Creating an Internship Program
At Indiana University Southeast, an internship is defined as an educational experience related to a student's degree program and career plan, which allows the student to apply what he/she has learned to real work situations.
- Provide real-world experiences, meaningful projects, and are less than 30% busy work (filing, covering phones, stuffing folders, etc.)
- Promote the academic, career and/or personal development of the student.
- Include developing intentional learning objectives, and supervisor evaluations of the student twice per semester.
- Are a three-month commitment, but can be extended based upon performance.
- Can be part-time or full-time.
- Ensure a supervisor is assigned to adequately communicate expectations with the student while providing a reasonably safe learning environment.
To Get Started:
- Create a comprehensive position description (see below for details).
- Contact the Career Development Center for help with posting your position.
- Select and interview applicants, and upon finding the right candidate with the appropriate fit and experience, make an offer.
- Work directly with the student to set a work schedule and determine compensation. Complete the appropriate paperwork required by your organization’s human resources department
- Close the position and report any hires. The Career Development Center will follow up with the student to determine whether they would like to register the internship for academic credit.
- Qualifications for Receiving Academic Internship Credit
- Recruiting and Legal Issues
- Indiana University Policy on Intellectual Property
- Onboarding and Managing your Intern
- Writing Learning Objectives
- Creating an Internship Syllabus or Project Timeline
Internship Position Descriptions
The internship position description is the first step towards creating a structured, and successful internship program. A well-written and robust position description will attract the right candidates, and will raise awareness of your organization on-campus. For selected candidates and their supervisors, the description clearly defines the duties, expectations and parameters of the position.
Required Components of the Internship Description:
- Position title
- Paid or unpaid
- Minimum and maximum work hours each week
- Start and end dates
- Major duties
- Scope and timeline of project work
- Required and preferred qualifications
Paid vs. Unpaid
- If the position is paid, determine the hourly salary range. If unsure how to determine a range, you can reach out to the Career Development Center for comparable position ranges or utilize the SHRM Tools and Resources page.
- If unpaid, your organization must define how the student will benefit from the experience. Visit the Recruiting and Legal Issues page for more information on unpaid internships.
Minimum and Maximum Work Hours
- The typical internship range is between 16 and 22 hours per week during Fall and Spring semesters.
- For summer internships, students may be able to pursue full-time opportunities as well as part-time.
Start and End Dates
- The average length for internships is three months, or 14 weeks, but can be extended based upon performance.
- For students to receive academic credit, start and end dates do not have to coincide with campus semester start and end dates.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
- Consider the 3-5 key functions of the position - such as event coordination, administrative tasks, client relations, etc. – and establish specific tasks or duties associated with those key functions.
- Learning objectives are the core components of the internship, because they define what the student will learn during their time on the work site. Consider specific, measurable outcomes for your student intern to achieve while on the worksite.
Required and Preferred Qualifications
- When considering what to include in this section, make sure to highlight specific majors or academic areas, key technical skills, GPA requirements, and necessary soft skills.
- Make sure to clarify between required and preferred qualifications for the position, because many students will choose not to apply if they feel they don't fit the criteria exactly.