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Internship Overview

What is an Internship?

  • Are typically one-time, structured work experiences related to a student's career coals
  • Involves a student working in a professional setting under the supervision of a professional in the chosen field
  • Typically last 10-14 weeks during the summer
  • Typically are full-time, but may be part-time
  • Promote and enhance a student's career, academic, and personal development

Importance of Internships

Employers benefit from offering internships in the following ways:

  • Recruit, work with, and screen potential employees
  • Hire former interns who are trained and loyal to the organization, resulting in reduced training time 
  • Fulfill additional staffing needs for temporary positions or projects
  • Find highly motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic staff members who can bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to old problems
  • Heighten the organization's visibility on campus and enhance the organization's image in the community

Characteristics of Successful Internship Programs

  • There is "buy-in" and support at all levels of the organization. 
  • The program or position is solidly built, with clear goals and well-designed processes for recruitment, orientation, supervision, evaluation, and improvement. 
  • Interns are given meaningful work experiences and are treated and trained as "real" employees. 
  • Mentoring is provided to guide students' development. 
  • Compensation and/or benefits are offered. 
  • The organization regularly offers internship opportunities and maintains a solid reputation with the university. 
  • The organization is always looking for ways to improve its internship offerings. 
  • Opportunities are provided for a variety of majors, putting the focus on a student's career goal rather than major. 

Questions to ask when deciding to develop an internship:

  • Is there sufficient staff time to supervise and mentor a student intern?
  • Are there staff members who want to supervise an intern?
  • Do potential intern supervisors have the necessary and appropriate professional expertise to "teach" an intern?
  • Are there sufficient resources to have an inter, such as office space and equipment?
  • What work and/or projects does the organization need to have done? What can a student learn from the work?
  • Would the work yo uneed done be appropriate for a student to do? 
  • How long of a commitment is appropriate? Is one summer enough? 
  • What qualifications, such as relevant skills, would be appropriate for the work?
  • What time of year is best for listing internship opportunities, selecting an intern, and bringing an intern into your organization (taking into account students' and the university's schedules)?