Guide for Developing an Internship

If you have never hired an intern before, here is some advice on how to develop an internship.

1. Identify who will supervise/mentor the intern

The intern will need a Supervisor to be assigned prior to the intern’s start date. The Supervisor should have the ability and time to mentor and provide feedback to the intern, as well as provide training and opportunities for the intern to integrate and network at your organization.

2. Make sure you have physical resources for the intern

Make sure that you have a workspace and equipment for the intern, such as a computer with internet connection, telephone, etc in order for them to successfully accomplish tasks during their internship..

Equal Employment Opportunity laws apply to the hiring of student interns. Please provide interns with your organization’s safety and harassment policies, as employers may be held liable for intern safety and harassment issues.

If the above criteria are not met, interns must be paid at least minimum wage. Often, a higher wage elicits stronger student interest in the internship.

3. Decide what the intern will do

Successful internships are often centered on a specific project which can be completed by the end of the internship.

Plan for time to:

  • Train the intern and familiarize him/her with the layout and organization of the company
  • Explain the goals and the overall purpose of his/her tasks
  • Explain the level of interaction with supervisors, managers, and others involved in completing the tasks
  • Articulate your expectations for the final product (and any milestones), as well as the expected completion date

Consider offering opportunities for the intern to attend management and/or staff meetings or job shadow in different departments. Allow interns to feel valued and included by providing invaluable networking opportunities.

4. Determine a work schedule

Students need to know how many hours a week they will be expected to work, as well as the length of the commitment. It is fine to be flexible, but in your internship announcement, please indicate a minimum number of hours per week that you expect. This will lessen confusion and help you get an appropriate response to your ad. Once you’ve hired an intern, including this information on the intern’s Training Agreement form will also ensure that your expectations and the intern’s expectations match.

5. Write a Job Description

When developing your internship description, include the following:

  • Specific duties the intern will be responsible for completing
  • Knowledge, skills, and qualities you are looking for in an intern
  • Schedule the intern will be required to work (or if the schedule is flexible)
  • Application deadline and desired start date
  • Compensation amount
  • Required documents (resume, cover letter, application, etc.)
  • Information about how you would like them to apply (online, via email, etc.)

6. Meet with us to discuss your needs

The meeting will help us understand your needs, which will help us when promoting your internship to our students. It will also ensure a quality learning experience for potential interns. At your convenience, we can schedule a time to meet at your organization.

Once you’ve developed the internship, the next step will be to post the position on the CONNECT! web site.

Last Updated August 14, 2015