Internships and Work Experience Overview
Audio Described Version of Colorado State University’s Construction Management Internship Overview video (best experienced in Chrome)
You are required to complete 24-weeks of full-time structured internship experience within the construction industry to satisfy your degree. Internship is completed over your last summer before graduation, and is a prerequisite to your CON465 Professional Practice (capstone) course. The internship requirement can be met in one of two ways:
Phelps Placement Office Internship Placement and Restrictions
The Phelps Placement Office assists in placing students on internship via the CON 267 Pre-Internship course, the career fair, and on-campus intern interviews. You may propose other internship opportunities to the Placement Office, provided the position meets internship requirements and the sponsor company submits a signed Sample Master Internship Agreement.
For both work experience and internship positions, you’re expected to work for a licensed general contractor, subcontractor, consultant, or organization (i.e. city, county, or federal entity). Self-employment does not count towards internship requirements. With few exceptions, residential painting, residential roofing, deck/fence building, manufacturing, testing and inspections, material handling/deliveries, landscape installation and maintenance, building/rental maintenance, service calls, etc. do not count towards a student’s Work Experience or Internship requirement. Retail sales, rental companies, and commissioned positions also are not eligible. All positions must have an appropriate day-to-day construction professional mentor/supervisor. If you work with a family-owned business, your mentor/supervisor must be unrelated to you.
Phelps Internship Placement Program
Sample Master Internship Agreement (For Intern Sponsor Companies. Please contact the Phelps Placement Office for an official agreement to be issued via Adobe Sign.)
All CM, Pre-CM, and graduate students must review and abide by the Student Code of Conduct for Recruiting prior to participating in any recruiting activities, including applying, interviewing, accepting, and declining offers.
Student Intern Videos See what an internship is like!
Internship and Work Experience Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start looking for a summer job or internship?
Right now! All students regardless of where they are in the program should begin networking and looking for summer work experience right away. Recruiters are looking for students at ALL levels and each experience should build on the last. While the experience may not count towards your internship requirement, you should begin gaining experience and growing your skills and abilities as soon as you can.
Which internship path do you recommend, 12-week or 24-week?
The CON487A 24-week (6-month) internship is the recommended option as it will be a much richer experience with more responsibilities. That said, there are legitimate reasons why the CON487B 12-week internship is better for some students. For example, some employers only offer one or the other, students may have athletic commitments, GI Bill restrictions, etc.
How can I ensure that my work experience or job will count towards the PIR?
Reference the Petition for Internship Reduction (PIR) packet for criteria. There is no list of what DOES count towards your PIR, as most construction related experience does count – but there are a few paths that DO NOT count and are listed in the PIR packet. When in doubt, bring in the Position Description/Job Announcement to the Placement Office for review.
Should I intern with the same company again or try something new?
That is a personal choice, but if you are at all curious about other companies and/or industry sectors – summer internships are THE BEST way to explore and try something else out without the commitment and expectations of a full-time job offer. This can only grow your knowledge, skills, abilities, and network!
Can internship be out of state? Is there any compensation for housing?
Many students choose to intern out of state. Some employers offer housing or stipends or higher wages to assist with housing costs, but it is not a guarantee and the Placement Office does not get involved in pay or compensation discussions other than to provide our average wages/salaries on our webpage. The Placement Office is available to walk through offers and discuss where they fall compared to others, as well as cover how to discuss any additional assistance needed, etc.
I just got an offer for summer work experience, do I need to get that approved before I accept?
The Placement Office does not officially ‘pre-approve’ any work experience opportunities or employers, but we can approve responsibilities. You are encouraged to work for a construction general contractor, specialty contractor, consultant, city Building Department, or Owner’s Rep, etc. If you receive an offer that you are not sure will meet the criteria – bring the position description and/or offer to the Placement Office for review and clarify any uncertainties prior to accepting the offer.
If I do more than one summer of work experience, do I submit all for my PIR packet or just one?
You must satisfy the PIR submission requirements with ONE employer over ONE summer, so technically you just need to submit one summer’s experience. That said, we encourage you to include all of your construction related work experience in your PIR submission to better showcase your overall construction experience and strengthen your packet. This can be in the form of including all experience on your resume and/or providing additional employer memos or paystubs, etc.
What causes a PIR to be denied?
If all criteria in the PIR Packet are met and the packet is submit on-time and per the instructions, it should be approved. Occasionally we will reach out for clarification, additional documentation, or for write-ups to be re-written, but packets are not outright denied if criteria are met. There are also occasions when we need to reach out to companies to verify employment or hours worked.
I have over 480-hrs of experience, can that count towards my CON487 internship requirement?
Yes and no.
All CM students are required to complete 24-weeks of full-time structured internship experience within the construction industry to satisfy their degree. The official internship course is completed over your last summer before graduation, and is a prerequisite to your CON465 Professional Practice (capstone) course.
If you have recent construction related experience (since being admitted to CM), and it meets all the criteria, you may submit a Petition for Internship Reduction (PIR). If your PIR is approved, your CON487A 24-week internship requirement would be reduced to the CON487B 12-week internship requirement.
Work experience above and beyond the 480-hour minimum required for the PIR is great and will help market you for future construction related work experience and internships but does NOT count towards your official CON487 internship course requirement. Some students submit exactly 480-hours in their PIR, while others have thousands of hours in construction related experience. Regardless, ALL CM students are required to take at least the CON487B 12-week internship course over their final summer before graduation (all 480+ hours) before returning for their CON465 Professional Practice (capstone) course and any other remaining coursework required for their degree.
What type of pre-employment screenings can I expect from a prospective employer?
Employers may require a variety of pre-employment screenings. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to:
- Full employment background
- Criminal background
- Sex offender registry
- Motor vehicle history
- Financial history
- Education verification
- Substance screenings
- Psychological tests
- Pre-Placement Physical Exam
If you have concerns about any of the above, please visit the Placement Office to discuss prior to accepting an offer for employment.