What is an internship?
An internship is a structured and supervised professional experience, within an approved agency, for which a student earns academic credit. The student has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he is learning throughout the experience.
How can an employer benefit from internships?
Many supervisors simply enjoy sharing their expertise in their professions, but some tangible benefits include:
- Year round source of highly motivated pre-professionals.
- Quality candidates for temporary or seasonal positions and projects.
- Freedom for professional staff to pursue more creative projects.
- Flexible, cost-effective work force not requiring a long-term employer commitment.
- Proven, cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential employees.
How does my company start an internship program?
Identify your reasons for starting an internship program. What goals do you hope to achieve? Consider the logistics of hiring an intern. What sort of academic background and experience do you want in an intern? Decide on standards for quality. Who will supervise the intern? What are his/her tasks? Where will you put the intern? Will you pay him/her or provide a stipend?
Details of the internship program
Internships must be a minimum of 12-15 weeks in length and total from 10-40 hours per week.
- Most internships run concurrent with academic semesters as follows:
- fall (September-December)
- spring (January-April)
- summer (May-August)
- Internships are coordinated through the Office of Internships and Career Services in conjunction with departmental faculty advisors.
- Students earn academic credit for internships academic departments of the college and are expected to complete academic assignments concurrent with the work experience.
- Compensation is not regulated by the college; however, with the financial demands placed on today’s students, many are looking for some form of remuneration.
What is expected of supervisors?
We expect you to provide career-related work experiences that are of sufficient challenge to college-level students. In addition to providing work that contributes to your organization’s mission, we also hope you actively support the student’s learning endeavor. Someone who has a heart for the professional development of others should be assigned to supervise the student. That person should:
- Provide a clear job or project description for the work experience
- Orient the student to the organization, its culture, and their work assignment(s)
- Assist the student in developing/achieving personal learning objectives
- Host an onsite visit for the faculty advisor sometime during the work term
- Offer feedback to the student on a regular basis
- Complete formal written evaluations at the mid-point and conclusion of the work experience
Are internships paid?
If your organization is able, we certainly encourage you to consider offering compensation. This may help you attract more quality candidates, as well as solidify time commitments from interns.
Many students work their way through college and often give up a paying part-time position to take an internship, so receiving some form of remuneration is appreciated. If your organization is unable to offer a regular wage, consider helping the student with internship-related expenses such as parking fees, mileage, meals, etc.
How do I get started?
- You may link with Marian University by accessing Knight Work or submit a job or project description on your organization’s letterhead via e-mail.
- If you are a new or first-time employer, we may request a consultation at your worksite with the director of internships and career services or a faculty advisor.
- Acceptable work and learning opportunities will be published on campus to students and departmental faculty.
- Our staff will either send resumes or refer eligible students directly to you. You contact the student directly and decide whom to interview and accept.
Adapted from materials at Messiah College Internship Center.