University of ArizonaNorton School of Family and Consumer Sciences


Retailing and Consumer Sciences Internship Program

Today’s employers are seeking strong academic performance, leadership abilities, and tangible evidence of on-the-job skills among their future employees. Completing an internship that offers an in-depth examination of specific retail positions and businesses enhances your chance of landing a job upon graduation. The RCSC program offers you an opportunity to complete a paid internship for academic credit between your junior and senior year. The network established by the TJL Center and our corporate partners will help you obtain internship positions with some of the nation’s foremost retailers and retail support businesses! RCSC offers a broad selection of courses emphasizing principles employed to manage the retail supply chain in order to satisfy consumers’ needs.

The information below describes how the Internship program is organized, how it functions, and how students are monitored and evaluated. In addition, procedures for applications, seeking placement, establishing the internship, processing paperwork for academic credit, and evaluating the learning experience are included. As a potential intern, the student should read this unit carefully to understand what will be expected of the student, what will be expected from the University of Arizona, and what will be expected from the cooperating sponsor.

Objectives of our the Retailing Internship Program

  1. To provide the student with a realistic hands-on experience in their chosen field of specialization.
     
  2. To provide students with professional business exposure and role models who can assist in clarifying career goals.
     
  3. To expose students to the processes involved in acquiring and holding a position in the business world.
     
  4. To assist students in understanding the relationship of subject matter, personal skills and abilities, and responsibilities in the pursuit of professional goals.
     
  5. To allow an opportunity for interchange among students following completion of the internship experience.


Internship Timeline

BEFORE YOU START THE INTERNSHIP

  • admittance to RCSC Professional Program
     
  • successfully complete RCSC 384 including completion of initial internship paperwork
     
  • successfully complete RCSC 304 required for some corporate internships
     
  • attend Speaker Series events through RCSC and Career Services
     
  • interview with company recruiters through Career Services
     
  • see Internship Coordinator to fill out necessary forms approximately two months out once an offer has been made


DURING THE INTERNSHIP

  • each week submit a weekly log according to guidelines in manual
     
  • each week submit interviews from the field
     
  • via email to the coordinator submit a self-midterm evaluation
     
  • sponsor submits a midterm evaluation
     
  • ponsor submits a final evaluation


AFTER THE INTERNSHIP

  • student gives a oral presentation giving a overview of the internship in an RCSC 384 class; dates selected by instructor
     
  • student submits a final written project detailing their internship; dates announced by coordinator

Forms
Internship Agreement form
Midterm Self-Evaluation form
Supervisor Midterm and Final Evaluation form

Current Opportunities
For a current list of companies, or if you are a company interested in hosting an intern, please contact the Undergraduate and Internship Coordinator, Felicia Frontain, McClelland Park Bldg. Rm 203, Phone: 621-7144, Email: frontain@email.arizona.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Internship?
The internship experience is generally completed between the Junior and Senior year. It is a structured work experience that offers the students an in-depth look at his/her chosen field. The internship program is competitive and, therefore, not required but highly recommended. Students are encouraged to assume the responsibility for the planning and securing of an internship experience early in their college career. In recent years, many students who have not had internships and in-depth work experiences prior to graduation have also not been successful in being placed in career ladder positions. The RCSC 384, Leadership Ethics and Practice Management course will provide assistance in planning efforts. When completed the internship serves as an extremely valuable experience to include in the graduation resume.

How long is the Internship?
The internship experience should be planned for a minimum of eight to ten weeks (roughly 400 hours) involving a near full-time commitment. Some firms classify interns as "part-time" due to their short time involvement and to enable them to decrease paperwork related to retirement and medical benefit packages, however, these students often work full-time and sometimes more.

When is the Internship scheduled?
Summer is the most popular time for interns with most firms and for students academic scheduling, however, fall and winter semester can also be considered. The student MUST plan to complete a minimum of one full semesteron campus following the internship experience prior to graduation.

Are the Interns paid while doing the Internship?
Interns are generally paid while in their place of employment, although this is not a requirement to earn credit for an internship.

How do I get credit for the Internship?
The internship can be formalized with the RCSC Internship Coordinator when a clear agreement and understanding of responsibilities and potential learning experiences are known. RCSC 384 and RCSC 304 are prerequisites for the internship. Once all required forms are submitted and the internship proposal is completed academic credit will be determined and the student can enroll using a drop/add form. A Sponsor's Agreement must be signed by both the student and the cooperating firm to make the internship official. Failure to submit the signedsponsor agreement will result in the student being dropped from the internship units.

Besides working what do I have to do?
This internship is closely monitored and evaluated by the firm, the student, and the Internship Coordinator, unlike general work experiences or co-op experiences. Internship assignments include professional journals, a special project, a log showing hours worked, a midterm and final analysis, and an oral presentation to one of the Retail classes or to the department.

Where do students do Internships?
Many of the larger retailers who have offered internship experiences for several years have developed internship training programs which often parallel their "Executive Training" programs. These "organized" internships are more rigorous and usually provide a wider variety of experience and more challenges to the student with an expected sound background in sales experience. The organized programs expect students to be self-directed and self-starters, building on their prior part-time work experience.

For the student with limited sales experience, internships can often be arranged with smaller specialty firms which can offer more one-on-one specialized guidance. The smaller companies may have less experience with interns; however, they can frequently offer an excellent overview of the total management and business operation difficult to experience in larger firms.

Can I pick the company I Intern for?
Of course this is an opportunity for the student to specialize in an area that is of interest to them, and it also provides insight into these areas upon the student returning to campus during your oral presentation. The RCSC Internship Coordinator does have to approve the company the student intends on doing the internship with.


 



Tel: Main Office 520.621.1075 Norton School Student Services 520.621.1295
Mailing Address: 650 N. Park Ave Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078 (Map to McClelland Park)
Site Map  Email: sfcs@cals.arizona.edu  

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