For Students

Are you a current UMN Morris student interested in a Center for Small Towns Internship?

Fill out the Internship Interest form

What Are Center for Small Towns Internships?

Students gain valuable work experience related to their majors and future career goals through Center for Small Towns internships. Each year, organizations serving communities of 10,000 or fewer people propose project ideas and develop those ideas with Center for Small Towns staff and faculty advisors. Then, students apply for positions that interest them, interview with Center for Small Towns staff and community partners, and sign on for a summer or year-long internship. In person and virtual internships are available each summer and academic year.

Internships range from doing research with a faculty member to coordinating a farmer’s market in a small community to planning and hosting a series of focus groups to traveling a Minnesota historic highway to gather photos and stories of notable places to creating a series of lesson plans for youth to managing volunteers for a non-profit grocery store—and many more!

Where Do Center for Small Towns interns work?

Most interns work at a work station in the Welcome Center. However, some interns work all or some of their hours at community locations. Summer internships can be based in the Welcome Center or at another location in a small town in MN. We assist with transportation to and finding housing in other communities when needed. Finally, some internships are primarily virtual, with most work done from the student’s home (as long as they have reliable internet access).

How do I get an internship?

Fill out the internship Interest Form

We review these forms weekly and connect with you to discuss opportunities. Each April/May and August/September, a team including Center for Small Towns staff, faculty advisors (when applicable), and community partners interview students for specific internships. Students work either from early June to mid-August or during the academic year.

In addition, specific internships are posted on the One Stop Student Employment page. You can search this page to apply for a specific internship.

Whether you complete an interest form or apply directly for a specific internship, we will review your information and determine whether there is a good fit and proceed with an interview.

What training and support do interns receive?

All interns receive an initial general training, as well as job-specific training from community partners and faculty.

In addition, ongoing training and reflection, as well as opportunities to get to know other interns, are provided during retreats (held in person or virtually, depending on where students are working).

Students meet weekly with their primary contact (either community partner, faculty, or staff). Center for Small Towns staff join these meetings at least every other week and provide assistance throughout the semester.

Will I get paid?

Yes, all interns are paid $15 an hour.

Can my internship count for the internship requirement in my major?

Often, yes. As we are discussing the internship, you can share the job description with faculty in your major to discuss the possibility of taking the internship as a major requirement. The faculty member and Center for Small Towns staff will then meet to determine whether the internship will meet requirements for your major and make adjustments/complete paperwork together.

Can I receive credits as well as pay for my internship?

Yes. There are multiple ways to earn credit, and we can discuss these options during your interview.

What do Center for Small Towns interns learn?

Our work with students supports the campus learning outcomes of the University of Minnesota Morris.

Our interns and volunteers become:

  • community contributors by volunteering or working on projects that contribute to address rural community needs, build skills related to leadership, teamwork, and intercultural agility, and prepare students for lives of civic engagement;
  • career-ready scholars by applying what they are learning in their classes to real world challenges in small towns and gaining work experience in their fields of interest;
  • creative problem-solvers by applying quantitative and qualitative research skills and multi-dimensional, flexible thinking to real world challenges in small towns.

In addition, each internship has learning outcomes specific to the type of work. For instance, students might gain additional experience using statistical data analysis methods, taking photographs, conducting interviews, or coordinating events. Students will apply what they are learning in their classes to work in the community.

Finally, regardless of the size of their home communities, interns learn about the assets and challenges associated with living and working in small towns.