Guidelines Company Internship
Many students in the Master’s programme Mathematics are interested in doing an internship with a company (or government department) with the Master’s thesis as an internship report. The following specifically concerns internships at companies for the research specialisation since the mathematical level needs to be monitored (internships for SMI and SiS have separate guidelines). The practical side is not always clear and these guidelines aim to clarify this.
- Basis of the internship could be: a contact the student has, or via the student advisor/Career Service. It could even be a contact of the RU supervisor. Students looking for an internship with a company should contact these people to discuss the possibilities.
- The responsibility for the internship, including the thesis assessment, lies with the mathematics supervisor are the RU (and, in the end, with the Examination Board). Daily responsibility, as practice shows, is with the supervisor that the company provides. They are also advisors when it comes to the grading. It is, therefore, very important that the two supervisors meet occasionally and that the student keeps in contact with both of them (at least once every two weeks, preferably weekly).
- When the internship starts, there should be a clear plan for the work that the student is going to do (about one page). Both supervisors and the student will sign this preliminary internship plan. The plan can be adjusted along the way, but it is mandatory to have such a document as a starting point. The student is responsible for setting up the plan and having it signed (since the document is mostly in their best interest). A standard format is not available, since there are great differences between companies. Some standard components should be;
a) how long the internship will be and if there is a compensation;
b) the aim that the company sets;
c) the aim as the mathematics supervisor sees it (could be the same as b);
d) a preliminary step-by-step plan to achieve the goal (and the timing);
e) the math and perhaps knowledge from other disciplines that the student will need to study (both by independent study and following certain lectures).
Any assessments planned during the internship can also be written down in the plan. There should at least be one midterm-meeting with both supervisors and the student at the same time. The student will make a written report on this and arrange signatures by both supervisors. If necessary, a revised internship plan can be created (this is possible at all times).
- Some companies will create their own internship contract and have it signed. This usually has a different format and does not replace the above mentioned internship plan. To avoid future problems surrounding non-disclosures, possible patents, and other commercial application of the research, the student should discuss such a contract with an expert (such as the mathematic supervisor or a lawyer).
- The internship will be finished by a meeting between the student and the two supervisors. Feedback will be given and the grade of the internship and the thesis will be given and discussed. This meeting can happen after the (mandatory) graduation presentation at the RU or after a presentation at the company.
- In case of disagreements, a mediator can be found by the WiNSt-board if the student or supervisors requests this. If the disagreement cannot be solved and the internship accordingly cannot be successfully completed, an attempt will be made to incorporate as much of the conducted research as possible into the Master’s thesis.