December 19, 2005
RE: Intern Hiring for Summer 2006
Greetings from Montana State University:


I wish to extend a warm welcome to companies who maybe new to our internship program and I would like to extend a generous “thank you” to the companies who continue to support our internship program. The purpose of this letter is to ask you to participate as an internship employer or continue to employ our interns from Montana State University.

Our internship positions are filled with students from our Construction Engineering Technology and Civil Engineering curriculum. The civil engineering curriculum consists of majors in civil, structural, geotechnical, transportation and bio-resources engineering. Our internship program is entering its 25th year with approximately 1,250 intern placements to date.

At MSU, the internship program is not a mandatory requirement for graduation. As a result, we believe that the men and women seeking a credited internship are aggressive people with a desire to apply their academic knowledge to real world situations. The most popular time for students to take an internship is during the summer between their junior or senior years. A few students choose to take a break from classes and extend their intern assignment into the fall or spring semester.

Students receive two credit hours of professional electives for each internship experience. Because college credit is awarded, the intern must complete five reports and be evaluated five times throughout their internship by their immediate supervisor. There are standard topics assigned for each report, which allows the student to explore the intricacy of the student’s major with support from the internship company they are working for. Reports should be written on the intern’s own time and should not interfere with their employment duties.

The program is also beneficial to the employers. As past experience has indicated, many employers view the intern period as a 12-week job interview. Consequently, many of our graduates accept permanent positions with their internship employer upon graduation.

Although the main purpose of an internship is to provide a learning experience, the student’s salary should be enough to pay for living accommodations at their assigned location for their internship. Furthermore, most students pay a significant part of their own education expenses and are often dependent on their internship income to get them through the next school year. A typical wage ranges from $10.00 to $15.00 per hour. We prefer that the interns receive an hourly wage so that the students are compensated for the actual hours worked rather then salaried wages.

Enclosed are the documents to participate in our 2006 internship program. To start the process, please return both the Letter of Agreement and the Position Announcement forms filled out as indicated. Interviewing for summer interns begins in late January 2006 and runs until the last interns are placed, but typically this occurs before Spring Break, which is mid-March 2006. Our policy is to have all internship placements finalized by April 1, 2006.

This year, Career Services is hosting its first annual “The Almost Spring Job and Internship Fair”, which will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 in the SUB Ballrooms. If you participate in this event, which I would strongly recommend that you do, then you will have the opportunity to interview students on Thursday and Friday of that week. This is an excellent opportunity to meet more students in an informal setting and get to talk with them prior to a formal interview process. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Francy Wolf in Career Services at 406-994-4353 to get more information. You can e-mail her at or visit their website at

However, I will still be coordinating the internships for the Department of Civil Engineering and

if you can’t or don’t want to participate in this Internship Career Fair, then I need to receive your Position Announcement and Letter of Agreement at least two to three weeks before you plan to interview for interns. I would encourage you to get your internship paperwork back to me by late-January 2006, so that the interns have plenty of time to review all the internship position announcements. After I receive your forms, I will contact you to arrange a date for interviewing, which will start in late-January 2006.

Last year we eliminated the hiring rule that said that the interns had to accept the first internship they were offered and it worked very well into our outcome objectives. So the interviewing and hiring process for internships will be the same this year. Meaning, the student is allowed to interview with as many companies as they want and make their own selection for their summer internship employment opportunity. This makes the internship interviewing and hiring process much more like the actual hiring process.

I look forward to working with you. I am confident you will be happy with the performance of our students. Please do not hesitate to call me at (406) 994-6139 with any questions about hiring interns.




Penny Knoll, CPC
Assistant Professor
CE/CET Internship Coordinator