Undergraduate Internship Information for Employers

About our Students

The Department of Economics has several educational goals for the students who take our courses.

Specifically, we want our students to:

1) think analytically, 2) develop a variety of problem-solving skills, 3) learn to access key economic data sources, 4) acquire the statistical and quantitative knowledge needed to undertake and understand empirical research, and 5) learn how to use the appropriate tools of information technology in this pursuit. Finally, we want our students to learn to express their ideas, methods, and results clearly and precisely, both orally and in writing.

All economics majors have a background in:

  • Calculus
  • English Composition
  • Statistical Methods
  • Intermediate Economics

Many of the students have also studied:

  • Accounting
  • Advanced Mathematics
  • Communications
  • Specialized Economic Topics (Including Finance, International Economics, Labor, Natural Resource Economics, Econometrics and more..)

What is an Internship?

An internship is a position, full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, that is related to the student’s academic goals and is pre-professional in nature. It provides practical experience which supplements academic learning. Internships are an ideal experiential learning opportunity for students interested in exploring careers in multiple fields while integrating their classroom learning and developing specialized skills necessary for rewarding careers.

Benefits of Hosting an Intern


  • Are Cost-Effective – Interns can be paid or unpaid and can help to meet immediate and long-term personnel needs.
  • Assist with Special Projects – Interns can do research, provide computer expertise, and fresh creative perspectives. Reduce Risk – When you hire interns, you are creating a pool of experienced candidates from which to hire. You are able to observe their skills and work style. Additionally, the new employee who has completed an internship with you already understands the work & your company’s culture. You won’t have to wait while they make the adjustment from student to worker.

Tips for a Successful Internship

Students consider a good internship to be one in which they build their skills and get experience in their field. They want real responsibilities and enough work to fill their time.

Some general guidelines:

  • Organize the internship around a particular project that needs to be accomplished. This will help the student feel that they are doing work that matters and not just busy work.
  • If possible, have one person serve as the intern’s supervisor.
  • Have this person meet with the student regularly to assess progress towards her predetermined learning goals.
  • Give constructive feedback to aid in the learning process. This is a learning experience for the student and they need to learn about areas in which they can improve.
  • Have a culminating meeting with the student. This is an appropriate time to help the student to think about their future career plans. Help the student to brainstorm about his or her next steps. This could include taking additional coursework, network building, completing an additional internship, or continuing work at your organization.


An internship can be a paid or unpaid opportunity. Most of the internships that the students do are paid either by a stipend or an hourly wage. Students can earn credit for the internship whether it is paid or unpaid.

Posting an Internship Position

The Economics Department cannot recruit students to fill particular internship positions, but we do prominently display listings, email opportunities to students, and routinely encourage students to consider pursuing internships. We serve as a clearinghouse, providing structure to the process. It is helpful to give as much information as possible about the organization’s needs and expectations in order to attract students that will be a great fit for the position.

When you are ready to post your position, please send us the following information:

  • Internship Title
  • Position Description
  • Required and Desireable Skills and Qualifications
  • Rate of Pay, if any
  • Hours required
  • Start Date
  • Instructions for application
  • Contact information

You can send us the information by:

Email: econadv@uw.edu
Fax: 206-685-7477

Economics Undergraduate Advising
University of Washington
Box 353330
Seattle, WA 98195-3330

We will post your position on our bulletins board, and forward it to our major email list.

  1. You may also advertise your internship opportunity with the UW Career & Internship Center by posting to Handshake.
  2. Public sector employers may also post internships with the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center by emailing the position to leader@uw.edu.

The Student’s Role & Earning Credit

Students who choose to do internships identify a potential placement based on their academic, professional and personal goals.

Once an internship is chosen, the student contacts the organization and interviews with the prospective internship supervisor. If both the student and supervisor agree to work together, the student must decide if she or he wishes to pursue earning academic credit. ( Note: the University of Washington does not require that a student earn academic credit to complete an internship.)

Students are counseled to treat internships as they would a professional job. For some, however, an internship is the student’s first experience in a professional environment. In this situation, the student can benefit by being coached about the office environment, including dress norms, appropriate behavior in meetings, organizational policies on personal phone calls, etc.

Learn more on earning credit.

Contact the Department

We are here to help you!

If you have questions about the Department of Economics, our students, or internships in general, please call our advising office at 206-543-5794 or email econadv@uw.edu.