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Advance-U Student Internship Program

Advance U

The Advance-U program is designed to introduce students to advancement as a profession. Ideal candidates are hard-working students interested in exploring a career in nonprofit, higher education or advancement.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the Advance-U Student Internship Program was cancelled for summer 2020. Please check back in the fall for information about the 2021 program.

How the Program Works

Advance-U interns are matched with a host department in University Advancement (UA) that aligns with their area of interest. During the program, which runs from mid-May through early August, students work on and complete a special project related to their learning goals. At the end of Advance-U, interns present their work to University Advancement staff.

Interns are paid for a 36-hour workweek and spend Monday – Thursday in their assigned host department. Friday is seminar day and an opportunity to build community, participate in group activities and learn from guest speakers. Students also attend UA special events and off-site learning experiences.

Knowledge and Skills Gained

Through Advance-U students will:

  • Learn about the field of institutional advancement, nonprofit and higher education fundraising and engagement.
  • Experience a broad perspective of the functions that make up University Advancement.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of professional goals and how to achieve them through peer-to-peer coaching and interaction with senior leadership.
  • Achieve an appreciation for diversity, leadership development, communication skills and teamwork.
  • Create a project that helps improve MSU, while enhancing their résumé and getting a jump on their career.
  • Enjoy a supportive cohort of fellow interns collaboratively learning about career opportunities.
Advance U Interns

Advance-U interns prepare for their final presentation

Advance U Intern

An Advance-U intern discusses his project with University Advancement staff

How to Learn More or Apply

To learn more about Advance-U, contact Trajan Dubiel, program director, at If you’re ready to apply, visit MSU Career Services Handshake to fill out and submit an application. Applications open in November.

What Advance-U Participants Have to Say


“[Advance-U] was an incredibly valuable opportunity! From hands-on experience at each of our locations, to the Friday seminar sessions, to getting the opportunity to attend and volunteer at events, this summer was well-spent and filled with valuable information.” — Marlee Guilford, 2019 Advance-U Intern

“I am grateful for the support I received throughout the ten weeks of this internship program, and I look forward to taking what I learned and applying it to my future courses and professional endeavors.” — Natalie Jones, 2019 Advance-U Intern

“Beyond gaining an appreciation of a large-scale, non-profit organization and its inner-workings, Advance-U also grants you an understanding for such business and provides the professional skills to tap into that understanding. Plus, ‘There’s free food.’” — Andrew Duris, 2019 Advance-U Intern


“The Advance-U internship program was a huge asset to our unit. Our intern, who is now a permanent student employee, has a willingness to learn and is a key player on our team.” — Marco Schimizzi, 2019 Host, Communications & Donor Relations Coordinator at MSU College of Nursing

“Advance U is a very unique way to introduce MSU students to careers that they may have never considered otherwise and to help them prepare for their life after graduation. I’ve had the great fortune of supervising and mentoring students enrolled in the program and have seen firsthand how impactful this experience can be for their learning and professional growth. I highly encourage others within Advancement to get involved!” — Dave Isbell, 2018/2019 Host, Assistant Director of MSU Alumni Professional Enrichment

Previous Intern

“As a former Advance-U intern that has transitioned into a full-time employee at MSU, I realize what a valuable experience it was. I feel a great sense of purpose working for an organization that serves the community and advances the mission of the university, all of which are great causes.” — Marco Schimizzi, Communications & Donor Relations Coordinator at MSU College of Nursing