Best Practices for Internship Opportunities

Create a thorough internship position description

  • This includes qualifications, skills, knowledge, hours, and pay. By developing a robust internship position description, employers enable students to identify what qualifications they will need for the role, and what skills they may develop.
  • Include as much information as possible about the opportunity and remember that this internship should accommodate the student’s academic schedule.

Devise a strategic plan for your intern

  • Host an orientation for your intern and their supervisors to ensure that all parties’ expectations align.
  • Ensure that the internship has defined start and end dates, designated supervisor, scope of assignment or project, objectives, estimated total hours, measures for evaluation, and compensation, if any.
  • Unpaid internships must comply with Department of Labor guidelines.
  • Also consider the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) criteria for an experience to be defined as an internship.

Assign meaningful work

  • Your intern should benefit from this opportunity and their internship experience should allow them the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom.
  • Make sure to clearly describe the criteria and expectations for each assigned project.

Make interns feel as if they are part of the team

  • When appropriate, give your intern access to meetings, events, and staff social activities to make them a part of the team.
  • An internship is a great way for students to learn from their colleagues and expand their network. Ask that staff members to make time to spend with interns to share their job functions and expertise.

Give and request regular feedback throughout the internship

  • Evaluate your intern’s work regularly in comparison to stated goals.
  • Help your intern understand what skills they are learning, and how to best market their abilities.
  • You may also find that your intern’s feedback can add value to your organization.

If you are seeking additional resources on developing an internship program you can review Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program, and 12 Steps to Create an Internship Program.


Department of Labor Guidelines for Internship Programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act

We make every effort to share employment opportunities that are developmental, educational, and ideally related to the student’s academic pursuits. We want students to connect with employers who can provide these experiences in accordance with federal labor laws, therefore students are compensated fairly for the work they complete.

If you post an unpaid internship in Handshake, please describe how it meets the criteria noted on the Department of Labor’s website. Please note that Temple University Career Center thoroughly vets employer registrations as well as job postings to ensure compliance.

If you are offering/requiring credit for an internship with your organization, please be advised that in order to get academic credit Temple students must register by the following dates:
Spring: January 28th, 2019
Summer: March 28th, 2019
Fall: April 4th, 2019

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