The following is a list of frequently asked questions regarding the National Internship and Co-op Study:
Q: Who is Intern Bridge?
A: Intern Bridge is a college recruiting consulting and research firm. We work to bridge the gap between employers and students by conducting important research projects, and converting research data into practical implementation strategies for employers. Our mission is to improve the number, and overall quality, of meaningful internship and co-op programs throughout the United States and the world.
Q: Has Intern Bridge conducted similar research in the past?
A: Yes. In 2006, Intern Bridge conducted the New England Internship Study. This research project collected 6,200 student responses from 31 universities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. It also collected responses from 246 organizations in the same region. In 2007, Intern Bridge partnered with the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers to implement an internship research project on campuses in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. In all, over 12,000 student responses were gathered. In 2008, our internship survey went national with the assistance of a NACE Foundation grant. Over 42,000 students from more than 300 academic institutions participated in the survey. In 2009, Intern Bridge conducted another nationl internship study with over 25,000 responses. (We took a break in 2010 to focus on the economic impact of unpaid internships.)
Q: What sort of questions are presented in the survey?
A: Our survey collects responses about all the facets of an internship or co-op program. Students who have taken part in an internship or co-op program are asked questions relating to their experiences. Students who have not taken part in an internship or co-op program are asked questions relating to their expectations. Data is collected regarding the reasons students pursue internships and co-ops, structure, workplace culture, supervisors, marketing, interviewing, selection, compensation, benefits, orientation, evaluations, and more. The survey is designed to provide a clear picture of students' internship expectations and experiences.
Q: What is the benefit for my school to participate?
A: At the conclusion of the data collection period, your university will receive its school-specific data back – absolutely free of charge. Most universities tell us that the number of responses they receive are greater than the number of responses they obtain from their own internal surveys. That’s because Intern Bridge provides prizes as an incentive for students to participate. (In the past, these prizes have included a spring break vacation, signed Major League baseball, laptop, and various gift cards to retailers such as Target and Staples.)
Q: How is the survey implemented?
A: Your university will receive an “implementation date”. The date will be during the months of September, October, or November 2011. During the evening prior to the implementation date, you will receive a preformatted email from Intern Bridge. The only responsibility of the university is to forward the email to your student body. By using this method, there is no need for your university to send us the email addresses of your students.
Q: How will the data collected from our students be used?
A: Intern Bridge uses the data collected from students to gain an understanding of what students are looking for as it relates to experiential education, and what current gaps exist. We then take that information and utilize it to develop our unique internship management materials for employers. By using first-hand data, Intern Bridge is able to make research-backed recommendations that ultimately improve the internship environment for students. We also share the information at conferences, in magazines and newspapers, and in print and online publications. Intern Bridge never discloses students’ names or the university they attend. All data is examined from a broad, aggregate perspective.
Q: What is the cost to my university?
A: The survey will be implemented on your campus, and your university-specific data shared back with you, at absolutely no charge.
Q: Is the survey sponsored by any particular organizations?
A: An employer may sponsor the National Internship and Co-op Study by contributing their logo, company name, and unique message within the survey at certain points. Intern Bridge takes the sponsorship selection process extremely seriously, and we adhere to all professional guidelines set forth by all of the professional associations we are affiliated with. Any sponsorship offer that we feel is remotely questionable is immediately disregarded. Sponsors in the past have included reputable organizations such as Target Stores, Staples, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. These sponsorships allow us to offer our services free of charge to universities.
Q: How does my university participate?
A: To express your interest in participating, please click here.