Internships Incorporated into Menlo Curriculum

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Alumni help Menlo College students present themselves to employers at the second annual Speed Networking event.

As President of Menlo College, I am pleased to announce the adoption of a new internship requirement and the expansion of our internship program.  On Thursday, March 31, 2011, the Faculty Senate approved a proposal to require six credit hours of internship for all business majors entering the College from August 2011 onwards.  One alternative will have students doing their internship during the summer following their junior year—twelve weeks of full-time work totaling 480 work hours.  The second alternative will allow students to do their internship during their senior year on a part-time basis of two days (16 hours) per week.  The internship program will be under the leadership of a full-time internship director, and each intern will have both a work supervisor and a faculty supervisor.  Intern groups will meet regularly with faculty supervisors to share experiences and learning. These faculty members will ultimately approve any academic credit.

Internships provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in workplace settings and to translate classroom learning into practice.  The internship is a “job” that is either paid or unpaid.  Internship students do work that is similar, if not identical, to the kind of work that would be expected of an employee with a bachelor's degree.   Doing analysis, recommending decisions and communicating meaningful ideas should form the bulk of the work.  Placements can be at for-profit businesses or non-profit organizations, depending upon student interest.

Menlo's new requirement is further evidence of our commitment to becoming “Silicon Valley's Business School.”  While most colleges have an optional internship program, only a minority of business schools require them at the undergraduate level.  Our program will allow students to spend the time necessary to deeply understand the business in which they are placed, and develop real career skills that would not be learned in a brief placement. With such a variety of local high-tech businesses to choose from, students at Menlo stand to benefit greatly from this new requirement.


Jim Kelly