Background Image Alternative Text: Student Intern

Employer Guide

Program Description

The Career Center offers two formal experiential learning options for hiring employers.

The Cooperative Education Program (Co-op)

Co-op at MSU is a fully accredited work based-learning initiative that has flourished since 1955. By design, the program is a paid, three or more work term experience designed to help students bridge the gap between education and employment while maintaining their full-time student status. By partnering with MSU, Co-op employers are able to vet eager short-term employees for potential long-term fit. MSU students may start their co-op plan after completing the freshman year and establishing a solid GPA. However, program enrollment is most common following the sophomore year.

The Internship Program

The Internship Program offers students from a variety of disciplines paid or unpaid experience in a professional practice setting. Internships may be directly related to the students major or in an industry of interest to the student. Internships are usually one semester and occur most frequently during the summer term. Hiring employers assign interns to a wide range of short-term projects that help the company to improve its bottom line. Employers set internship qualification standards.


Hershey's Intern


Both programs options offer quality work experiences for qualified students who desire to enrich their academic tenure with planned and monitored work experiences.

Program staff prepares students for work readiness and hosts a series of hiring events to connect students with potential employers.

Employers interested in hiring MSU students must register with the Career Center. See the registration link below.

Employer Statement of Agreement

Employer commitment is an integral part of the success of the Career Center’s experiential learning programs. To ensure student success, employers must:

  1. Provide a work environment free of harassment and discrimination.

  2. Plan well-defined work assignments before the student’s arrival.

  3. Discuss learning objectives with students upon arrival.

  4. Provide mentorship and regular supervision.

  5. Encourage questions that develop an on-going communication system.

  6. For Co-op, vary the assigned projects/ duties with each work term to expand learning opportunities.

  7. Submit a student evaluation to the program office at the end of each work term.

A full statement of agreement is available to each new program employer seeking to register with the MSU Co-op Program.

Employer Registration

Those interested in becoming an experiential learning program employer should:

  1. Complete the employer registration found online at

  2. If the organization already holds an employer account with the Career Center, co-op records will be created as official offer letters are accepted and placements are confirmed.

  3. Since recruitment is a competitive process for students and employers, pay close attention to on-campus recruitment dates and course registration deadlines.

  4. Co-op employers should adhere to the established work term calendars provided by the program office.

Pay Guide

The Career Center does not set pay rates for experiential learning agreements. However, consultation regarding competitive pay is available to registered employers. A prior year student earnings snapshot is available in the program annual report.


Students are often concerned about the availability of housing during their co-op or internship. Those who rotate semesters of work and school often must juggle multiple leasing agreements each year. Employers should consider the availability/affordability of housing in the area when extending offers. Competitive offers often include a housing clause that details the availability of company housing, a monthly housing stipend, or other forms of relocation assistance.

Program Specific Hiring Events

The program office welcomes employers to engage with students on campus each semester. Employers with outstanding campus visibility tend to have the highest number of student applications for their co-op and internship positions. Below is a list of the premiere events for attracting top candidates for your internship positions.

Co-op and Internship Interview Days

This tried and true event is planned for employers with a specific interest in interviewing co-op students or interns to begin work assignments the following semester.


Typically, 50 – 60 employers attend this event and as many as 250 pre-screened students participate each semester. The event is popular for companies (automotive, banking, biotechnology, chemical, government agencies, etc.) who are certain about their need for ongoing student talent and want to work directly with Co-op Program professionals to arrange the interviews they need.

Fall and Spring Career Expo

The expo usually precedes interview days. It is designed to help companies find talented students and alumni for positions at all levels. It brings over 200 employers to campus each semester giving them the opportunity to showcase their brand and employment opportunities to a wide range of candidates in a career fair format.

Co-op Work Term Schedule

Co-op Work Semester


Begin Work

End Work

Fall 2020

Aug. 17, 2020

Dec. 31, 2020

Spring 2021

Jan. 4, 2021

May 14, 2021

Summer 2021

May 12, 2021

Aug. 09, 2021

Begin Classes & Final Exams


Begin Classes

Exams End

Fall 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

Dec. 10, 2020

Spring 2021

Jan. 6, 2021

April 28, 2021

Summer 2021

June 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

*The above dates are provided as a guide for employers and students to insure compatibility with the University academic calendar.

Final Offer and Acceptance

The employer should notify the student directly by email regarding any offer of employment. Once offers are accepted, employers should provide a list of confirmed students to the program office at After notification of acceptance, the program office completes the University’s formal placement process for the specified experiential learning track. A confirmation statement is sent to the employer.


Aerospace Intern