The gateway to everything entrepreneurial at Cornell University

Frequently Asked Questions – Students

What is the difference between this internship program and others on campus?

We offer an internship designed for students who have a strong interest in small business management. Perhaps you plan on starting your own business one day or will join a family business upon graduation. You will gain invaluable hands-on experience through this specialized internship program. The majority of our sponsors are Cornell alums, who spend the time necessary to act as a mentor to students.

Who is eligible to participate as an intern?

The Entrepreneurship at Cornell Program offers internship opportunities to Cornell juniors, seniors, and graduate students who have an interest in small to mid-sized businesses. Sophomores are allowed to apply by invitation only through the Internship Director.

What is the typical length of an internship?

Internships begin in late May or the first week in June and normally last 10 weeks. It is important that students are able to commit to a full 10 weeks. Any time less than that would need to be negotiated at the time of the interview and approved by the business owner.

What is the average stipend?

The typical stipend for an intern is between $300 – $500 per week depending on the location of internship and whether or not the student must relocate. We do, however, have a few companies that cannot afford a cash stipend, but will pay for a student’s transportation costs or offer other forms of payment.

Am I responsible for arranging housing?

Housing and transportation arrangements are the intern’s responsibility; however, information is often provided regarding summer rentals, transit centers, etc. through the company contact.

What is the process?

1. Interested students complete an on-line application, submit their resume, and schedule a brief meeting with Debra Moesch, Internship Director.

2. Following your meeting with the Director, a complete list to date will be sent to you with company information, job descriptions, etc. You will be given ample time to review this list and respond to Debra with the names of companies you are interested in. You are welcome to apply for as many positions as you feel you are qualified for, but please consider housing issues if the job is not near your home.

3. Resumes will be e-mailed to companies via the Internship Director.

4. After a company receives resumes, the interview process begins. Many companies interview and offer the position over the telephone, while others prefer to meet the intern in person. Once an offer is made by a company, students must reply within two weeks to accept or reject the offer!

5. Once a commitment is made, students should notify Debra Moesch, Entrepreneurship at Cornell Internship Director at dlm8@cornell.edu. A commitment means you will take the internship – think carefully before you make the commitment because you cannot change your mind once you’ve committed.

On the job

Once you have accepted a position, your employer will expect the same things of you as they would a full-time staff member. Some of those responsibilities include:

Show up on time for work.

  • Dress appropriately for the office. Inquire before your first day about office dress code.
  • Work closely with your supervisor to learn what will be expected of you.
  • Meet deadlines for various projects.
  • Be sure to ask for help or clarification if you’re having trouble with an assignment.
  • Communicate with your supervisor if you are ill or cannot be at work for some reason. Make sure that reason is acceptable.

The company is free to fire any intern who doesn’t meet expectations. This has happened in the past, but it’s embarrassing for all. You’re a Cornell student, so show some initiative.

During the summer, the Entrepreneurship at Cornell Internship Director will be checking in with your employer and with you to find out how things are going. The employer will be encouraged to contact us if there are problems, and students should also contact the director with any issues or questions.

After your internship

Depending on how your internship was funded, you may be asked to write a short summary of your internship, including your responsibilities and projects and any special skills or experiences that made the summer particularly enriching for you.

You will also be asked to attend an intern luncheon once classes resume in the fall, to share your experiences with funders and with Entrepreneurship at Cornell staff, so that we can continue to improve our program.

If I have questions that are not answered here, who do I contact?

For additional information, please call or e-mail Debra Moesch at dlm8@cornell.edu, 607-254-2802 or stop by 111 Kennedy Hall.