What Is an Internship?

An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student’s field of study or career interests. Internships require a minimum of 120 hours (typically, at least 8-10 hours per week during the fall and spring and either part-time or full-time during the summer).  An internship gives a student the opportunity for career exploration and development, and to learn new skills. It offers the employer the opportunity to bring new ideas and energy into the workplace, develop talent and potentially build a pipeline for future full-time employees. A quality internship:

  • Consists of a part-time or full-time work schedule that includes no more than 25% clerical or administrative duties.
  • Provides a clear job/project description for the work experience.
  • Orients the student to the organization, its culture and proposed work assignment(s).
  • Helps the student develop and achieve learning goals.
  • Offers regular feedback to the student intern.

Student Interns Expect:

  • To gain real work experience and provide meaningful assistance to the company.
  • To have a mentor who provides guidance, feedback, receptiveness and models professionalism.
  • To gain experience and skills in a particular field.
  • To develop professional contacts.
  • To gain exposure to leadership/management.
  • To receive an orientation to the organization for which they are interning. This introduces the student to the organization’s mission and goals and provides them with information about company rules, regulations and procedures. It also introduces the intern to fellow employees who they can go to in the future with questions.

Benefits of Hiring an Intern:

  • Ease workload of regular employees.
  • Enable employees to focus on higher level tasks.
  • Meet short-term staffing needs.
  • Complete “Priority C” tasks/projects.
  • Utilize a cost effective employment strategy.
  • Obtain access to highly motivated students who can fill staffing needs.
  • Complete finite projects.
  • Develop a pipeline of future employees
  • Prepare tomorrow’s workforce.
  • Inject enthusiasm and fresh ideas into your organization.
  • Provide practical learning opportunities to students.
  • Take advantage of students’ tech and social media savvy.