Business Foundations | Business Foundations Certificate

Internship

BFP Internships Are Available Each Summer

An internship in business is an optional course addition for every student studying in the Texas BFP. Many individual colleges require an internship in a student's major; the Texas BFP internship is not intended to replace this internship requirement. Internships offer an excellent opportunity to network, gather new skills, and gain valuable experience in a business environment. An internship is not a substitute for any other BFP course requirement.

Using Resources to Find an Internship

Workshops and classes are available to assist BFP students in all phases of the internship search from resume and cover letter writing to suggesting tactics for a successful interview.  There are numerous resources to assist you in securing an internship; however, it is ultimately your responsibility to find an internship.  To meet the internship requirement, you must work a minimum of 120 hours over the course of at least six weeks.

Once you secure a professional internship, you must apply for course credit.  You must receive approval PRIOR to beginning work.  Credit cannot be given for an internship you have already completed. 

Suggestions for Getting Started

  • Consider both paid and unpaid positions: volunteer opportunities can become qualified internships
  • Use your networking skills to explore possible opportunities
  • Meet with your own academic advisor and ask where your peers have done internships or gotten permanent employment
  • Talk with peers in your clubs and organizations
  • Notice employers who recruit at UT and contact them directly
  • Search classified ads selectively
  • Speak with family, friends, former employers, etc about potential opportunities
  • Research a place where you would like to work and contact the company or organization directly
  • Utilize the HireALonghorn website and your college's on-campus recruiting resources
  • Create your own internship opportunity

Earning Course Credit for an Internship

To ensure that you receive credit for your internship, you must follow the procedures in the order listed.

1.  Fulfill the Prerequisites

Complete 45 hours of college course work successfully. If you do not have 45 hours, but have secured "a once in a lifetime" offer, you may contact us and ask for an exception.  DO NOT accept the position without authorization from us if the employer requires that you receive internship credit.

2. Secure a Professional Internship

Submit a signed Employer Commitment form with your application.

3. Apply for Course Credit

Apply as soon as you have your employer commitment.  We will begin taking applications April 1.  You will receive an email indicating whether your application is approved or denied.  If your application is approved, the email will provide you with registration instructions.  If your application is denied, the email will explain the reason for the denial.  You may re-apply at any time.

4. Register for the Internship Course

If your application is approved, you must register for the internship course using the unique number indicated in your approval notice.  Course registration is handled by University Extension (UEX).

5. Attend the Internship Information Session

You will receive an email from the BFP course instructor with the details about the information session.  Attendance is expected but not mandatory.

6. Perform Your Internship

You must work a minimum of 120 hours over the course of at least 6 weeks.  Any hours worked prior to receiving approval of your internship will not count toward fulfilling this requirement.  Any hours worked after the due date will not count toward fulfilling this requirement.  In other words, you must work at least 120 hours during the 6-week period, starting after the date of your approval email, and ending by the due date.  Either part-time or full-time work situations are acceptable. 

7. Keep a Journal During Your Internship

The BFP course instructor will provide you with detailed requirements for writing journal entries during the information session.

8. Submit Your Journal and Final Paper

Submit your journal and final paper according to the instructions provided by the BFP course instructor.  You are welcome to submit your documents early, but, at a minimum, the documents must be submitted no later than the dates indicated in your syllabus.

Grading the Internship Course

The internship course is graded on a pass/fail basis, based on the successful completion of your internship and submission of the required physical or online documents.  Grades will be posted online at the end of the semester.  A grade of “CR” will be given to those students who fulfill all of the course requirements.  A grade of “F” will be given to those students who do not fulfill any or all of the course requirements.

Requirements

  • Work Hours:  You must work a minimum of 120 hours during the course of at least 6 weeks.  Only those weeks and hours which occur after your internship is approved, and by the due date will count toward the course requirements.  No credit will be given if you have worked fewer than 6 weeks or fewer than 120 hours by the due date.
  • Supervisor Surveys:  Two Supervisor Surveys are required and accounts for 20% of your total grade.  One of them is your Employer Commitment.  The other form, Employer Documentation, must be completed by your supervisor at or near the end of your internship.  You may copy the posted forms and either return by mail or fax (512) 471-6631. 
  • Journal:  The journal accounts for 30% of your final grade.  It is a record of what you do and learn on the job.  The BFP course instructor will provide you with detailed requirements for writing journal entries in the course syllabus.
  • Final Paper:  The final paper accounts for 50% of your final grade.  This paper is designed to help you integrate everything you learned during your internship.  Because this information may be seen by others, it is important that you not include any confidential information about the company for whom you are working.  The BFP course instructor will provide you with detailed requirements in the course syllabus.

Deadlines

Submitting an Application for Course Credit 

You must apply for the internship course after you secure a professional internship, but before

you begin working. The last day to apply for course credit is July 1 for a summer internship, October 15 for a fall internship, and March 15 for a spring internship.  

Adding the Course

Once your application is approved, the BFP course instructor will send you an email with instructions and a unique number. You can then register for the appropriate internship course. The course is not automatically added upon approval of your application.  If you cannot remember the appropriate unique number, contact University Extension (UEX).

Submitting the Journal and Final Paper

Submit your journal and final paper to the BFP course instructor as stated in the syllabus.

Submitting the Supervisor Survey

To ensure that you earn course credit for your internship, your supervisor will be asked to document both your employment beginning date and again at the conclusion.  The Employer Commitment and Employer Documentation form will be used.

Completing Your Internship

You must work a minimum of 120 hours over the course of at least 6 weeks, and must finish accruing your weeks and hours by the same day your journal, final paper, and Employer Documentation form are due. Any hours worked prior to receiving approval of your internship will not count toward fulfilling the requirement. Any hours worked after the due date will not count toward fulfilling the requirement. You are welcome to continue interning after the deadline, but the hours will not be eligible for course credit.

Additional Information for Study Abroad and International Students

Study Abroad Students 

If you secure an international internship, all the same rules apply.

International Students 

If you are an international student and you follow all of the necessary steps to earn course credit for your internship, you may receive F-1 employment authorization (Curricular Practical Training, or CPT) for one internship experience.  To apply for Curricular Practical Training, obtain the signature of your academic advisor on the CPT Recommendation Form after receiving approval for your internship. For information about work authorization, please refer to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website or contact ISSS at 512-471-2477.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my internship have to be a paid position?

No.  Your internship can be paid or unpaid.  Please refer to the US Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71 regarding internship requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Volunteer opportunities can become business internships once you secure an Employer Commitment. 

How do I get my internship approved for course credit?

You must apply for approval for the internship course after you have secured an internship, but before you begin working. 

How do I know if my internship will work for the internship course?

The easiest and most direct way is to submit the application and await the decision.  If an internship is appropriate, it will be approved.  Contacting the BFP course instructor before submitting the application simply adds an extra, unnecessary step.  The BFP course instructor is notified immediately upon submission of your application, and will review your application as soon as possible.

Why can’t I add the course, even though my application was approved?

First, wait a day or two.  It may take a bit of time for your UTEID to be entered into the registration system, thereby authorizing you to add the course to your schedule.  Second, make sure you are trying to add the section for which you were approved.  Only students with approved applications are allowed to add the class.  If you have followed these two steps and still cannot register, contact University Extension (UEX). 

My application was denied…what do I do?

If your application for course credit was denied, you will receive an email explaining why it was denied.  Please read the email and proceed accordingly.    It may be necessary to secure an entirely different internship.  If so, you can submit a new application at any time.  If you have questions, contact the BFP course instructor.

My internship was approved, but I’m not going to do it.  What’s next?

If you are not intending to complete an approved internship, be sure to drop the course and notify University Extension (UEX) and the BFP course instructor immediately.  Failure to do so will result in a failing grade.

When do I need to turn in my journal and paper?

Submit your journal and final paper according to the instructions in the syllabus provided by your BFP course instructor. 

Why haven’t I received any emails?

Be sure that you are checking your email address that is on file with the University.  Verify and/or update your email address through UT Direct

When should I consider an internship?

You can complete an internship at any time during your academic career. In fact, the earlier you get started and the more experience you gain, the better.  However, the BFP internship does NOT satisfy any BFP course requirements.  Work with your academic counselor to know if the credits count toward your own major or as elective credit. 

What if I get fired or want to quit?

If you experience any type of problem(s) in your internship or with your employer, please immediately contact Regina Hughes, Director of Texas Business Foundations Program.  Professor Hughes can help you understand your options and will assist you with the issue(s).  Be aware that quitting an internship without speaking with either Regina Hughes and/or your academic advisor can have serious academic consequences.

Help, my employer is doing something illegal or inappropriate!  What do I do?

If you have any issues or problems during the course of your internship, please contact Regina Hughes, Director of Texas Business Foundations Program immediately.  We will work with you and we want you to be in a comfortable/safe work environment.

My company needs a form signed.  Who should sign it?

The University of Texas at Austin faculty and staff are not able to sign any company forms.  Employers are aware of this, and it should not negatively impact your internship.  If you need documentation that indicates that you are completing the internship for academic credit,  please see below for further information. 

  • Student Completing Internship for Academic Credit:  The Texas BFP Program Office will provide you with a standard letter to take to your employer once your tuition is paid.  
  • International Students:  International students will need a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Recommendation Form signed.  Please see your Academic Advisor.  After verifying that this is your first internship and that it has been approved for course credit, your Academic Advisor will sign the form and return it to you.
  • Company Forms:  University staff/faculty are not able to sign any company forms. This includes Internship Coordinators, Academic Advisors, Career Advisors, and other faculty/staff. 

Page last updated: 9/27/2013