Internship Employer Information
Information for Employers and Internship Supervisors
The internship program at St. Kate's is one component of an extensive career planning process available to students through the Career Development Office. The program is designed to extend students' learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting into professional work environments. A student intern is offered the opportunity to undertake a professionally supervised and planned work experience, related to her on-campus academic program and career interests. It also provides her with the opportunity to apply textbook knowledge and gain on-the-job experience. No more than 20 percent of internship responsibilities should be clerical in nature.
What is the Difference Between an Intern and an Employee?
To ensure that an experience is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:
- The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
- The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
- The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
- There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
- There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
*If these criteria are followed, it is the opinion of NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) that the experience can be considered a legitimate internship.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (see FLSA Fact Sheet #71) also indicates that among other things: The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
Supervisor Evaluation Forms
Sponsoring an intern can be a positive experience for your organization. Some of the benefits an employer may receive from participating in the internship program include:
- The services of mature, academically qualified students who approach projects with fresh insight and a high level of enthusiasm and motivation
- An opportunity to observe potential employees
- The perspective of current academic knowledge in specialized fields
- The opportunity to undertake special projects or short-term assignments
- An opportunity for future managers to practice their supervisory skills
- The opportunity to share in the preparation of future members of a profession
The Key Players
A student intern brings skills and fresh insights to an organization. She obviously is not an expert, but her role is much more than that of volunteer or gopher. She can make valuable contributions to the daily operations of your organization and undertake special projects that otherwise might not be accomplished. St. Kate's students can participate in 2, 4 or zero credit internships. The student intern is accountable not only to a site supervisor, but to a Faculty Internship Advisor (FIA) and an Internship Director who evaluates the quality of the learning experience. An intern negotiates a learning contract with the FIA, the site supervisor and internship director. The terms of the contract spell out the learning goals the student intends to accomplish.
Student interns are supervised on-site by a staff person employed by the site organization. He/she should have a significant amount of experience in the area in which the student will be interning. Moreover, he/she is responsible for providing the intern with an orientation to the organization, training the intern in her required duties, and assigning, supervising, directing and evaluating the student intern’s work. The site supervisor is provided with a mid-semester and final evaluation form to complete on the intern’s job performance.
The ideal site supervisor will serve as a mentor who will allow the intern to observe her or his management style, share pros and cons of a career in the field, and give suggestions for entering the profession. The intern will view the site supervisor as a role model and look to her/him for feed back on her performance and skill development.
Faculty Intern Advisor
The Faculty Intern Advisor is responsible for helping the student integrate the internship into her total academic experience. She/he evaluates the learning derived from the internship and provides academic direction.
The Internship Director acts as a resource person and problem solver for an intern, FIAs and site supervisors, and promotes communication between them.
Fall Semester Internship………..Sept-Dec
Spring Semester Internship……Feb-May
It’s important to arrange regular workday hours with the student intern. We recommend that blocks of time are utilized whenever possible to get the most out of the time spent on-site. The number of hours per week a student works depends on the number of credits for which she registers. Generally, four semester credits is 150-160 total hours of work (10-12 hours per week) and two or Zero semester credits is 75-80 total hours of work (5-6 hours per week).
Dollars and Sense
Depending on the resources of the sponsoring organizations, some internships are paid and some are not. Compensation can take a variety of forms:
- Hourly wage or salary
- Reimbursement for mileage or other expenses incurred as part of the internship experience
- Provide discounts on services/products
- Offer an opportunity to participate in service training provided for full time employee