FAQs

Do interns have to be paid?

How do I recruit the best interns for my company?

How long does an internship last?

How will the intern need to be supervised?

What makes a good internship experience?

What makes this an internship instead of a part-time job?

  

Do interns have to be paid?

The majority of internships offered to our students by employers are paid internships.  While we also post 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.

Top of page

 

How do I recruit the best interns for my company?

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 Lauren Smith, Assistant Director of Employer Engagement.

Top of page

Designating a supervisor for the intern:

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 to the students about his/her performance.
  • Complete and submit Intern Performance Evaluation (if the student is enrolled in an internship course for credit)

Top of page

 

Length of internship

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.

Top of page

 

What makes a good internship experience?

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.  

The best internship placements include the following:

  • Specifically defined beginning and end dates with a clearly delineated  job description.
  • Duties and responsibilities should be clearly defined and agreed upon.
  • 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.

Top of page

 

What makes this an internship instead of a part-time job?

 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.

Top of page

Contact

For additional information, contact the internship coordinator for your desired area.

Bunn 125

Michele Bunn
Marketing and Economics
(205) 975-7116
Office: BEC 207-A

Kristen Craig

Kristen Craig
Industrial Distribution
(205) 975-5810
Office: BEC 219-D

Paul Crigler

Paul Crigler
Information Systems 
Management
(205) 934-8816
Office: BEC 317-E

 Eddie Nabors

Eddie Nabors
Accounting 
Finance
(205) 934-8894
Office: BEC 309-B