CMCI considers employers to be educational partners: mentoring students, teaching real-world skills and preparing graduates to enter the job market. We offer academic credit for approved internships and employers provide valuable experience and guidance to our CMCI students. by directly supervising interns and evaluating their progress and skills.
Internship Supervision Expectations
- 1. Why should you hire an intern?
- 2. What should employers know about internships?
- 3. How do I find an intern or post a position?
- 4. What are CMCI's different majors and sequences?
- 5. What are the student requirements for credit?
- 6. What are student evaluations?
- 7. Will my student intern be receiving school credit and workers' compensation insurance?
- 8. What are the different types of employment and payment?
- 9. Can I promote short-term projects or freelance jobs to students?
- 10. What are your legal polices?
Media is a rapidly changing industry with digital components that quickly fluctuate in and out of popularity and usefulness. Younger generations are often more plugged-in to technologies, and CU Boulder students are some of the brightest, most driven workers in the job market.
Benefits of hiring an intern:
Interning is becoming a more and more integral part of career experience for college students. Hiring an intern helps students improve their chances of career success, and will help promote your company, too.
What is an internship?
At CMCI, we define internships as structured, supervised, short-term educational training programs in which undergraduate or graduate students perform tasks and duties within a professional organization to gain knowledge and experience. We view employers as educational partners. Students are supervised and evaluated by both employers and professors, and earn academic credit/letter grades during their internships. Internship experiences should benefit both students and employers. They are a form of experiential learning helping connect students to future careers while giving employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. During the COVID-19 pandemic and until further notice, the university is allowing credit for remote internships that are supervised.
What is not an internship?
CMCI does not offer internship credits/letter grades for unsupervised internships, because, although they offer valuable work experience, they offer little to no mentoring or educational support. Students may engage in paid or volunteer "freelance" work within the professional industries of their choice, but may not receive academic credit for these experiences if unsupervised.
Note: We offer two types of internship credit:
*The requirements are different for each type of credit.
All positions are posted on Handshake, our job, internship and event database. Visit Posting a Position for step-by-step directions on how to post your job or internship online. Our Resources page has other helpful information for Handshake and posting positions.
Please see the CMCI website for major descriptions and additional information.
Internship credit is given to students as an elective based on number of hours worked (to be negotiated between student and employer).
Students typically work 10-15 hours/week to earn 3 internship credits (our minimum requirement is 50 hours of work per credit), however, it depends on how much credit they want to earn.
Employers must meet certain criteria:
Employers are required to evaluate students twice during the semester. The internship office will send via email a midterm and final evaluation which employers will be asked to complete on Handshake. Professors use these evaluations to determine students’ final internship grades.
It depends on the student’s major and desire to earn credit. In CMCI, Journalism and Media Studies majors are required to earn 3 internship credits to graduate. Other students (Advertising, Public Relations, Media Design; Communication; Media Production) are not required to earn internship credit to graduate but have the option to receive upper-division elective credit. It is the employer’s responsibility to confirm the student’s credit decision.
If a student is receiving credit, the internship office will send an approval request and evaluations via email. Students participating in formal, unpaid internships for credit are considered employees of the university and are covered under the University of Colorado’s Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage.
Students participating in formal, paid internships for credit are considered employees of the host company. The state of Colorado requires employers to provide workers' compensation insurance to all paid interns working in Colorado. This can be part of your company’s W2 process.
If the paid intern is not working in Colorado, we recommend you check your state’s requirements.
- Regular, Part-Time Employment: a professional position requiring less than 34 hours of time per week (less than 85% FTE) in a traditional employee and employer relationship. Benefits may be included. Regular tax, social security, and other government requirements are filed by the employer.
- Regular, Full-Time Employment: a professional position requiring more than 34 hours of time per week (at least 85% FTE) in a traditional employee and employer relationship. In most cases, benefits are included, and regular tax, social security, and other government requirements are filed by the employer.
- Seasonal: a time-limited position in which an employee and employer relationship exists. Some benefits may be included, and regular tax, social security, and other government requirements are filed by the employer. These may include “summer jobs” and/or short term jobs that may be full-time during semester breaks.
Can my company pay an intern a flat fee, instead of an hourly wage?
Some nonprofit or educational employers like to offer a stipend amount to offset expenses either during or at the end of an internship. In this case, we categorize the position as an unpaid internship. However, you are welcome to note the stipend benefit in the body of your description. A stipend may be complemented by other benefits such as accreditation, instruction, work experience or transportation reimbursement. Universities usually refer to money paid to graduate research assistants as a stipend, rather than as wages, to reflect complementary benefits.
My company needs an intern, but we don't have the budget to pay anyone.
While we encourage all employers to pay interns, we realize this is not always possible. However, we do require all employers to follow the same guidelines required by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Career Services Office and the federal government. Employers are required to sign a contract, agreeing to abide by these policies, when they post internships on our online system. See our Employer Legal Policies and Expectations for more information.
Short-term projects and freelance jobs can be posted on our system, which is especially helpful if you anticipate needing occasional assistance from CMCI students but do not have a regular position opening.
Use Handshake to post your position, but instead of choosing "Internship" or "Job", choose "Alternative Experience". If you have an urgent need for production crew members, writers or any media-related jobs on a short timeframe, please contact Jake Jedamus-Denu who can immediately reach out to many of our current CMCI students via social media platforms.
Please view Legal Policies and Expectations for more details.