University of Northern Iowa

Introduction

The purpose of these internships is to augment the academic programs of entrepreneurial students with experiential learning opportunities. This program provides internships with small businesses, new ventures, economic development corporations, or other worthy programs (preference will be given to businesses located in the R.J. McElroy Student business Incubator, Innovation Incubator and UNI SBDC clients to assist them in their business growth).

These internships provide a cost-sharing opportunity for the employing company. This is done through the generous support of Central Iowa Power Cooperative. CIPCO provides funds to offset the cost of the internship to the business owner as detailed below. This financial incentive is especially important for new ventures and rural communities, both of which may have limited financial resources for the engagement of an intern. These internships are limited to Iowa-based companies, with a special emphasis toward companies in the CIPCO service territory.

“CIPCO is an active participant in the economic development of all its service areas. We hope to see this effort expand and other companies offer support in an effort to spur economic development and help keep young entrepreneurs in Iowa after graduation.”
—Dennis Murdock, CIPCO Executive Vice President/CEO

The Experience

The companies will be required to provide a substantial learning experience for the intern. The work is to be semi-professional to professional in nature, preferably in the student’s area of expertise. Examples of substantial work experiences might include: development of a business plan, marketing plan, website, etc.; organization of a large event; research and development assistance of a new product; assistance with the company’s accounting, recordkeeping, etc.; assistance with a technical operation for the company; assistance in industrial technology, engineering, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, etc.; and any other substantial learning experience. Internships should not include excessive supporting tasks such as photocopying, filing, lawn mowing, cleaning, food service, errand-running, etc.

The Benefits

Some of the benefits to the businesses are:
Cost effective staffing option
Students fulfill a role not being covered or pursued by the company
Connection to technical expertise through UNI
Potential to remain connected to the student
Some of the benefits to the students are:
Career-building with real world experience
Connection to the company work culture and economic development network
Exposure and connection to future employers
Option for course credit
Some of the benefits to CIPCO and the State of Iowa are:
Most students with intern experience in Iowa remain in Iowa after graduation
Students with internships have more success obtaining professional employment
Internships typically result in better salaries for students as they enter their profession
Many interns return to work for their internship companies.
The Internship Options

There are two options for students seeking internships through the CIPCO program. Preference is given to undergraduate students for internship opportunities.

Academic Credit Option – Interns enroll for the CIPCO course (MKTG 4186) and receive scholarships for their work. Students will need to complete these student requirements in order to receive the $750 stipend, business owner is strongly encouraged to match the $750 stipend.

Student Requirements

** It is strongly encouraged that the student actively engage in services and programs of the JPEC to gain the maximum benefit of the CIPCO internship

** If the business selects the academic option, and the student is not enrolled full-time, there will be a tuition charge.

**It is important for the student to discuss with a financial aid officer how the stipend received could possibly affect a financial aid package.

**Additional coursework requirements will be detailed in the memo of understanding for the internship.

Employer / Employee Option – Interns are hired as employees of the business and the CIPCO program reimburses the company for half of the gross wages paid based upon these business requirements.

Business Requirements

 

About CIPCO

Central Iowa Power Cooperative is a generation and transmission electric cooperative headquartered in Cedar Rapids and is Iowa’s largest cooperative energy provider serving 13 rural electric cooperatives and associations spanning 58 of Iowa’s 99 counties. CIPCO’s members serve a population of nearly 320,000 rural and urban residents and approximately 12,000 commercial and industrial accounts. CIPCO works with communities and organizations within their member service territory to promote economic development, education, electrical safety, community involvement, and marketing programs. For more information about CIPCO, visit its website at www.cipco.net.

Thanks go to Central Iowa Power Cooperative and CEO Dennis Murdock for their initiative, interest in Iowa and students, and support of this program.