James Madison University

Corporate Connections

An integral part of the retention plan for Bridging the Valley: A STEP Ahead for STEM Majors is to expose students to STEM-related careers. Corporate Connections works with both businesses and students on finding opportunities that benefit work environments and enhance a student's academic experience. Corporate Connections is determined to get students across the bridge from the classroom and into STEM businesses.  The table below can serve as a guideline when thinking about internships:



Approximate Length

Semester Internship

Students work with local businesses during the academic year to complement classroom curriculums and enhance knowledge about desired career. 

15 weeks/10-20 hours weekly
Designed to fit around class schedule. Fall & Spring semesters

Summer  Internship

Students work on projects that are meaningful, challenging and a reflection of realistic expectations of entry-level STEM careers.  Doing this during the summer allows the student to contribute to industry without class disruption.

6-8 weeks/35-40 hours weekly
Designed to fit into summer break

Credit Internship
(1-3 credits)

Students work with a faculty sponsor and receive academic credit for work experience.  The student, faculty member and industry intern supervisor all sign a contract indicating the experience meets course requirements. 

1 credit = approximately 60 hours of onsite work, but this does vary per institution and department.

The length varies per # of credit hours requested by student. 

Desired timeframe for internship can be during the semester or during the summer.

Industry Internship

Many businesses have a formalized internship program or a project that has a different timeline so additional structures are welcomed.  This is an opportunity to get assistance on projects that will not require as many hours of work. 

Varies per industry needs. 

Job Shadow

Job shadowing is designed to increase career awareness, reinforce practices and skills needed in the work environment, and link classroom learning to work requirements.  Students will observe only with this opportunity and have no direct responsibilities.

Shadowing is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace and varies per professional.