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Many students, for many different reasons, either want or need to work while they attend college. Students who are able to obtain pre-graduation employment that ties into their chosen career professional field, in Finance or Economics will be aided immeasurably to understand the “real world” they are heading into, and will also stand out from others as they seek full time employment post-graduation. There are obviously many other types of jobs available in the nearby communities that can provide students needed income, but the Department seeks to assist students pre-graduation to work in their chosen career field.
Internship Program Goal/Objective:
The Department of Finance and Economics wants those students within its courses of study to have available a variety of opportunities in Finance and Economics related employment, should the student choose or need to work prior to graduation from Texas State University. Toward that goal, the Department seeks to provide to students the opportunity to obtain internships through the Department Internship Program. Additionally, we seek to assist students with part-time or even full-time financial industry related employment (referred to in this document as “employment”) outside of the actual Department Internship Program designation.
Virtually all potential employment available is competitively posted; with some being competitive with students from other universities. Employers want the best students/employees they can get to work for their business; in the same way the student wants the best job they can obtain. The Department cannot guarantee that every student who wants assistance with finding such employment will be successful.
Entry into the Department Internship Program is not automatic. Likewise, the Department does not place students into the Internship Program or other employment opportunities. The student must take the primary, active role in the process. The Department will post opportunities electronically as it becomes aware of them, assist and coordinate between students and potential employers, and facilitate communication.
Below are some considerations for students that tie in with these Goals and Objectives:
Options for Students to Consider and Choices to Make:
- Internship for Academic Credit, or not?
- Part-time or Full-time?
- Which Semester?
- What will I be doing at an Internship or Employment?
- Will I get paid for my work?
- Where is the Opportunity?
- Getting prepared and making decisions timely ….
- Related Forms and Links
Let’s take each consideration and explore it:
1. Internship for Academic Credit hours, or not?
This is a pretty big question. The answer depends a lot on the student’s needs, hours taken to date and needed to graduate, and Academic Advisor recommendations, along with other factors. Consultations in advance with the appropriate faculty and the Academic Advising Center (located in McCoy Hall) are important to making the right decision.
- Should the decision be made that the student benefits the most through the Department’s formal Internship Program, the Department will work with and assist the student so that the student can locate employment fitting their career designs and goals. The student will sign up for either Finance 4390 (a Free Elective) or Economics 4390 (an Advanced Economics Elective). The employer will need to understand the importance of their planning and proper job assignments to make the Internship meaningful. Other academic requirements and timeframes are met, with grades awarded as Pass/Fail. And the student gains the most experience available in the process. This Internship will also count for three academic hours. A sample Syllabus of the courses noted above is available here.
Frequently, opportunities under the formal Department Internship Program are for employment in a single semester. The Department’s Internship Program requires a minimum of 200 contact hours of work to qualify for Academic Credit, and this can be achieved on a part-time basis within one semester, working 10 to 20 hours a week. Also, this allows the student to continue to take other Finance or Economic classes at the same time.
- In the alternative, a student may need, or decide, to pursue employment in a career-related field, but outside of the formal Department Internship Program. The student may decide that they need another academic class for credit, and employment under the formal Internship Program does not meet their needs. The Department of Finance and Economics believes such employment benefits the students in their career pursuits, desires to assist the student where it can in such endeavors and will work with students for such employment opportunities.
2. Part-time or Full-time:
If a student needs to continue to take classes, a part-time (20 hours/week +/-) Finance or Economics-related employment or Internship would work. Most of these opportunities will be between San Antonio and Austin, and therefore require a student to have their own transportation. The student should consider the work times as well as travel time to and from the employment in arriving at a decision. Part-time opportunities of greater distances are generally impractical.
Infrequently, a full-time Internship may present itself to a student. These could be during a regular semester or a summer and could fit into a student’s overall career goals. The student may earn Academic Credit when worked out in advance with the Academic Advisor and Internship Coordinator.
3. Which Semester?
From the Department’s perspective, there is no time like the present to start. After a student graduates, they will look back on what they did during their University years, and we do not want to see anyone regretting a failure to avail themselves of an opportunity for an Internship or other employment when it might have been available. Begin now.
Employers have different needs at different times of the year; students, likewise. Working with the Department Internship Coordinator and their Academic Advisor, students will need to plan and contact potential employers well in advance of the actual employment time arriving. Frequently, there will be interviews, with many of these being competitive. If you enter the process at the last minute, you should not expect special treatment.
Depending upon the employer, an Internship or other employment could be extended into future semesters pre-graduation. Students should check with the employer.
4. What will I be doing at an Internship or Employment?
Two important items:
- First, all work through the Department Internship classes will be professional, challenging, and will use concepts the student has been learning through the various Finance classes they are taking at Texas State. While all employment contains some clerical aspects, the primary basis of the student’s employment should not be clerical or administrative work. The student, the employer and the Department Program Coordinator will work together to make certain these Internship factors are properly clarified.
- Second, other, non-Department Internship Program, employment opportunities should generally follow the same principles noted above as within an Internship. The student should seek the employment opportunity to contain these principles, for proper student development in their future career field. The Department Internship Coordinator will work with the student and the employer in developing appropriate professional and career-related work where possible.
5. Will I get paid for my work?
Generally, yes, if a student works through the Department Internship Program. Pay will vary depending upon the employer and the job involved. If a student works part-time, such as up to 20 hours a week, the student should expect to receive an hourly wage amount.
Internship opportunities may also include non-profits and government agencies.
6. Where is the Opportunity?
If the student elects to seek an Internship or employment on a part-time basis and continue classes, the internship will generally need to be in the Austin - San Marcos – San Antonio area.
Infrequently, a problem may arise between an employer and a student over work matters, availability, time, expectations, etc. The Internship Coordinator will work with all parties to resolve any issues that may arise.
8. Getting prepared and making decisions timely ….
Plan, Plan, Plan ….
A student’s proper preparation would include:
- Planning out classes several semesters in advance;
- Being aware of each future class’ work load so as not to overload themselves;
- Consistently applying themselves to each class to maintain good grades;
- Preparing a strong resume and developing solid interviewing skills;
- Deciding whether the opportunity should be under the Department’s Internship Program;
- Being aware of and prepared for any necessary costs involved.
The Department of Finance and Economics, through the Internship Coordinator wants to help, and we will work to provide the most opportunities to those students who begin the process early. For further clarification or additional questions, contact the Program Coordinator
9. Related Forms, Links and Requirements
- Internship Application
- Internship Expectations
- Work Log
- Paper - Submit an acceptable paper of 15 to 20 double spaced pages. The paper will likely include a description of the internship (duties, skills needed, etc), a brief history of the company, and some of the things the student learned during the internship. Examples of work may also be included.
- Syllabus for Finance/Economics 4390
For additional resources, students may also go to Texas State Career Services.