Internship FAQ for Students

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is UMaine Cooperative Extension?
  2. UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship Program:
    1. What is the goal of the UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship Program?
    2. Why should I participate in a UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship?
  3. When does the internship take place?
  4. How do I qualify for this Internship?
    1. What are the qualifications for the internship?
    2. Do I have to be a UMaine student?
    3. Do I have to have a major from the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry & Agriculture?
    4. Do I have to have been a former 4-H member?
    5. Can a child of an employee of UMaine Cooperative Extension participate in this program?
  5. UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship Opportunities:
    1. Where do I find the different internship job descriptions?
    2. Do I get to pick which internship I get?
  6. Application Process:
    1. What steps are involved in the internship application process?
    2. When should I start the application process?
    3. When is the deadline to get my application in by?
  7. Compensation:
    1. Will I get paid?
    2. Will housing be provided?
  8. Academic Credit:
    1. Can I opt out of getting academic credit?
    2. How do I get academic credit?
    3. What are the learning objectives?
    4. What kind of research will I be expected to do?
    5. What is a learning contract?
  9. Internship Expectations:
    1. Can I work remotely for my internship?
    2. How many hours a week is this internship?
    3. What if I want to go on vacation during my internship?
    4. What are my responsibilities as an intern?
  10. If I have a problem, who do I reach out to?

1. What is UMaine Cooperative Extension?

As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.

2. UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship Program:

2.a. What is the goal of the UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship Program?

The goal of the Extension Internship program is to provide opportunities for UMaine students to learn more about UMaine Cooperative Extension, support undergraduate students with career interests, provide opportunities for students to engage in research, and offer students the opportunity to learn more about the State of Maine.

2.b. Why should I participate in a UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship?

It’s an incredible opportunity to learn more about UMaine Cooperative Extension, the state of Maine and it can also support your UMaine learning and potential career interests.

3. When does the internship take place?

Internships generally occur for a full semester but some are available during the summer and it’s possible that some internships may be for less time than a full semester. Each internship will indicate the time frame needed on their job description.

4. How do I qualify for this Internship?

4.a. What are the qualifications for the internship?

You will need to be a UMaine undergraduate student. Each internship may have different qualifications so be sure to review the specific information for each internship.

4.b. Do I have to be a UMaine student?

Yes, you need to be an enrolled or deferred UMaine student.

4.c. Do I have to have a major from the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry & Agriculture?

No, you do not have to have a major from the College of Natural Science, Forestry and Agriculture. We welcome and encourage students from all UMaine majors to apply for a Cooperative Extension Internship.

4.d. Do I have to have been a former 4-H member?

No, you do not have to be a former 4-H member but we do encourage 4-H alums to consider an internship with Cooperative Extension.

4.e. Can a child of an employee of UMaine Cooperative Extension participate in this program?

Yes, this is possible, but it would not be appropriate for an Extension Internship Mentor to be a mentor to a student for whom they are a legal guardian or to be a Mentor to a close family relative.

5. UMaine Cooperative Extension Internship Opportunities:

5.a. Where do I find the different internship job descriptions?

Cooperative Extension internships will be posted on the UMaine Career Center job links site under Cooperative Extension.

5.b. Do I get to pick which internship I get?

Yes and no. You can express an interest in an internship and apply for it and the internship mentor would offer you the internship, if you are selected for it. Also, if you are offered an internship that does not work for you, you may always decline the offer before the start of the internship.

6. Application Process:

6.a. What steps are involved in the internship application process?

Students will go to the Cooperative Extension listings on the Career Link page through the UMaine Career Center. On Career Link, students can view internships being offered in the upcoming semester. Students would then follow the directions on Career Link to apply for their desired internship program.

6.b. When should I start the application process?

Each internship will specify when you should start applying for it. If you are seeking academic credit then you may need to be aware of the add/drop period for each semester.

6.c. When is the deadline to get my application in by?

Each internship will have an application deadline and that will be included in the Internship Job description listed on Career Link. If you are seeking academic credit then you may need to be aware of the add/drop period for each semester. If there is no deadline, the Career Center would like you to have all your paperwork and application done at least two weeks prior to the start of the next academic semester.

7. Compensation:

7.a. Will I get paid?

You can receive credit for the internship and you can get paid an hourly wage for the internship. The minimum hourly wage for the internship is $12.75 per hour.

7.b. Will housing be provided?

Housing for internships is usually not provided. The only exception might be if the internship is at one of the four 4-H Camp and Learning Centers.

8. Academic Credit:

8.a. Can I opt out of getting academic credit?

Yes, you can opt out of getting academic credit for the internship.

8.b. How do I get academic credit?

Each student will work with the internship mentor to create a learning contract, which is required to receive academic credit. The intern can receive academic credit through their department (if their major has an internship credit option) or through UMaine Career Center. Mentors and Interns will have to work with the student’s department to make sure their internship aligns with their major’s internship credit requirements.

8.c. What are the learning objectives?

Each internship experience will have at least three main learning objectives for the internship. The objectives will be realistic, achievable, and represent a substantive learning experience for student interns. An example of a learning objective could be: Conduct outreach with current and prospective stakeholders by using various methods of communication. There will also be learning tasks that will support the learning objectives. The learning tasks would be the interns specific responsibilities for the internship.

8.d. What kind of research will I be expected to do?

Each Cooperative Extension Internship will offer the intern an opportunity to be involved with some sort of research. Examples could include but are not limited to: working closely with a researcher to support their research project, researching something to support the project, or conducting surveys. Each Internship job description should have a basic outline of the expected research component expected of that Internship opportunity. Any interested students in potential internship opportunities, that still have questions regarding the research component after having read the job description, are encouraged to reach out to the Mentor associated with the Internship for clarification.

8.e. What is a learning contract?

A learning contract is a document that is collaborated between the mentor and the Intern for the Intern to receive academic credit. A list of things the student wishes to learn or accomplish while completing the internship will be generated. The student in collaboration with their Mentor, should determine if the goals are appropriate for their particular internship.

For More information:

In some academic programs, a learning contract may exist in the form of a syllabus with specific requirements for successful completion of an internship for academic credit. To find out if your academic program offers internship graduation requirements, please reach out to Advising and Academic Support Services.

9. Internship Expectations:

9.a. Can I work remotely for my internship?

Yes, in most cases, you can work remotely for your internship, especially during COVID-19 times. Once we are post-COVID, there may be internships that will require you to be on site to complete the learning tasks. The internship mentor will be able to confirm whether or not an intern needs to be on-site for the project.

9.b. How many hours a week is this internship?

The hours for each internship will vary but the range will most likely be between Four and Twenty hours per week.

9.c. What if I want to go on vacation during my internship?

It will be important to communicate directly with your internship mentor about any vacation plans you plan to take, so they can be factored into any project you may be working on.

9.d. What are my responsibilities as an intern?

The responsibilities of each internship will be outlined in the learning contract between the internship mentor and the intern. They are also posted on the career link website in the job description.

10. If I have a problem, who do I reach out to?

If you have a problem during your internship please connect with your internship mentor. If you need additional assistance please reach out to the Extension Internship Coordinators: Caitlin Ramsay (caitlin.ramsay@maine.edu)  and Lisa Phelps (lisa.phelps@maine.edu).