It’s Easy to Get Started!
Complete and submit the internship questionnaire to the corresponding Internship Coordinator for your area of interest. Before completing the questionnaire, please review our FAQs regarding policies and procedures. We welcome the opportunity to create a partnership that benefits both you and our students.
After submitting your Internship Questionnaire:
- An Internship Coordinator will contact you for follow-up.
- The internship opportunity will be posted on Dragon Trail, our online job board for students.
- Students will view and apply to your internship posting on Dragon Trail.
- Resumes of students that apply to your internship listing will be emailed to you.
- You may log-in to Dragon Trail using your free employer account to monitor the status of your internship posting.
- After reviewing applicant resumes, you can decide which students you would like to interview for your internship position.
- Interviews can be conducted on campus or at the location of the employer.
The majority of internships offered to our students by employers are paid internships. While we also present unpaid opportunities as well, paid internships tend to generate more interest amongst student candidates. For guidance related to practices or trends of compensation for student interns, feel free to contact an internship coordinator. Possible unpaid internship opportunities receive an analysis of the on-the-job experience that the individual will have in relation to the standard set forth under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law which establishes the minimum wages for work performed. Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has developed six criteria for differentiating between an employee entitled to minimum wage or above and a learner/trainee who may be unpaid. The criteria for learner/trainee are:
- 1. The training, even though it includes actual operations of the facilities of the employers, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.
- 2. The training is for the benefit of the student.
- 3. The student does not displace a regular employee, but works under the close observation of a regular employee or supervisor.
- 4. The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student; and on occasion, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
- 5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
- 6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.
- Not all six factors have to be present in order for the individual to be considered a trainee. The experience, however, should look more like a training/learning experience than a job.
Start early. The number-one tip from those who have established programs is to get out there early! This cannot be overemphasized to organizations that want the very best interns. It is highly advisable to begin searching three to four months before you need a student to begin.
Build your brand by being visible on campus. Even if students are aware of your brand, they face big decisions when deciding where to intern. By participating in on-campus events, you control your brand image with students and get firsthand interaction with students. For more information about on-campus recruiting events please contact Rita Stewart-Hampton, Associate Director of Employer Relations.
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One of the most important aspects of starting an internship program is identifying the best candidate in your company that can serve as the intern’s supervisor. It helps to assign interns to seasoned employees, who have excellent mentoring and leadership qualities, and understands the objectives of an academic internship program.
The supervisor will:
- • Consult with the student in developing learning objectives.
- • Provide on-the-job training for the student.
- • Offer frequent feedback about the student’s performance.
- • Complete and submit Intern Performance Evaluation (if the student is enrolled in an internship course for credit)
Internships typically last at least a full semester (late August-mid December, late January-mid May, late May-mid August), however the duration of the internship may vary depending on the needs of the employer. For an internship to be eligible for academic credit, students are required to work a minimum of 150 hours over a period of no less than 12 weeks.
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Students should have the chance to learn new skills, explore career interests, and meet new social and intellectual challenges. A position consisting primarily of clerical tasks such as filing and copying would not be considered an internship. Clerical work should be no more than 25 percent of the job.
The best internship placements include the following:
- Specifically defined beginning and end dates with a clearly delineated job description.
- Duties and responsibilities that are not haphazardly determined, nor purely clerical in nature.
- Clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the student’s academic coursework.
- A specific work area for the intern.
- Exposure to other professional staff, clientele, etc. (as appropriate) for professional growth.
- Opportunities for mentoring.
- Opportunities for feedback and discussion.
An internship should be seen as an extension of a student's learning. So, while a student will bring valuable knowledge, ideas and another set of hands into your organization, you should be prepared to serve as a teacher and mentor. We discourage using regular employment as an internship opportunity when it was not specifically designed as such.
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