What is an On-Campus Internship (OCI)?
To increase the opportunities for BYU students to gain relevant work experience and for recruiting companies to create added exposure with students, BYU Marriott sponsors undergraduate on-campus internships. Students receive academic credit while they gain valuable real-life work experience in their chosen field. Companies receive the equivalent work output of a full-time intern while they have a semester-long interface with potential interns and full-time employment candidates. These are unpaid internships and have no fees for the sponsoring companies.
On-Campus Internship Teams
OCI teams are a group of about five undergraduate students who have expressed interest in working on projects for the sponsoring company. Each team member has a specific team role and works an average of seven to nine hours per week. The total hourly commitment of the team is for forty-five hours per week (the equivalent of one full-time intern).
Work assignments should be given to the team as a unit. The team then distributes the work as individual assignments. The output of the OCI team is consolidated and given back to the sponsoring company, according to the agreed upon project deliverables.
Company Primary Contact
Each sponsoring company will need to define a primary contact with whom the OCI team will work directly. The primary contact may give work assignments on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. The primary contact should be available to answer questions and provide company resources to the team as needed. The primary contact will also provide feedback to the OCI team concerning the quality and productivity of the team’s work as part of the learning experience.
What Types of Project Work Can Companies Give to OCI Teams?
Any kind of business or management internship work can be appropriate. We have students who are studying marketing, finance, human resources, supply chain, accounting, information systems, entrepreneurship, business strategy, etc. Some examples of past work projects are given below:
- Analysis of new market opportunities
- Evaluation of current organizational effectiveness
- Analysis of new business opportunities in Russia (all Russian-speaking team)
- Supply chain recommendations for more efficient alignment of resources
- Reviewing and recommending revised design of financial and accounting systems
- Analysis of specific industries for portfolio investment options
- Developing a marketing plan for a new product roll out
- Developing a business plan for an expanding opportunity
- Assessing the size, growth, and key characteristics of a market segment
- Assessing the viability of a new product offering into an existing market
- Analysis associated with mergers and acquisitions activities
- Identifying where in the value chain a company should enter with a new product offering
- Developing support materials for an organization and its internal employee resources
- Evaluating and creating a college-hire and on-boarding plan
- Considering portfolio options for micro-financing opportunities
Any assignments given to an employee, consultant, or contractor are potentially appropriate.
OCI Project Fees and Expenses
There are no required fees to sponsor an OCI team. All sponsors will need to reimburse the students or BYU for sponsor-approved expenses necessary to complete the projects. Expenses may include items such as printed reports, market panels, off-campus travel, advertising costs, etc. as approved by the company primary contact in advance. There are three ways to pay for expenses: 1) Pay for the expense directly, 2) Reimburse the students directly, or 3) BYU Experiential Learning will reimburse the students and invoice you at the end of the semester.
When do Companies Need to Submit Their Projects?
It is never too soon to submit a project. The sooner you submit a project, the more student visibility your project will get, and greater your potential will be to get a team. We recommend that you submit your projects for Fall semester by 1 July. We recommend that you submit your projects for Winter semester by 1 October.
Fall semester projects run from late August to mid-December. Winter semester projects run from early January to mid-April. Student teams are finalized and companies are contacted two weeks before the semester starts.
How Does a Company Sign Up For an OCI Project?
Companies can submit OCI project applications by clicking here. The application consists of a description of the company, one or more paragraphs indicating the project description, key project deliverables, the categories of project work the team will do, and the types of majors/emphasis that would be useful on the team. Examples of emphases include finance, supply chain, marketing, human resources, strategy, etc. Students review portions of the project application to select their preferences for projects. If you have any questions, please contact David Hollan or Felicia Jones.
How are Teams Formed?
Companies submit their projects and the projects are publicized to the students. Students then submit their preferences and qualifications for the projects. Teams are created by finding the best match between company needs, student preferences, student skills, and building a diverse team.
In some cases, the companies have previous interns or students they are tracking that they would like to have participate on their team. This is a wonderful way for a company to get a closer look at a few good candidates, and for students to get to know a company better as they consider working for that company in the future. We will be very flexible in supporting company requests for specific students to participate on OCI teams.
How Do Students Sign Up?
Students wishing to participate in on-campus internships must register for one of the OCI classes and submit a student application. In their application, they will indicate their project preferences.
Companies participating in the program agree to the following:
- Contact your team before or during the first week of school and set up a formal kickoff meeting for introductions, review the desired project outcome(s), and explain the decisions the company will make based on the deliverables.
- Schedule weekly meeting times throughout the project (15 minutes to one hour is normal). Some weeks the meeting may not be needed; other weeks may require more time.
- Establish a process for how you will communicate between meetings.
- Do not ask students to sell products or qualify leads. As unpaid interns, students are NOT allowed to do those tasks.
- In the first three weeks of the semester, negotiate and agree with the student team on what the final deliverables/outcomes will be and when they will be achieved, recognizing that deliverables may evolve over the course of the semester. These will be included in the engagement letter.
- Schedule time with the student team for a mid-semester and end-of-semester presentation, presented by the student team. These presentations are usually one hour each.
- Do not assign specific tasks to specific team members. Give assignments to the team as a whole and they will work jointly to achieve the deliverables defined in the engagement letter.
- Give regular feedback to the team to let them know how they are doing. Be honest and forthright about concerns. Waiting and hoping they get better often leads to confusion, frustration and disappointment for you and the students. Be kind, but direct and specific with your feedback.
- Approve any team expenses necessary for the completion of project deliverables (approved expenses will be invoiced at the conclusion of the project).
- Complete the two 5-minute surveys sent to you at mid-semester and after the final presentation to get your feedback on how the team has performed. It is critical that you complete these short surveys in a timely manner for student feedback and grading purposes.