Back to top

Attracting and retaining an educated & skilled workforce and citizenry is a key to strengthening New York’s competitive edge and supporting its vibrant communities. The CALS NYS Internship Program connects businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies with exceptional and motivated Cornell University students from the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) seeking career-related work experience and opportunities to contribute to NY communities.

Program benefits to host employers

  • Gain fresh, motivated talent
  • Access new skills and technologies
  • Invest in potential future employees
  • Strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with community institutions
  • Increase your organization's awareness of Cornell University resources

Hosting a CALS intern

As a host employer for a CALS NYS Intern, your organization will oversee an intern on-site for 10 weeks in the summer, generally beginning in June through early August. Interns are expected to work 40-hour weeks, spending 32 hours per week on assignments provided by your organization and 8 hours per week on a community engagement project.

We view host employers as vital partners. Your feedback is invited at all times. In addition, when you join the program as a host employer, you or someone from your organization will become part of the program's Advisory Committee to help shape the development of the program.

If being an internship host is of interest, we encourage you to review the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' majors and minors.  The major and minor lists convey the range of fields and skills offered within CALS and can be helpful in determining internship position possibilities.  

Timeline of host employer activities

Host recruitment phase

In the fall before the internship summer, host employers sign a letter of agreement** with the CALS NYS Internship Program outlining our mutual responsibilities to each other. Once the formal relationship is established, you will be expected to:

  1. Identify a staff person to work with the program and supervise the intern
  2. Complete an internship position description (see past internship descriptions here)
  3. Interview intern applicants and provide selection feedback

** Please note that a signed agreement letter is not a guarantee that an intern will be placed with your organization. Successful placement depends on whether the position description is a good fit with the intern applicant pool in any given year.

Internship orientation phase

During the spring semester prior to the internship summer, we ask that organizations:

  • Send your intern a welcome letter
  • Attend the CALS NYS Internship Program Orientation and Prep meeting
  • Participate in a phone call with your intern to review his/her learning action plan and your organization's goals for the internship
  • Attend one Advisory Committee meeting

Summer internship phase

  • Welcome your intern and provide orientation
  • Provide your intern with a meaningful career-related work experience
  • Participate in an on-site, in-person check in with your intern and a member of the internship program staff
  • Complete an intern evaluation
  • Complete CALS NYS Internship Program evaluation

Post-internship phase

  • Review intern's community engagement project report
  • Participate in an Advisory Committee meeting
  • Attend the Fall Forum on campus, where interns present posters on their summer internships and community engagement projects

For more information

Please contact Heidi, our CALS NYS Internship Program Coordinator, any time with questions about becoming a host employer. In addition, you may be interested in the links below --  in 2013, CaRDI hosted an information session for potential intern employers. The links contain recordings and slides featuring useful background information about the program as well as expectations and responsibilities for host employers: