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Completing the Internship Process
- Make arrangements for a job. Up to 250 jobs and internships are listed each year in the Internship Database and emailed to students. These jobs range from local area summer jobs to 6 and 9 month internships offered all over the U.S. and in international settings. Talking with students and faculty is also a good way to find out about potential internships. You are welcome to set up your own internship but it must first be approved by the Academic Advisor.
- Submit an Intent Form. The intent form is an agreement among you, your employer, and the Department of Horticulture. If you have questions about whether or not a particular job meets the criteria for the internship program, please see the Academic Advisor. The Internship Committee will be the final judge on whether or not a prospective job qualifies. You must submit a completed Intent Form to the Academic Advisor within three weeks of the time you start work. If we don't have a completed Intent Form in our files by then, your work experience will not count as an internship.
- Work the minimum time required for completion of the internship. Students must complete a minimum of 360 hours of internship. These hours may be completed over any time period and don’t need to be continuous.
- Register for HORT 410. By completing 360 hours, you are eligible for 12 credits of HORT 410. You are permitted, however, to enroll in only 6 credits of HORT 410, to minimize your costs. Enrollment in a minimum of 6 credits of HORT 410 is required for completion of your degree. Enrollment in the HORT 410 credits does not need to be done during the time of the internship – HORT 410 credits may be taken before or after your internship is performed and may be distributed across multiple terms. The Advisor will assist you in scheduling your internship credits.
- Submit an internship report (be sure to carefully follow the guidelines given in the Report Grading Rubric). Students doing a viticulture internship should use the Viticulture Report Guidelines, in addition to the Report Grading Rubric. Students doing a golf course internships should only use the Golf Course Report Guidelines and students doing a sports turf internship should only use the Sports Turf Internship Guidelines. All students should also submit a completed Student Evaluation Form and a completed Employer Evaluation Form. Reports and completed forms are due the fifth Friday of the next term after you finish working. For example, someone working summer will turn their paper in the fifth Friday of Fall term. Reports must be handed in by the deadline or you will lose points.
- Receive your grade. If you register for Hort 410 before you actually do your internship, you will receive an incomplete grade which will be removed as soon as your final internship grade is determined.
How is the Internship Graded?
After completion of the work experience and submission of the reports and evaluations described above, the Internship Committee will convene and distribute reports to faculty members that best match the internship area (e.g. turfgrass, nursery, landscape, viticulture, etc.). Reports will be assessed by faculty according to the Report Grading Rubric (students doing golf course internships will only use the Golf Course Report Guidelines, and students doing a sports turf internship should only use the Sport Turf Internship Guidelines, and students doing a viticulture internship should use the Viticulture Report Guidelines, in addition to the report grading rubric) and awarded a letter grade (A to F). The Internship Committee will be the final judge on whether or not the student has fulfilled the internship requirements.
Student Internship Responsibilities
Students will be expected to:
- Provide their own room, board, and transportation associated with the job if necessary.
- Conduct themselves in a manner befitting the program, the Department of Horticulture, and Oregon State University.
- Use the training experience to increase their knowledge of the horticultural industry and its practices.
- Apply themselves well to assigned work and responsibilities, demonstrate a positive attitude and provide an objective evaluation of the work experience, the employer, and the program.
Note: Students who quit early or are released from their employment will not receive credit.
Employer Internship Responsibilities
Employer Cooperators will be expected to:
- Pay a reasonable wage scale for the type of work involved. When possible, it is appropriate for the employer to provide assistance with transportation, room and board, or other benefits. The employer should consider employment of students an investment in the future of the horticulture industry.
- Provide the student an opportunity for a meaningful work and learning experience. Particularly useful internship work experiences are those which provide diverse experiences which give students an overview and appreciation of various aspects of the operation or business. For example, where applicable, the employer should expose the student to all phases of the operation, familiarize him or her with special techniques and equipment, business aspects, financing, personnel management, and more.
- Conduct periodic discussions and reviews with the student during the course of employment, informing him or her about job performance and willingness to work on various job assignments.
- Make suggestions to the Department of Horticulture for program improvement and implementation.
Read more about internships in the Department of Horticulture.