Internships

Internship programs typically involve multiple participants. These include the student population, the employers and the educational organization. For each participant, there are considerations as to what an effective program entails.

For students

Internships are:

  • An opportunity to gain practical experience
  • A way to establish a potential foundation for employment with a company or organization after graduation
  • An opportunity to observe application of classroom knowledge in true employment situations
  • Resume-builders that blend classroom and career experiences
  • Networking opportunities that may prove valuable over time in their careers
  • Added enjoyment to the college experience
  • A way to confirm potential career interests in advance of job acceptance
  • A chance to earn additional income (though the internship may be unpaid)
  • An opportunity to meet specific degree requirements

Internships are not:

  • A part-time job
  • Simply a break from class instruction
  • A chance to "cruise" for a summer or semester
  • A guaranteed job offer post-graduation
  • A requirement to securing a satisfying long-term employment opportunity
  • Simply job shadowing

 

For employers

Internships are:

  • An opportunity to provide actual operational training to the intern, similar to what would be given in a college/university or vocational school
  • For the benefit of the intern, not the employer
  • An opportunity to examine the performance of potential job candidates
  • A positive contribution to later on-campus recruitment
  • A way to create favorable word of mouth among students on campus
  • An alternative source of job talent
  • A chance to introduce new job knowledge and skills to the current work environment
  • Additional human resources for important projects or seasonal workloads
  • A connection strategy between the educational institution's faculty and curriculum and local companies or organizations
  • A visible expression of good corporate citizenship
  • A way to enhance the company's or organization's reputation as a forward-thinking enterprise
  • An opportunity for mid-level employees to gain personnel management experience

Internships are not:

  • Free or cheap labor
  • Displacement of regular employees
  • An opportunity to work students for less desirable hours or projects
  • A one-sided opportunity only benefiting the company or organization
  • A PR strategy
  • A guaranteed way to secure employees after graduation

 

For educational institutions

Internships are:

  • An opportunity to increase the number of students who accept a position and begin to work in the local economy
  • A connection of the institution to the demands for talented workers, and an opportunity to correlate curriculum with industry needs
  • A way to strengthen the institution's reputation as a source of skilled employees
  • A way to improve the institution's image as a place to learn and secure good careers
  • An opportunity to enhance the experiential quality of education

Internships are not:

  • An alternative to guiding recent graduates in their search for effective careers
  • A strategy to merely enhance image for the benefit of the school
  • A process for replacing classroom education

Related Links: