Ready to Develop an Internship? Consider This First!

Growing your own talent by providing on-the-job-training will give interns insight into the day-today operations of your business. This results in more efficient assimilation if a full-time offer is extended. Additionally, this offers a chance for employers to screen potential employees before investing in permanent hiring. You’re probably thinking, “Great! Sign me up,” but there are some considerations to make before you take the leap. The first step in starting any internship process is to determine the internal needs of the organization.

Consider the following before deciding to host an internship:

Will the intern be governed by an institution, such as Midwestern State University or Vernon College?

When hiring a “traditional” intern typically defined as an undergraduate student, it is important to know the requirements that their institution may have if the student is receiving credit for their internship with you. This is an important consideration to make because it may shape how your processes, such as evaluations, will take place. The good news is that this information is readily available on each institution’s website and usually responsibility for proper completion and documentation is on the student.

Bottom Line: Create your own policies around on-boarding, evaluations and duration and adjust on a case-by-case basis to accommodate the student’s needs.

Should your program be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor?

In general, individual internship programs are not required to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). However, if you are considering offering a Apprenticeship, there are significant benefits for becoming registered with the DOL. Components of a registered apprenticeship according to the DOL include: “Paid Job, On-the-Job Training, Classroom Learning, Mentorship, and Credentials.”

If you’re interested in learning more about a registered apprenticeship program, you can review the DOL’s site here.

Bottom Line: Unless you are looking to gain the leverage of a national backing of a potential apprenticeship, you don’t need to register with the DOL.

What is the scope of work that the intern will be completing?

The DOL outlines that an internship should offer a trainee both a combination of education and experience that would be similar to the hands-on training that an intern would typically learn in an educational environment. Additionally, internships should not replace a full- or part-time employee. Therefore, make sure your internship consists of legitimate tasks, projects and assignments that can benefit an intern’s education. No coffee-fetching allowed!

Still need help? Answer these questions to dig down further on what your intern will be doing:

  • What will be the daily duties of the intern?
  • What skills or level of education does your intern need to possess to participate in your workforce effectively?
  • Are there age or licensing restrictions in your organization that limit the work that can be done by an individual?
  • Will you assign a special project for the intern to complete?
  • In which department can an intern best fit, and who will be their supervisor?

Bottom Line: As long as you have quality projects to complete, you can find a quality intern to help!

Does your industry or organization require skills not typically provided in a classroom setting?

The best part of creating an internship program is the opportunity to grow your own talent pool to the exactspecifications that you need for a quality employee! Exposing your intern(s) to your processes, equipment and team creates a one-of-kind, custom-built talent pool for future full-time hires.

Bottom line: Providing a new, unique experience to an intern that can’t be learned in any other setting will greatly supplement an intern’s education and it’s no more challenging than training any other new employee.

Do you have difficulty recruiting and retaining quality employees?

An internship program, especially a long-term program, will give you the opportunity to build strong connections to your interns who understand and appreciate your business or organization. The longer an intern works within your program, the more knowledge and experience they gain about the both their job and your organization. This greatly increases their ability to function as an asset on your team if hired for full-time employment.

Bottom Line: Internships allow you to build quality future employees from the ground up, and they’ll be the easiest hire you ever make.

Can your organization or employees benefit from the help of an intern?

Let’s answer a question with a question. Can your employees benefit from any of the following advantages that an intern can bring to your organization or business?

  • Allow full-time staff the flexibility to work on higher-level projects while also gaining leadership skills.
  • Increase retention.
  • Assist in the implementation of cutting-edge techniques and new ideas
  • Maintain connections with institutions.
  • Promote community involvement.
  • Recruit other students within their program and increase pipeline prospects.
  • Allow your company to give back to the community by teaching, molding, and mentoring the prospective workforce.

Bottom line: if you answer YES to any of the above questions, an internship will be very advantageous for your business or organization.

Lastly, employers should also consider the costs to beginning an internship program, which can include wages, housing, networking activities, recruitment costs, work materials and training costs.

With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There is an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience.

Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take your step-by-step through the development process. Have questions? Email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.

Read Types of Interns Part 1

Read Types of Interns Part 2

What are the different types of interns?

High School Students
Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students
Returning Workforce
Active Duty, Veterans, Military Spouses

What are the different types of internships

Internship
Co-Op
Returnship
Externship
Fellowship
Apprenticeship

Why should I hire an intern?

Flexibility
Leadership and professional development opportunities for employees
Increase employee retention
New ideas and perspectives
Connection to educators and community
Save money when compared to hiring a part-time or full-time employee

Midwestern State University Industry Tours

Our community identified that the age of which students are entering the workforce is one of the most critical times for local workforce development. It was also determined that retaining our homegrown talent from regional educators is vital to the economic and community growth of Wichita Falls, which it doesn’t hurt our population count either.

The Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with the McCoy School of Engineering at Midwestern State University during Engineering Week 2020 to showcase three local manufacturers to 14 engineering majors. Those employers were: Pratt & Whitney, Arconic and Kalco Machine and Manufacturing Co.

Our unique behind-the-scenes look at each facility helped make the connection for the students that we have high-quality employers and opportunities in Wichita Falls. The outmoded stigma of dark, dirty and dusty industry buildings was immediately replaced with immaculate, efficient facilities and supreme company culture, and we had a blast showing them off. This isn’t your great-grandfather’s factory job!

This program was unmatched in value, with each manufacturer talking about internship and post-graduation job opportunities at their facility directly to the students. Some even gave their resumes directly to management! Experiences like this promote student investment in our local businesses and community and may lead to employment opportunities in the future.

Let’s recap on all the benefits from this tour:

  • Strengthened relationships between MSU, industry leaders and the community
  • Potential population growth for Wichita Falls through post-graduation student retention
  • Recruitment pipeline for employers
  • Challenging the stigma of manufacturing jobs
  • Internship opportunities for students
  • Student investment into local business

Future tours in the business sector coming soon

It doesn’t stop there! The Wichita Falls Chamber is dedicated to moving our city and community forward through the creation of talent pipelines to bridge the gap between employers, educators, and students through a collective impact model. We are looking to expand this program to a bi-annual event that includes more MSU departments and Vernon College. To get started, we are discussing a future tour for business majors at Vernon College Century City Campus for later this year. Want to learn more about how to be involved in future tours? Email Taylor Davis.

See more on this story here.

What are the benefits of taking students on industry tours?

Strengthened relationships between MSU, industry leaders and the community
Potential population growth for Wichita Falls through post-graduation student retention
Recruitment pipeline for employers
Challenging the stigma of manufacturing jobs
Internship opportunities for students
Student investment into the local businesses
Students at Pratt Whitney

Midwestern State University mechanical engineering students tour manufacturing facilities

Lauren Roberts, Wichita Falls Times Record News

Mechanical engineering students spent their Saturday touring three manufacturing facilities around Wichita Falls.

The Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce sponsored the tours to Pratt & Whitney, Arconic, and Kalco.

“The students have the opportunity to go through these tours to see exactly what these facilities are up to, the types of jobs they do, the types of jobs they offer. And also getting that inside look at the staff that’s on hand,” Taylor Davis, director of the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership, said.

She said the tour could lead to potential internships and job opportunities. Some of the students brought along their resumes to hand out to staff at the faculties.

“We have seen a need in our community to connect our educators, employers and students/community members,” Davis said.

Mechanical engineering senior Luuk Teurlinx said it was good to see what was actually inside a company like Pratt & Whitney.

“You see on the internet what they’re doing but you don’t see how they’re doing it and what goes on in the factory,” Teurlinx said. “Definitely interesting to see and it’s good to see.”

Teurlinx said he is trying to figure out what he’s going to do after graduating and this tour can help him narrow it down.

Ijuani Stephenson liked seeing the way parts were tracked as they entered and left the facilities and how it related to the customers.

“Overall it was a very visual and hands on process of everything,” Stephenson said.

She said there has been stagnant population in Wichita Falls with the only growth in the 55-plus age group.

“Trying to retain the talent that we have at MSU as well as our homegrown talent here that was born here and raised here is really important to us,” she said.

With the success of the MSU industry tours the chamber is considering branching out and doing more tours with other majors and schools. 

“We are talking to Vernon College to see what it might look like for their business majors,” Davis said.

See the video from Newschannel 6

Progress: New initiatives at MSU Texas enhance the value of students’ degrees

Dr. Suzanne Shipley, Midwestern State University

When families think about where to attend college, cost is always one of the first factors weighed. 

Alongside cost, however, families need to research the quality of the degree. It is the equation of cost plus quality that can determine the value of the degree. And the value of the degree is what most benefits a graduate.

While keeping costs steady at MSU we are working hard to increase our value in a number of ways. I hope that you find these details meaningful, whether you are a proud graduate of MSU, a family member of a graduate, or considering attendance at our university. 

Academic Endeavors

The much-anticipated opening of Centennial Hall, home to programs in our Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, began 2019 on a high note. The $42 million project was part of the $58.4 million in tuition revenue bond funds appropriated by the state in 2015, and marked the largest designation of capital construction funds in the history of the University.

This project was instrumental in forging new alliances with Shimadzu Medical Systems USA and B-Line Medical LLC, as well as renewing our longstanding local partnership with United Regional. The Shimadzu School of Radiologic Sciences at MSU Texas is the first corporate and public educational partnership of its type in radiological sciences.

Through these alliances, our students and faculty will work and train with state-of-the-art equipment and software that will set them apart in their fields. The building now stands as confirmation of the trust and support our state has placed in us to provide an educated workforce and stimulate economic development across our region and beyond.

Expansion to select doctoral programs has emerged as a new interest of MSU Texas graduates. We are now pursuing approval for not one, but two, doctoral programs. Programs in radiologic sciences and educational leadership would be the first for our university, and the doctoral program in radiologic science would the first of its kind in the United States.

Alongside this change for our graduate endeavors are our undergraduate signature minors to respond to student interests and workforce needs in fields such as cybersecurity, educational design and learning management, musical theater, and organizational psychology to name a few. Such advancements help us stay true to the value we know students receive from our liberal arts foundations; strides in our professional degrees show the quality of this important combination.

Affordability is imperative for our MSU families and no program does more to make a degree available to first-generation students than our Priddy Scholars Program. Middle-income families across the region have benefited from this freedom from the cost of higher education given to our students.

Priddy Scholars do not have to divide their time and attention between the workplace and the classroom, instead single-mindedly pursuing studies, participating in campus events, preparing for leadership and service roles in the community, engaging in international study, and selecting a career. Priddy Scholars stay enrolled at MSU Texas, with 90 percent completing their degrees without interruption. What we are learning from this program is helping us to design programming to help all students be successful and keep all MSU Texas degrees affordable.

Thinking Outside the Internship Box: Part 2

In my last article, I outlined the talent pools that you can tap when creating an internship program. Today, I am sharing with you the different types of internship programs that you can create to benefit your organization. Thinking outside of a traditional internship model can help you tailor a program that best fits your needs while still connecting your organization to the community and creating a self-made hiring pool. This is ideal for an employer who is experiencing workforce challenges but, does not have the ability to take on the training and development of the usual three-month, student-intern model. Learn more about different types of internships below:

Internship

Temporary employment of a high school or college student, sometimes without pay, for them to learn more about industry as it relates to their education, typically taking place over a summer or semester session.

Co-Op

Hands-on, experiential learning that supplements curriculum provided by an educational institution, typically hosted over a longer time frame of six to nine months.

Returnship

Developing and orienting experienced, talented individuals who are seeking to re-enter the workforce after an extended absence, and is not limited to a specific timeframe as it is not tied to an academic program.

Externship

Temporary training program in a workplace, similar to a job shadowing opportunity with a hands-on component, that offers an inside look to how an organization functions or provides goods and services, typically not to exceed more than a few days, weeks or up to a month in length.

Fellowship

Professional development and mentoring-focused training program for highly educated or experienced professionals to benefit a specific organization that is looking to expand leadership, typically lasting a few months to several years.

Apprenticeship

Defined as “earn and learn,” an apprenticeship combines formal education with on-the-job training opportunities to learn both technical and soft skills, typically lasting a few months to a year, with an option to hire at the conclusion of the program.

Though traditional timelines have been provided in the above definitions of internships, it’s important to consider the positive impact of retaining an intern for an extended period. The longer an intern works within your program, the more knowledge and experience they gain about the both their job and your organization. This greatly increases their ability to function as an asset on your team if hired for full-time employment.

With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There’s an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience. Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take your step-by-step through the development process. Have questions? Email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.

What are the different types of interns?

High School Students
Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students
Returning Workforce
Active Duty, Veterans, Military Spouses

Why should I hire an intern?

Flexibility
Leadership and professional development opportunities for employees
Increase employee retention
New ideas and perspectives
Connection to educators and community
Save money when compared to hiring a part-time or full-time employee

Thinking Outside the Internship Box: Types of Interns

At the Wichita Falls Chamber, we’ve re-wired our brains to not equate intern to “student.” In fact, we’re taking a broad, inclusive view at who the word “intern” should include. When you’re looking to start an internship program at your business, think of the following people:

Traditional:

High School Students—Students who are currently enrolled in secondary schools or recent graduates who have not yet began a post-secondary institution or higher education program.

Undergraduate Students—Students who are currently enrolled in a 2 or 4-year post-secondary program

through an accredited higher education institution, to include technical and community colleges or recent graduates who have yet to enter the workforce.

Graduate Students—Students who are currently enrolled in a graduate-level program at an accredited higher education institution or recent graduates who have yet to enter the workforce.

Non-Traditional:

Returning Workforce—Individuals who are re-entering the workforce after a hiatus due to medical concerns, caregiving, living overseas, etc. However, this category can also include adult learners or individuals making a career change.

Active Duty, Veterans, Military Spouses—Typically displaced workers due to the military, this population can include individuals who are planning to separate from service, have recently done so, or their spouses. This is typically a population that is not considered as a recruitment pool for the workforce but has great experience and potential to contribute to an industry. Additionally, there can be national and local incentives to hiring from this population, such as the Department of Defense Skills Bridge.

Another way to think outside the box with interns is to hire them on for a longer amount of time. Usually, when we think of interns, we think of a short three-month “job shadow” type of experience. I’m encouraging you and your business to think long-term. After you keep an intern on for six months, one year, two years or more, they are going to know your business inside and outside. With less training needed during the transition, it’ll be the easiest full-time hire you ever make.

With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There’s an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience. Ready to get started?

Refer to our free Employer Guide below to take you step-by-step through the development process.

Talent-_Partnership_Internship_Guide

If you have questions, please email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director.

What are the different types of internships?

1. Apprenticeships – High school students, Undergraduate students, returning workforce, active duty, veterans, military spouses.
2. Returnship – Returning workforce, active duty, veterans, military spouses.
3. Co-Op – Undergraduate students, graduate students
4. Fellowship – returning workforce, graduate students, active duty, veterans, military spouses.
5. Externship – HIgh school students, returning workforce
6. Internship – High school students, undergraduate students, graduate students