As part of the CMU-Africa internship program, students work as short-term employees of partner organizations to learn about IT or engineering-related operations and practices in a business environment. This work is complemented with opportunities for the student to learn and develop skills.
How can your organization benefit from offering internships?
CMU-Africa's internship program has a number of benefits for both our engineers and our industry or organization partners. Through internships, students gain work experience through their engagement in a real business environment. This work experience includes performing information technology and engineering projects for the host organization as stipulated in their contracts. Through CMU-Africa's internship program, our partners have the opportunity to engage our students and leverage their expertise for the benefit of the company. The program also provides the company an opportunity to evaluate our students' skills for future employment at the organization.
CMU interns showed more than simply academic knowledge, they displayed a culture of hard work to reach set goals.
Jean-Louis Kaliningondo, IT Strategic Advisor to Commissioner General, Rwanda Revenue Authority
How does the internship program work?
All CMU-Africa students are encouraged to do an internship. However, an internship is mandatory for students enrolled in the Masters of Science in Information Technology (MSIT). At the completion of their first year of study, MSIT students are required to complete a three-month internship during the months of May-August.
The work to be performed by the master’s intern is described in an “internship offer” submitted by the hiring organization on CMU-Africa’s Corporate Internship Portal. Before the opportunities are published, they are first reviewed by a faculty member to make sure they’re in line and relevant to projects for our students to be a part of. These projects have to be IT/ICT related.
Students are to be employed under contract by the organization during the corporate internship. It is expected that the internships provided by these companies will be paid or partially paid (in the form of a stipend – a fixed amount of money that is paid on a monthly basis). The student is expected to produce the results as defined in the temporary employment contract.
The internship provides the hosting organization with the opportunity to leverage CMU-Africa students' expertise for the benefit of the company. It is also an opportunity to evaluate their skills for potential future recruitment; however, there is no obligation to the employer to hire the student.
Corporate internship FAQs
When does the internship program start?
CMU-Africa students must complete an internship during the break between their first and second year of studies. The duration is 3 months or 13 weeks. The period corresponds with the end of the academic year and the start of the following year, typically from mid-May to mid-August.
Which companies usually hire our interns?
Public or private companies across almost every sector that have running operations in IT and/or engineering and have the following characteristics:
- Provides a good learning environment for a graduate student
- Evaluates the students’ skills for potential future recruitment
- Designates someone to supervise and mentor the student during his/her placement
How much should I offer as a monthly stipend?
- For internships in Rwanda the minimum recommended monthly net stipend is $350 (converted to local currency).
- For internships outside Rwanda, stipends are typically higher especially when students incur accommodation and transportation costs associated with their internship placement.
- Given that this is a competitive market, many companies pay higher stipends in the range of $500-$2,000 (net).
What is a good internship assignment?
- At the start of an internship, students will have completed one year of their master’s degree program and will be pursuing one or more of the six areas of specialization: IT entrepreneurship, energy systems, data science, software engineering, networks and cybersecurity.
- Examples of appropriate tasks are: the development of a new ICT solution, market analysis of new products and/or services, participation in the solving of an ICT problem in the organization, a cyber-security assessment of the organization.
- Examples of inappropriate tasks are: fixing employees’ network problems, clerical support, or providing PC help desk support.
How can I be guaranteed that the intern will perform well?
There is no guarantee, however, previous responses from a survey conducted in 2018 to internship providers tell us that 87% of interns performed better than previous interns, 100% would provide internships again in 2019, and 92% would consider the internship candidate for a full-time opportunity at their organization.
Hear from past internship partners