Hiring Internship and Co-op Students

Short-term work experiences such as internships or co-ops have many benefits for both students and employers. In order to ensure that internship and co-op participants have the best chances for success, we have some expectations of employers who hire these students.

Prior to the Work Experience

  • If your company or organization requires the student to be registered for internship or co-op credit, let him or her know as soon as possible.
  • Provide the student with any basic information that he or she will need on the first day at work, including what to expect, work start and end times, appropriate dress, and any documentation that is required on the first day.
  • Offer the student assistance in locating appropriate housing near the work site.

During the Work Experience

  • On the first day, provide a tour of the office or facility, a meet-and-greet with other members of the team, and an orientation program or materials to ensure that the student is fully informed about your organization's policies, procedures, and expectations as related to benefits, holidays, safety requirements, etc.
  • During the first two weeks, give the student a project summary and explain how the assignment relates to learning objectives.
  • Meet with the student at regular pre-determined intervals throughout the work experience to discuss progress.
  • Ensure that the student has continuous oversight and support, whether that is from you or from an alternate supervisor during any of your absences.
  • If the student is seeking credit for the co-op or internship: Since most engineering students choose to receive academic credit for internship or co-op experiences, especially during the fall and spring semesters, it’s important that they have meaningful assignments that are related to their field of study and that enhance their engineering education.
    • Around the midpoint of the work experience, you will be notified by email that it’s time to complete the Mid-Semester Supervisor Evaluation Form (select Mid-Semester Evaluation, semester/year, unique ID, and password, then choose Submit). This evaluation offers your first formal opportunity to give the student constructive feedback that can shape the rest of his or her internship or co-op experience. Meet with the student prior to completing the evaluation and review it with the student once completed.
    • At the end of the work experience, you will be notified by email that it’s time to complete the Final Supervisor Evaluation Form (select Final Evaluation, semester/year, unique ID, and password, then choose Submit). Prior to completing this evaluation, meet with the student to discuss his or her performance in the position, what he or she could improve in a future work assignment, how well he or she met his or her own goals and those of the company or organization. Be sure to observe the due date for this form.
    • Sign off on the student's End-of-Semester Report, which summarizes his or her internship experience or co-op rotation. Confirm that the report does not contain any proprietary information. The report will then be reviewed and graded by faculty or staff in the College of Engineering.

If for any reason you need to lay off or terminate a Penn State student before the end of a semester experience, please contact us prior to doing so.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032