Student Life

Employer Services

Build your workforce at Western.

At Western, we pride ourselves on cultivating well-prepared professionals that have a mastery of subject matter expertise and valuable hands-on experience. If you’re looking for more information about how to recruit or hire Mountaineers, we are eager to show you why our students and alumni are a great fit for your organization. Together, we can help develop a recruiting plan that suits your needs.

Hiring the best and brightest

The School of Business hosts employers and students at its Career Expo.

Resources for employers

Western’s Career Services office supports employers in their search to recruit and hire Western students and alumni. We offer an abundance of resources and opportunities that make it easy for you to find the talent you are looking for at Western.

Recruit on Campus

Western’s on-campus recruiting program allows employers to reserve an interview space on campus, or we can help you advertise positions for phone/virtual interviewing. These basic services are provided to employers free of charge, though there may be fees for additional services (e.g., catering, equipment rental).

On-Campus Recruiting

We’d love to host you on campus to recruit your next great team members. Contact us to discuss your needs. Career Services will:

  • Reserve table space and rooms in an appropriate campus facility
  • Publicize your event across campus
  • Communicate with targeted audiences to help you meet the students that you want to meet

Virtual Recruiting

We offer fully virtual opportunities to advertise your positions, network and recruit students, and to participate in virtual career fairs and programming through Handshake.

Helpful Links

Career Services events
Western’s academic programs
Campus map

Hiring an intern from Western is not only an excellent opportunity for you to help cultivate talent, but also to add value to your organization.


There are a couple of key points internship providers need to consider when offering an experiential opportunity to Western students:


Paid vs. Unpaid

Some internships offer stipends or even an hourly wage, whereas others are unpaid. When developing your internship, keep in mind that if a student is earning academic credit for the internship, they have to pay tuition on the experience, so paid internships tend to be more appealing. Federal guidelines also impose stricter standards on employers offering unpaid internships. Either option that you choose, you will want to verify that it is in accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act.

Academic Connection


Some academic programs at Western require a student to complete field hours or an internship in order to graduate. For an undergraduate student to receive academic credit, the student must obtain pre-approval from the appropriate faculty establishing internship learning objectives and academic requirements. A formal evaluation process assesses the student’s competencies as they pertain to their academic goals. The student’s grade is then awarded based on their performance during the internship. The internship provider (supervisor), student and Western faculty member are all included in the assessment process.

Students pay tuition for credit-bearing internships and earn a final grade; tuition generally provides coverage under Western’s workers’ compensation policy for the semester in which the student is enrolled in the internship credit(s). Students earn credits based on the number of field hours they complete. Internship credits are allocated at 1 credit per 37.5 hours of supervised work.


Depending on the student’s academic major, they may not be required to complete a credit-bearing internship in order to graduate. With that said, there are many students who are seeking experience and networking opportunities and are not as interested in the credit component. With non-credit internships, there is no official paperwork that must be submitted by the internship provider or the student. In fact, the institution is released from any connection with that experience.

Non-credit internships can be completed during a time frame that is both convenient for the internship provider and the student as it is not influenced by Western’s academic calendar.

Credit-bearing internships take place during one of the following time frames (see the academic calendar for current term dates):

Fall Semester: late August through mid-December
Spring Semester: mid-January through late April
Summer: early May through mid-August

The student must be enrolled for the credits during the term in which the work is initiated. The course work is part of a student’s academic load for that semester.

Advertising Your Opening

Handshake is a free platform for you to connect with students via an online job and internship career management system. You create a profile and post your openings. Students are then able to log in and view postings. For best results, please also communicate with Career Services so we can help advertise your position.


Western views an internship as a reciprocal arrangement with a business or organization, wherein a student makes a real contribution to the organization, but the organization also provides a pre-professional experience for the student. Internships may be paid or unpaid. We allow private, public and not-for profit organizations to recruit Western students.

The internship site supervisor plays a vital role in the student’s development and success. At the internship site, we seek a supervisor who:

  • Provides authentic work* aligned with the student’s objectives, which allows the student to master skills and develop competence in new areas
  • Has knowledge and experience corresponding to the internship focus and who will serve as a mentor/guide in the professional world
  • Provides regular feedback related to the student’s professional and academic objectives (including submitting all evaluation paperwork to the appropriate Western faculty member)
  • Increases the level of responsibility over time and maximizes the scope of the student’s organizational experience

*Authentic work: The internship should include a clearly defined project with tangible deliverables and an appropriate level of challenge. It should also present a professional opportunity for students to apply classroom theory. Some typical internship assignments include direct work with clients, conducting research, data collection (surveys), compiling reports, developing presentations, generating plans (marketing, business, etc.), creating and conducting trainings and writing handbooks or manuals.

REMEMBER: Review the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of internships.


Credit-bearing Internships at Western are designed for traditional undergraduate students who have completed at least 12 credit hours in the academic area of the internship and maintained at least a 2.0 GPA. The internship policy of individual disciplines may be more stringent. The purpose of internships is to give students an experiential career development perspective, specific marketable skills, opportunities for networking and communicating with professionals in their field of interest and the change to develop strong work related characteristics such as initiative, motivation, integrity and a focused work ethic.

Your guidance and mentorship of our students is very much appreciated. Each student also has a faculty member who assists them in the development of a learning contract that will structure the student’s academic program, resulting in academic credit and a grade for the course.

We will ask you to submit some forms throughout the duration of the internship. These forms are very important as the student’s grade and credit will be depended upon the evaluations. Each individual faculty member might have a different deadline and process, however, in most cases, there is the initial paperwork, mid-way through the internship there is some form of communication, and lastly at the end of the internship there is final documentation.

Non-credit internships are completely organized around what the employer and the student agree upon.

Partner with Western

We value the relationships that we have developed with our employers over the years. More importantly, our graduates love working for you!

We’d love to partner with you so you can bring your experience and expertise to campus during more than just recruitment season. Opportunities to engage year-round with Western students include:

  • Resume and cover letter reviews
  • Mock interviews
  • Workshops in your area of expertise
  • Participation in networking events
  • Sponsorship of Career Services events
  • Mentoring a student in your field



Handshake is your hub for making appointments with Career Services and for searching for jobs, internships and careers. New student accounts are created automatically, usually within a week of registering for your first classes. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Use your Western credentials to login to Handshake and activate your account. Your username is your stu# (including the “stu”) and your password is the same one you use for MyWestern. Login the first time to activate your account.
  2. Once logged in, upload your resume and fill out your profile.
  3. When you are happy with your profile, make it public so employers can find you. This step is optional but highly recommended!
  4. Contact Career Services if you’d like help with your profile or feedback on your resume prior to uploading.

Employers (General)

If you already have a Handshake account, simply add Western Colorado University! If you are new to Handshake, create your free Handshake account and request to connect with us. Your free account allows you to post jobs and internships, propose events targeted to Western students, register for career fairs and more.

Employers (On-Campus & Work-Study Jobs)

Western faculty and staff who plan to hire on-campus positions through Handshake should create an employer account using their ‘’ email address and identify Western Colorado University as their employer.

Contractors and unaffiliated organizations who operate on campus and hire students through the federal/state work-study program will require an additional permission to post work-study jobs. After creating your employer profile, please contact us to be sure you are approved to post these types of positions.


Western alumni also get access to Handshake! Recent graduates will be transitioned to an alumni account by default, using your permanent email address as your username. If you are a Western alum from before May 2018 and would like to access Handshake simply register your free account online and give us about a day to review and approve your request.

Need Help?

Swing by Library 120, send us an email or search the online Handshake Help Center.

Warning and Disclaimer Regarding Job and Internship Posting Fraud

The office of Career Services at Western Colorado University posts job and internship opportunities for the convenience of our students. Western does not endorse or recommend employers, and a job or internship posting should not be interpreted as an endorsement or recommendation. Western makes no guarantees or warranties about job and internship postings or the accuracy of information provided by employers in those postings. Western is not responsible for wages, working conditions, safety or any other aspect of off-campus employment without limitation. Students engaging in a job or internship search are responsible to perform due diligence in researching potential employers, including researching the history and reputation of each organization to which they are applying. Any job seeker, including Western students, should use prudence and common sense when applying for or accepting any employment or internship offer.

Identifying a Fraudulent Posting
Look for relevant information

Visit the company website. If the company does not have a website, or if the website does not appear to match the advertised position, be cautious. Take note of how “professional” the website looks and look for specific pieces of information that you would expect on any corporate or organizational site: Is there specific contact information? Are jobs and internships actually posted to the website itself? Can you find a physical address that is verifiable via Google Maps?

Check Consumer Services

The Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission track formal complaints that have been lodged against businesses.

Check the Company’s References

Request a list of other employees or contractors, then reach out to those people to discuss their experience with the company. If a company is not willing to share references, you should consider it a red flag.

Be Skeptical of Any Employer that Requires You to Pay Fees

Most legitimate employers will not charge applicants to apply or to accept a position. Do not send money for employment directories, hiring advice, company information, application fees or anything else related to a posted position. Some legitimate internship programs require placement fees but remember that Handshake and other free databases are available to help you find internship opportunities.

  • Never give an employer information about your bank account, credit cards or other electronic payment accounts.
  • Do not register for direct deposit before your first day of actual work.
  • Do not “wire” funds or send payment by courier (e.g., UPS, FedEx, DHL) using a personal account.
  • Follow your gut. Do not reply to any posting that seems suspicious. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • In general, never agree to pay a fee to obtain a job or internship without consulting with trusted individuals first. While some fee-based programs are legitimate, most are scams designed to separate you from your money.
Review Salary/Payment Information

Be sure you understand the terms of payment prior to accepting any position. Ask if the position is paid via hourly wage, stipend, salary or commission, and how often you will be paid. Pay extra attention to any position that is unpaid.

Department Information

Career Services

Program Coordinator

Craig Beebe, M.S.

Assistant Director, Career Services

Contact Information


Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Library 120
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231