Business Administration Internships
The Department of Business Administration Internship Program offers students professional hands-on experience working with businesses and companies while earning credits towards your degree.
Through the internship program, students can earn academic credit for professional experience in a business or company.
Many companies have well established internship positions. In some other companies, internships are unique and negotiated between the individual student, the employer, and the faculty advisor.
Internships give students practical experience and added credentials that make an employee more marketable when applying for jobs. While all internships provide experience, many internships also pay interns for their hard work and efforts.
Business Administration graduates have worked with companies such as:
- Merchants National Bank
- Northwestern Mutual Financial
- Mayo Clinic
- Area Non-Profit Companies
You should begin looking for an internship at least 1 semester prior to registration. You will also need to find a faculty advisor to serve as your instructor.
Here are a couple ways you can search for internships:
- Campus bulletin boards
- WSU Career Services
- Personal connections (friends, family, former employers, faculty, etc.)
- Handshake or other job-search websites
- For all majors: Admission to the College of Business and 2.0 GPA
- BUSA majors: MGMT 325 and 3 required and/or elective courses in the major at 300+ level
- HR majors: MGMT 325, MGMT 317 plus 2additional required and/or elective HRM courses at 300+ level
- MIS majors: CS 234 or MIS 312, MGMT 325, MGMT 334, MIS 362
Once you find an internship, you must:
- Identify a supervisor you will report to at the company, and who can be in contact with your faculty advisor.
- Fill out the Internship Application Form (PDF) with your WSU advisor and attach to the Internship Proposal Form (PDF). Submit these forms to the Department Chair for approval.
- With your faculty advisor, determine what the content and structure of your weekly reports and final research paper will be.
- Register for the internship, observing the deadlines in the academic calendar in the current WSU Class Schedule.
BUSA 399 is 3 credits, grade only, and applied to Business Electives. This course is required for each internship.
BUSA 398 may be taken for 1-9 credits. It is P/NC only and applies only to General Electives.
When taking BUSA 398 you must have concurrent enrollment in BUSA 399.
If you choose to take 12 total credits for your internship, 400 hours on-site work is required.
200 hours are required as a minimum for 3-6 credits. Internships are 15 weeks maximum.
Here are some suggestions for daily log topics.
- What is the purpose of the business? What has made it successful? What do you particularly like about your company?
- Go into detail about your company’s product. If your product is a service explain that.
- Comment on the long-run need for your product or service.
- What technological changes are imminent in your business, if any? What technological changes may be forthcoming over the next 15 years?
- What are the names of the trade papers in your industry? Get one, and list the articles in that issue. What sort of articles do you find the most interesting and helpful?
- Which functions are the most important to the success of the business: Marketing, Central Administration, Production, Finance, Research and Development, etc? Are these functions in good condition to handle the future growth and/or problems of the organization? What suggestions would you make?
- How well is the company planning ahead? Does it have budgets for the next year; for the next five years?
- Is the company doing anything to prepare for an eventual transition in top management? How does it attract its top manager — pay, geographic location, potential personal growth? Is there competition for jobs at the top? Is there a management training program?
- What are the fringe benefits for an employee in your business? Is your firm a leader, follower, or average industry wide? (You might need to write other companies in the industry to survey their fringes.)
- Did the form of organization (Corporation, Partnership, or Proprietorship) have any effect on its operation? Would you suggest a different form than the one the company is presently using? Why? (Examples: taxes, control, liability, sources of funds, etc.)
- Is the company in good financial condition? Is it prepared financially for the future? Is it using modern investment analysis techniques to approve/disapprove project, manage cash and accounts receivable, make investments, value its assets, etc? What suggestions would you make?
Prepare weekly reports summarizing your work (based on your daily log) to your faculty internship advisor.
Content of these reports will be negotiated with your faculty internship advisor. These reports should indicate progress in each of the areas identified in the internship proposal and contract.
Near the midterm of your internship, your on-site supervisor will be asked to submit an Internship Evaluation Form (PDF) evaluation of your work.
At the end of your internship, your company supervisor will be asked to submit another Internship Evaluation Form (PDF) to your faculty internship advisor.
Prepare and submit a final research paper (as initially agreed on by the student and faculty advisor) to your faculty advisor. This is not simply a summary of your daily logs.
Here are some topics your final research paper should cover.
What is a main weakness of the business? What would you suggest should be done to correct it? What is its strength? Is it capitalizing on it?
What is the company’s competition? How strong is the competition? What is the company posture — to maintain its position, to grow or to shrink? Does the company have an organized strategy concerning competitive strategies planned for next year, the next five years, etc.? What suggestions do you have?
What is the place of your firm in the industry?
Construct or update an organization chart. Any suggestion for reorganization?
Observe and comment on the informal organization.
Evaluate leadership of superior, i.e., autocratic vs. democratic (from observed actions).
Describe and evaluate the communications network, including the informal one.
Study paperwork, and how some of it might be eliminated or why it is necessary. Show how the forms flow from one station to the next, and how the flow may be improved.
Study the possibilities of a unit-wide data base.
Comment on different approaches that may be needed with different clients or individuals:
- if in sales, could refer to different techniques
- if in administration, how to deal with different personality types
Comment on success of a particular advertising campaign or new technique. Does not necessarily have to be anything new, just successful in your business.
If any new ideas or revisions are implemented, watch how people resist the change. How is this resistance overcome? Or is the new technique or idea modified and altered by the resistance? In what ways?
If your work is in sales, formulate an analysis of different types of customers and what kind of an approach works well with each.
Analyze mistakes — yours or others. What were they? What did you learn from them?
As an intern, how were you used in the firm? Were you given many responsibilities? What do you think could be improved in your education process during the internship?
Comment on areas of personal development in the internship.
Has your internship affected your future plan?
What courses in your college career have proved most helpful?