MERC Internship Program
The MERC internship program is a multi-semester program that provides Framingham State students with very valuable learning experiences that supplement their more formal classroom education. Students must apply to enter the program, and acceptance is merit-based: only the most qualified students are accepted. MERC internships are paid internships; interns are required to maintain a regular schedule of work hours.
During their first semester as interns, students go through a number of training modules created by MERC faculty that introduce them to the type of work that goes on at MERC. They gather data on and work with several of the different data series MERC monitors. These new interns (Intern I’s) learn how this data is obtained, processed, analyzed and interpreted, and how to present that information in a number of different formats including spreadsheets, graphs, articles and PowerPoint presentations. At the end of the semester each Intern I gives a PowerPoint presentation on the data and analysis from one of the modules he or she has completed.
Second semester interns, known as Intern II’s, are assigned to MERC faculty to work on one or more of the MERC data series. Under direct faculty supervision, Intern II’s update their data series as new information becomes available and work with MERC faculty, to provide analysis of the new data. Intern II’s are also required to give a short PowerPoint presentation on their data series at a meeting of MERC’s Advisory Board or to some other outside group, to author or co-author at least one article for MERC Economic Update, MERC’s semi-annual newsletter and to act as mentors for new interns entering the program. These interns also put together the PowerPoint presentations used by MERC faculty when they present to internal and external organizations and groups.
Students who remain in the program for more than two semesters become MERC Senior Interns. Along with the duties mentioned above, Senior Interns author articles for publication and are involved in giving presentations along with faculty members. They take on some of the responsibility for the day-to-day operations of MERC. They also provide the highest level mentoring for Intern I’s and II’s.