, attend one of the information sessions offered each semester . . .

  • Friday, January 26, 12:00-1:15pm, 130 Delany Hall (info session will also include an Intern describing their experience, value of an internship, and tips for finding one)
  • Monday, January 29, 2024, 3:30-4:45, 219 Delany Hall (info session will also include tips from the Career Center on finding an internship)
  • Monday, February 19, 2024, 11:30-12:45, 130 Delany Hall (info session will also include tips from the Career Center on finding an internship)

INTERNSHIP PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINES: If you wish to enroll in BUS 489, submit a Proposal (Steps 3-5 below) OR a “Request to Submit Late” form by . . .

  • For fall 2024 internship: Early bird deadline (for quicker approval) is Monday, April 22, 2024. Regular deadline is Monday, June 3, 2024. If you can’t meet the June 3 proposal deadline, submit a Request to Submit Late form on June 3.

  • For summer 2024 internship: Early bird deadline (for quicker approval) is Monday, April 1, 2024. Regular deadline is Monday, April 15, 2023. If you can’t meet the April 15 proposal deadline, submit a Request to Submit Late form on April 15.

  • For spring 2024 internship: Early bird deadline (for quicker approval) is Monday, October 30, 2023. Regular deadline is Monday, November 6, 2023. If you can’t meet the November 6 proposal deadline, submit a Request to Submit Late form on November 6.

  • NOTE: Submitting a proposal by the deadline does not guarantee you a place in BUS 489—the proposal must be approved. Submitting a Request to Submit Late prioritizes your place on the waitlist but does not guarantee you a place in BUS 489. If you do not submit a Proposal or a Request to Submit Late by the deadline, 10 points may be deducted from points earned in BUS 489.

STEPS 

Step 1: Attend an internship information meeting

Dates and times for upcoming internship information meetings are above. These meetings will give you the details you need to apply for an internship, write your proposal, and be accepted to the BUS 489 class. (A summary of this information appears on this website.)

Step 2: Find an internship

Where can you find an internship?

Sometimes this process can feel overwhelming, but the Business Internship Coordinator is here to help!  Make an appointment and they will discuss your interests and provide suggestions. It is up to you to keep in touch with the Internship Coordinator if you need additional help throughout the process.

In addition to meeting with the Internship Coordinator, here are some other places to look for an internship…

(1)  Many exciting internship possibilities can be found on the UNC Asheville Career Center website through the Bulldog NetWORK (formerly Handshake). Join other job-search sites (e.g., linkedin.com, indeed.com)

(2)  Attend the Career Center internship events and meet with Career Coaches to explore internship opportunities and assist you with resumes, cover letters, interviewing, networking, and much more:

  • Starting on January 24, 2024, REGISTER for the Career Center’s INTERNSHIP MATCHING PROGRAM to get substantial assistance getting matched with a PAID summer internship, which can be completed with the summer ’24 BUS 489 class to earn your experiential learning credit. For more details go to this link. 
  • The Internship Pitch Event, Thursday, February 22, 11:30am – 12:30pm, Ramsey Library (map)
    Hear about local, paid internship opportunities! Employers will hop on stage and ‘pitch’ their experiences to you while you kick back in the audience.After the pitches, connect with employers who had opportunities that sparked your interest. This is a great low-key event to find your next internship experience! Check out the employers who will attend here: https://unca.12twenty.com/events/30006101162504
  • Fashion Show and Pop-up Shop, Tue, April 16, 11am – 1pm, Reed Plaza (map)
    Get some FREE workplace appropriate clothing and learn how to dress for success in work spaces while remaining authentic to your personal style. Fashion Show: 12:30-1:00. Pop-up Shop: 11:00-1:00
  • Funding Opportunities: The Career Center offers several funding opportunities for off-campus internships, including:
    • Internship Matching Program (see above). All internships are funded. Offered for spring and summer ’24.
    • SECU Public Fellows Internship Program – Offered each summer; students accepted to the program complete a paid, full-time internship at a non-profit or government agency while completing a 3-credit connected course.
    • The Walker Family Fund for Paid Internships Award – Supports a First-Gen student pursuing a spring, unpaid internship.
  • Drop-ins Monday-Friday from 12 to 3pm on the first floor of Ramsey Library in the Student Success Hub.
  • Go here to see the various Career Center Career Coaching services and to schedule an appointment with a Career Coach. You may also email Career Coach Grace Champion at gchamp1@unca.edu.

(3)  Subscribe to the Career Center’s ongoing list of “COOL JOBS AND INTERNSHIPS”

(4)  Go to websites of specific organizations that interest you. Organizations often advertise internships on their websites, with information about how to apply.

(5) January 31, 3-7pm JOB FAIR, WNC Ag Center: https://www.mountainareaworks.org/job-fair/

(6) Network (UNCA, past and present employers, friends, family)

Begin to look for an internship at least 3-4 months before your proposal is due. Applying for an internship is similar to applying for a job—the process of getting the interview, followed by the host organization’s decision-making process and paperwork will often take  longer than you think.

Step 3: Complete the BUS 489 Prerequisite Form

Complete and submit the BUS 489 Prerequisite Form. Students must have a minimum of 30 credits in business courses before they can receive credit for their internship. These 30 credits may come from the required courses in BUS (previously MGMT), ACCT, and ECON. Please do not submit an internship proposal if your transcript does not have a record of these 30 credits because you will not be permitted to enroll in BUS 489 and receive credit for your internship.

Step 4: Write Your Proposal

Your proposal must be in the correct format, have a professional appearance and be free of any grammar or spelling errors. If these errors are found, it will be returned. Because the project is proposed by the student, the proposal must be written by you in first person (for example, use “I will” rather than “the intern will”). There must be only one internship host supervisor identified on this proposal—this will be the person who will be responsible for supervising your work. The proposal must no longer than one page and formatted exactly as shown in the example below with the following specifications:

Note: It can often take 3 to 4 weeks of iterations to get the final version of your internship proposal approved. So, plan ahead and start early on the proposal process!

If you are late submitting your proposal draft, the Business Department cannot guarantee that you will be able to enroll in the BUS 489 course during the semester you are hoping to do so.

For more information on writing and submitting your proposal, attend one of the Internship Information Meetings (see dates above). In addition, as you are writing your proposal, feel free to make an appointment with the Business Internship Coordinator, Elizabeth Harvey—she will be glad to help!

Step 5: Get your proposal approved

(5a)  Proposal Submission

Email the proposal to the Internship Coordinator in MS-WORD format so that comments can be inserted during the review process. Email the file to businessinternships@unca.edu without any signatures—note that the email address is mgmt followed by the word internship with no space in between.

  • The subject line of your email message must be:  (your-last-name in parenthesis) followed by Internship Proposal. For example: (Smith) Internship Proposal.
  • The body of the email must contain the following statement:  Before making this submission, I completed the BUS 489 prerequisite form. Also, I am certifying that I have been accepted into this position by the host organization shown in the attached proposal.
  • This statement must be followed by your complete name, again in the body of the email.

(5b) Proposal Review Process

The Internship Coordinator will then work to get your proposal approved by the Department. During the approval process, you will be sent feedback on your proposal and will likely do one or more revisions—look for feedback that will be sent to you from businesstinternships@unca.edu.

(5c) Signatures on the Proposal and Internship Agreement Form

Once your proposal is approved by the Department, the following four steps must then be completed:

I)  The Internship Coordinator will email you the approved proposal and an internship agreement electronically.

II)  You and your host must complete and sign the electronic forms.

III)  After the documents are completed and signed, the “date of final approval” will be recorded on the proposal by the Internship Coordinator.

IV)  After the “date of final approval” is recorded, the Internship Coordinator will open the BUS 489 course for you to register.

Step 6: Enroll in BUS 489 Project-Based Internship

  • You will be permitted to enroll in BUS 489 after your internship proposal has been approved by the Business Department and you and your host have signed the related paperwork (above).
  • Reminder: Students must enroll in BUS 489 during the same semester of their internship fieldwork.The UNCA campus internship policy will not allow us to assign retroactive credit.

Step 7: Complete Your Internship

NOTE: You should not begin your internship project work until:

    • You have submitted your internship proposal and it has been approved by the Department.
    • You have completed the internship agreements (above).
    • You have enrolled in and begun the BUS 489 course (if you need to begin your project work a little earlier, e.g., 2-3 weeks, please coordinate with the BUS 489 instructor as you will need to begin certain class assignments early).

While you are doing your internship fieldwork, BUS 489 coursework will include:

  • Learning project management skills, including developing a project plan for your internship at the beginning of your fieldwork. (This is usually in the form of a project timeline.)
  • Making weekly entries detailing what you are doing.
  • Submitting journal entries in which you reflect on what you are learning during the internship, which will be a vital component for developing the final report for your project in BUS 489.
  • Providing a progress report to you host.
  • Meeting regularly with the instructor and the other internship students in the BUS 489 course.
  • Developing the deliverable you stated in your internship proposal.
  • Preparing a final written report with: (a) an executive summary, (b) your detailed summary of what you learned, and (c) your deliverable.
  • Preparing a final (short) presentation video.

If your internship location is not within driving distance to campus, you will still need to attend class meetings. Please see “May I do an internship outside the Asheville area” in the section below.

Step 8: Add Your Internship Experience to Your Resume

  • As part of BUS 489, you’ll be creating a Portfolio of your internship work, including a final presentation video describing your internship and learning. You can link to this Portfolio on your Resume or use the Portfolio content to update your Resume and to write Cover Letters if required by prospective employers.
  • The Career Center is happy to help you with Resumes and Cover Letters, including after you graduate. See Step 2 above for contact information.

FAQs:

What can I do if I can’t meet the proposal deadline?

  • If you cannot submit a completed internship proposal by the deadline (above) because you have not yet confirmed an internship, you may complete a Request to Submit Late Form. Be sure to do this by the proposal deadline date. NOTE: submitting a Request to Submit Late form does not guarantee you a place in BUS 489, but it will prioritize you on the waitlist.

May I do an internship outside the Asheville area, or even outside the United States?

  • Absolutely! You can do your internship in any location you wish. To earn BUS 489 credit for internships outside the Asheville area, you will still need to complete all the BUS 489 course assignments and participate in the BUS 489 class meetings virtually. To do this, you must notify the Business Internship Coordinator IN WRITING NO LESS THAN 1 MONTH BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF THE SEMESTER so that arrangements can be made. Email your request to mgmtinternship@unca.edu.

Why does the Department of Business have these requirements?

  • The internship structure and paperwork described on this website protects the students! These policies protect you against being economically exploited at your internship site because you and your host will sign a proposal stating what you will gain from your internship experience. In addition, your well-defined proposal allows you to have an important role in determining how your internship will be evaluated and graded.

Who do I contact for more information?

  • Contact the Business Internship Coordinator: Elizabeth Harvey, JD, email: businessinternships@unca.edu, 111 Delany Hall