What is an Internship?
An academic internship is a form of experiential education that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. Students earn academic credit, or there is some other connection to a degree-granting, educational institution. This work/learning arrangement is overseen by a faculty or staff member of an educational institution and by a designated employee of an organization. The internship is usually the length or equivalent of an academic term, may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid. An integral component of the experience that distinguishes it from other types of work is one or more forms of structured and deliberate reflection contained within learning agendas or objectives.
WJU affirms the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) position statement to determine what qualifies as an internship.
Starting an Internship:
Below are a few simple steps to assist you in creating a quality internship program at your business.
- Create a job description.
Students should be involved in academic or career-related work with limited clerical duties. In your job description, clearly define the role of the intern, including specific examples of job responsibilities with a clear definition of the department in which he/she will be working.
- Identify the qualifications the student must possess. Sophomore through senior students are eligible to participate in an internship, depending upon your organization’s needs. You can request that a student have a strong interest in your field or require related coursework or skills.
- Develop a training plan.
Provide students with an orientation and training about their responsibilities. You can elevate their responsibilities and assignment duties as their skills develop.
- Decide who will supervise and mentor.
A professional staff member, not another student, should provide training and general orientation to the intern. A mentor, who may or may not be the supervisor, can provide assistance with the intern’s professional development.
- Determine the time commitment.
Internships vary from 4 to 40 hours per week and can range from 10 weeks to 12 months. The minimum time commitment, for an internship to be eligible for academic credit or transcript notation, requires a minimum of 100 hours in a semester (varies by program major).
Establish the salary.
Some internships are paid and others are not. Paid intern’s salaries are based on their work responsibilities and vary between industries. Some organizations provide benefits and some do not, however all organizations must provide worker’s compensation to paid interns and possess general liability coverage. Unpaid interns will be covered under a student accident insurance policy with WJU. The US Department of Labor has established clear guidelines to support an unpaid internship. Please visit Dept of Labor FSLA to view this information.
Register and post your opportunity on WJU Job Board. Jessup Job Board with College Central Network
- Provide evaluation and feedback.The supervisor should meet regularly with the intern, to guide and develop their learning objectives and give feedback for constructive growth. The supervisor will receive support
from the Career & Life Planning Office at WJU, as well as from the professor that
oversees the internship course.
Other ways to connect with WJU students and alumni:
- Informational Seminars: Join other experts to advise students about career and industry trends, and how to prepare for careers in your field.
- Mock Interviews: Participate in a process that tries to resemble a real interview as closely as possible, and provide experience for the student/candidate. The mock interview helps the student learn what is expected in a job interview, and improve the student’s self-presentation.
- Working Lunch Series: Have lunch with professors and students from a specific academic program area to share valuable industry insights. This process enables professors to keep their teaching content relevant to their students and current industry standards.
- Career & Internship Fair: Recruit students and alumni to your organization; held annually in the Spring.
- Campus Recruitment: Interested in meeting one-on-one with students for recruitment? Just schedule a visit through the Office of Career & Life Planning by emailing careerservices [at] jessup [dot] edu or call 916.577.1815.