An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. (Source: NACE Position Statement: U.S. Internships)
Internships can last from 8 weeks up to a calendar year. The important element that distinguishes an internship from a short-term job or community service is the intentional "learning agenda" that the intern brings to the experience and the employer provides.
How the Nevada Career Studio can help
Develop an internship
Below are several things to consider when developing an internship. Please check them and email firstname.lastname@example.org if our Employer Relations Team can help.
Pack Internship Grant Program
This program provides funding for individual student internships with local non-profit organizations, start-up companies, and public/government agencies. The grant funds student interns' wages at $12/hour for 120 hours of work.
Developing an internship at your organization
Due to the nature of students’ academic schedules, they often look for internship opportunities of limited duration, so employers find interns to be an ideal solution to this problem.
Paid interns make ideal workers, eager to learn, and eager to make a good impression. The average pay rate for most local undergraduate internships is $10-16 an hour. Some specialized internships will pay up to $25 an hour. There are legal considerations applicable to for-profit businesses who wish to provide unpaid internship positions. Unpaid internships must be focused on learning and training, and must not result in any immediate gain for the organization providing the experience, to be legally offered.
For more information, refer to the U.S Department of Labor about internship programs under The Fair Labor Standards Act.
Establish the necessary organizational support
- Designate a mentor/supervisor for the intern
- Decide whether the intern will work in one department or several
- Determine the kind of orientation and training the intern will need
- Provide safe working facilities. Make available equipment, supplies, and space necessary for the student to perform their duties.
- Assume liability for work-related injuries sustained by the intern, insofar as the agency may determine the same to be required by law in that state.
Write a position description
Include the following:
- Brief organization description and organization website
- Position title
- Skills and qualifications required/preferred (not academic majors)
- Duties and responsibilities
- Start/end dates of the internship and approximate hours per week
- Rate of pay, if applicable (please see below)
- Location (city, state)
- Any special considerations (such as specific working hours or days, transportation)
- Application instructions (how should they apply, and with what materials)
Examples of internship opportunities
Interns can be assigned to organize research projects, plan special events, develop special promotional campaigns, or design web pages. When developing an internship involving special projects, you should identify goals, timelines, and outcomes so that everyone understands the purpose and expectations involved.
Certain business and organizations routinely experience peak periods where additional staff is needed. Others may operate under very limited budgets and need additional staff throughout the year. Interns may be able to alleviate some of these problems.
Interns may be assigned to serve as facilitators for youth groups, human resource management support staff, public relations assistants or marketing associates. Remember that students are looking for internships that provide them with professional experience and an opportunity to learn.