Setting Up a Student Internship with a University

Article excerpt

Most internships are work-based, cooperative educational experiences among academic programs, students, and employers. Internships provide real world experience for students in academic programs and give them an edge in terms of relevant experience and confidence during the job search. Students have an opportunity to explore different career options, establish networking relationships, acquire new skills, and apply classroom knowledge to actual work situations.

Academic programs benefit from blending classroom instruction with practical training. From a public relations point of view, schools can use internships to enhance recruitment, student retention and fundraising efforts in addition to building relationships with employers.

Employers benefit from tapping into a pool of fresh talent and identifying the best prospects for future hiring. Student interns may be more motivated than part-time workers because they are preparing for careers and building a list of references. Other internship advantages involve specialized assistance for short-term projects, extra help for regular staff, and assistance requiring special skills or knowledge such as computer software, graphics, language, or public relations. Internships may expose supervisory staff to new methods and concepts and reduce the cost of the organization's workforce. Indirect benefits include a direct link to a particular college or school and an opportunity for the employer to influence an educational program through internship feedback.

Most internships are offered during a semester or summer for academic credit. The number of credit hours is related to the number of hours worked. Credit hours commonly range between two and twelve semester hours of credit, with approximately 40 hours of work required for each hour of academic credit. Companies can initiate an internship relationship with a nearby college or university. However, advance planning helps to ensure a successful internship.

* Write a Job Description for the Intern.

Include the employing organization's name, location, website address, name of contact and preferred mode of reply. Students find it convenient to reply by email and attach an electronic file. State the title and number of positions anticipated, time period, approximate work hours per week, a list of the tasks to be performed, and the pay rate. If a special background is required for the internship, list specific courses or experiences expected of the intern. …