The concern of the industry is that students studying in the material handling disciplines at colleges and universities which have been "pre-qualified" (meaning that the institutions curriculum of material handling education has been reviewed and approved for Foundation support), have an opportunity to learn the "real" as well as the theoretical, to test ideas against implementation. Internships enhance career exploration and career development, serving as important links in the transition from education to work. By offering the chance for students to use knowledge, experience, and ideas, internships uniquely benefit both the individual and the sponsoring organization.
Internships serve a dual purpose. They enhance career exploration by providing for the student brief entrances into the world of work and by enhancing the transition from school to work. The sponsoring organization also benefits by additional personnel with new ideas to implement and previewing potential, qualified applicants for employment.
In an effort to provide broader service and assistance to the industry, the Material Handling Education Foundation wishes to institute a conduit between the "pre-qualified" institutions and the manufacturers of material handling equipment and systems. The purpose of this conduit will be to provide information to the manufacturers as to the availability of students for internships. The structure of this program will be that the Material Handling Education Foundation will keep an up-to-date listing of colleges and universities that have agreed to participate in this program. Thereby, agreeing to provide and oversee students for structured and approved internships. The colleges and universities will be responsible for contracting directly with the manufacturers all structuring and requirements of the individual institutions programs.
The Material Handling Education Foundation will provide, upon request from a manufacturer or industry company, a listing of colleges and universities in their area that have agreed to provide interns. The manufacturer or Industry Company may then contact the school or schools of their choice and contract directly with the facility for one or more students to participate in an internship program.
Each college or university has a specific set of criteria to qualify for admission in an internship program. Basic criteria generally requires that:
Not only does an internship challenge students to professionally apply what they have learned in college, but it is also an investment in the future. The National Commission for Co-operative Education states that 40% of co-op graduates (interns) continue to work for their co-op employers, another 40% continue to work in the same field or a field relating to their co-op experience, and 15% enroll in graduate or professional programs. For employers, it provides a non-threatening environment in which to effectively screen, select, and recruit students for permanent positions. Employers have a chance to evaluate students without making any long-term commitment on full-time positions. Interns learn quickly, are above-average in productivity, and add to the morale of an organization.
Eager, highly motivated students can be assigned to special projects or can work as summer replacements by moving through several departments or work areas as needed. The questioning, unbiased approach of students to new situations can often lead to unique solutions for ongoing problems, thereby increasing productivity.
There is no obligation to hire any particular student. Just let the faculty contact know what type of student and position(s) you need filled, and the faculty member will match your needs with the abilities of one or more available students. The students will then be subject to your hiring and employment standards, just as any other paid professional within your employ would.
The internship program in most colleges and universities is a flexible program, built to suit the needs of both the employer and the student. Hours are negotiable; however, a typical work schedule includes: a position that lasts most of the summer with at least 20 hours per week, a position in which the student could go to classes during the morning and work in the afternoons during a semester, or the student alternating a semester of work with one of study. These are just a few of the work schedules; the possibilities are almost endless, depending upon individual needs.
If you have an interest or a need for such a program, or wish further information on such a program, please contact the Material Handling Education Foundation Office at (704) 676-1190.