Creating Effective Internship Proposals

For many students, internships are the bridge from higher education to the workplace. They are a student’s first opportunity to glimpse into the world of business and see how the concepts they learned in school truly apply. It is a huge opportunity and helps students explore potential careers by putting their skills to work in a mentored, real world setting. Internships are an exciting opportunity that everyone should take advantage of.

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For many students, internships are the capstone to their academic instruction. It is the culmination of everything they have learned and now they get a chance to apply it and earn the final credits they need to graduate.

Yes, internships are often the final puzzle piece to graduation and one final, positive hoop that a student must jump through. To ensure credit is received, students must follow their university’s guidelines and requirements for internships. This is where the internship proposal comes into play.

What are Internship Proposals?

Internship proposals are formal agreements written by students about the goals and expectations of the internship that helps to determine how to measure the internship’s success. They are developed with the assistance of faculty advisors, program chairs, sponsoring organizations, and anyone else that the university wants to include.

Basically an internship proposal is written to outline the activities and goals of the internship and to ensure that the internship meets necessary requirements for graduation.

Students must consult the company to see what they are allowed to do, the university must verify that requirements are met, and the student needs to ensure that personal goals are met. The internship proposal, once completed, makes sure that everyone is on the same page.

Internship proposals typically run several pages and outline things such as what you want to learn, skills you want to develop, how you can contribute to the company, company profile, contact people, your goals, the university’s requirements, duration, hours of internship, location, and all of the other nitty gritty details that will help your internship be a success.

The Proposal Process

Any enrolled student who is seeking an internship for credit must go through this process. When it must be completed, depends on the time frame set out by the school, but required internships are typically done during the junior or senior academic year.

Well in advance, six months is a good time frame, students need to seek out internships. There is lots of great information on to help with this step. When students apply, they must specify that the internship is for credit and what is expected from the school – this information can be provided by your faculty.

After acceptance, students need to write the internship proposal that outlines the details of the internship in an easy to understand format. It is a binding agreement between the student, the school, and the organization that ensures the student completes all aspects of the internship. The student writes the internship proposal, but the other parties have a say and help develop it into its final form.

Once the internship proposal is signed and accepted, the student can begin the internship. Upon completion a final check is made to verify that all requirements have been satisfied so that credit can be given.

Need An Example?

Internship proposals are important because they keep you organized, focused, and professional. Take a look at the following pages to see examples and templates that will help you write your internship proposal.


Internship Proposal Template