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A core part of the Hospitality Business degree requirements is the internship component. Students are required to complete two internships: a Level 1 internship and a Level 2 internship.

A common question asked is “Why require two internships?” After graduation, you will assume a management role in the hospitality industry; you must be able to direct and lead employees working in hourly and supervisory positions in a hospitality company. Having work experience will allow you to learn what these jobs entail and what skills are need to perform them. You will also learn about the day-to-day operations of a hospitality company, how it is organized and managed, daily work issues and financial considerations.

Other reasons for the hospitality business internship requirement include:

  1. Employers will seek to hire students with significant work experience to become managers for their companies. Internships will strengthen your skill set and help you to develop your problem solving and leadership skills — just what recruiters are looking for! So the more experience you have, the stronger a candidate you will be.
  2. With so many choices of jobs in the hospitality industry, internships will also help you decide what segment of the industry is right for you!
  3. Internships help you understand information presented in the classroom and let you apply what you have learned in a real-world setting. Both are needed to be a successful manager in the hospitality industry.
  4. Internships will also provide you with powerful networking connections for a future job with the company of your dreams, for future advancement or for mentoring.

Internship Procedures and Requirements

  • What are the internship procedures?
    1. Prior to graduation, students in The School of Hospitality Business must complete two work experiences called internships. They must be in the hospitality industry.
    2. Both internships require working a minimum of 400 hours during a 10-week period with one company. Internships can be completed full time during the summer or part time during the school year. If you work part time, there is no time limit for completing 400 hours.
    3. Internships must be documented and approved prior to beginning by using the SIRC web application and approval process. At the end of the internship, you and your employer must also complete evaluations through the SIRC web evaluation process.
    4. All three forms – approved application and both evaluations – must be completed by the end of the internship, or the internship will not be counted as complete. It is your responsibility to make sure your employer completes your final evaluation and submits it to SIRC.
    5. If you have an F-1 Visa, you must also process a CPT or OPT form and secure authorization to work in the United States from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).
  • What are the internship requirements?
    • Level 1 Internship: This is your first internship, which requires working for a hospitality company in an entry-level, hourly paid position.
      • A level 1 internship is a prerequisite for HB 307 Hospitality Human Resources and must be completed before taking the class.
    • Level 2 Internship: Your second internship requires employment in a hospitality company in one or more of the following areas:
      1. Supervisor, manager or management shadow*
      2. Rotational position through three or more departments*

    *An internship that combines areas (1) and (2) is highly recommended and would provide the best experience. Special projects can be added to either (1) or (2).

    Both your Level 1 and Level 2 internships must be completed before taking HB 489 Hospitality Business Strategy.

Internship Requirements for International Students

The School of Hospitality Business requires that all undergraduate students complete two internships (work experiences). The Student and Industry Resource Center (SIRC), the career services office for The School of Hospitality Business, will assist you in securing and documenting your internship.

Each internship must be a minimum of 10 weeks and 400 hours. Internships can be completed full time during the summer or part time during the school year. If you are working part time, your internship must be completed during consecutive semesters without interruption. International students with an F-1 Visa are authorized to work in the United States to complete these internships under Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and approval from the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) at MSU.

CPT and OPT Information

Procedures

After your employer provides an offer letter, please follow the procedures listed below.

  1. Internships must be documented and approved online prior to beginning your internship by submitting a SIRC online internship application. Upon approval, you will receive an email confirmation and a internship ID number. Internship documentation submitted after the internship is over, or completed in years prior to the current date, may not be approved to fulfill the internship requirement.
  2. In addition to SIRC approving your internship online, you must also show SIRC your offer letter and have a CPT form signed. Once the CPT form is signed, submit it to the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), and they will assist you in securing authorization to work in the United States.e
    *Only off-campus work experience in the U.S. requires CPT authorization. Working on-campus during the semester for up to 20 hours per week does not require CPT authorization. Working on-campus during the semester greater than 20 hours per week requires CPT authorization. Working outside the United States does not require employment authorization.
  3. After you complete your internship, you must also submit a online student evaluation. Use your internship ID Number to access the link.
  4. In addition, when your internship is complete, your employer will automatically be sent a final performance evaluation to document the number of hours you worked and evaluate your performance.
  5. All forms – your internship application, student evaluation and the employer’s evaluation – must be completed by the end of the internship, or the internship will not be counted as complete. It is your responsibility to make sure your employer completes your final evaluation and submits it to SIRC.
  6. If you hope to stay in the U.S. for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation, it is important to know that hospitality employers especially value international students who have U.S. work experience. Therefore, we strongly recommend that both internships be completed in the United States. However, we recognize that this may be difficult to accomplish. So, we request that at least one of your internships be completed in the United States so that you can relate and understand the principles and concepts taught in your classes that are preparing you for your degree from The School of Hospitality Business.

Please remember that you CANNOT work in the United States unless you have approval for CPT or OPT from OISS. The SIRC office and the Office for International Students and Scholars will help you complete and process your CPT. OISS has final approval over all off-campus work, however; SIRC will help you begin the process.

Please contact the SIRC director to discuss your individual situation, or if you have additional questions regarding CPT, contact OISS.

Contact Information

  • Student and Industry Resources Center (SIRC)
  • Phone: (517) 353-9747
  • Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS)
  • Phone: (517) 353-1720
  • oiss.isp.msu.edu