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Internships

What is an internship?

Internships give employers the opportunity to:

  • Share knowledge with talented, energetic students who are motivated to excel.
  • Complete special projects during peak seasons without hiring additional personnel.
  • Look at entry-level professional personnel without making a long term commitment, as well as, reduce turnover and training time for entry-level employees by hiring former interns.
  • Become involved in the learning process of a future practitioner.
  • Allow junior level managers an opportunity to gain supervisory experience.

Internships give students the opportunity to:

  • Acquire professional work experience related to academic major or career interest.
  • Apply theories learned in the classroom to the workplace.
  • Acquire better understanding of the professional demands and requirements of a particular career field.
  • Gain confidence in making the transition from the academic atmosphere to the world of work.
  • Students may also choose to earn academic credit while working in a variety of settings in the private and public sectors.

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

As with any new employee, an employer will want to:

  • Review the job description and internship responsibilities with the intern.
  • Expect to have an initial training period as the intern learns his or her responsibilities.
  • Introduce the intern to the organization and co-workers.
  • Develop guidelines and expectations for supervision.
  • Periodically provide feedback to let the student know how well they are doing.

If a student is receiving academic credit for an Internship position, an employer must also:

  • Participate in establishing goals and objectives for the internship. Students are required to have two goals for each hour of credit earned (most students earn three credits, requiring six goals).
  • Sign the Student’s Placement Contract verifying the terms and goals of the internship.
  • Complete a Mid-term and Final Evaluation of the student’s work and go over it with the student before returning it to our office. These take about 15 minutes each to complete.
  • Employers are not responsible for assigning grades. Faculty sponsors assign grades after reviewing student materials and employer evaluations.

Legal Issues:

  • If Students are paid through the organization’s payroll, that organization’s Workers Compensations may apply.
  • If additional coverage is needed, employers are encouraged to contact Career Services for further information and possible assistance.
  • Consider what policies and procedures the intern will be covered by. What policies and procures must the intern abide by?

Have the intern read or otherwise been make aware of these policies.

  • Student interns are required to follow the Clarke University Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policies stated in the
  • Clarke University Student Handbook at http://www.clarke.edu/page.aspx?id=7756
  • Student interns should be informed of the employer’s sexual harassment policy.
  • Will you provide any insurance (ex: health, dental, disability, worker’s compensation) for the intern?

What are the student’s responsibilities?

  • As with any new employee, an intern will need to:
  • Become familiar with the organization and co-workers.
  • Review internship responsibilities and expectations with employer supervisor, then carry them out.
  • If a student is receiving academic credit for an Internship position, an intern must also:
  • Establish goals and objectives for the internship. This should be done with the employer supervisor or faculty sponsor (or both).
  • Students are required to have two goals for each hour of credit earned (most students earn three credits, requiring six goals).
  • Request that the employer supervisor and faculty sponsor sign the Student’s Placement Contract verifying the terms and goals of the internship; turn completed contract in to Career Services.
  • Keep a weekly journal to track their progress as well as assist them in writing their Final Reflection Paper.
  • Submit log of hours worked to Career Services.
  • Schedule a mid-term worksite visit with the supervisor and a Career Services staff member.
  • Complete a Mid-term Report and a Final Reflection Paper, plus any additional academic requirements established with faculty sponsor.

Are internships paid?

Internships can be either paid or unpaid* depending on the organization, career field, and scope of responsibilities. However, students are naturally drawn to positions that offer compensation for their service. We do realize, however, that many agencies (non-profit and others) operate on a tight budget where added expense is not possible. Therefore, pay is not required; however, many students need to find part-time work in addition to the internship in this situation. Keep in mind that all internships, paid or unpaid, must provide training and experience related to the students’ major and career goals.

Reasonable compensation may be:

  • An hourly wage, possibly minimum wage depending on the career field.
  •  A fair percentage of an entry-level salary based on hours worked.
  • A stipend awarded at the end of an internship placement to offset College costs. This is a good way for employers to pay the intern, yet avoid adding a short term employee to their pay roll.
  • For other ideas or the “going rate” for particular Internship positions, check with Counseling and Career Services.

* The U.S. Department of Labor has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the student.
  3. The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
  4. The employer provides the training and derives not immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
  5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
  6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

While not all six factors have to be present for an individual to be considered a trainee, the experience should ultimately look more like a training/learning experience than a job.

What is the length and hourly commitment of an internship?

  • Internships vs. part-time employment: An internship for academic credit must be related to the student's major with responsibilities worthy of College credit.
  • One academic credit for an internship position commonly requires a student to work 4 hours per week during a 15-week semester for each credit hour earned (60 hours worked for each credit).
  • Usually full-time students work 4-12 hours each week, earning 1-3 internship credits in a 15-week semester.
  • A student may earn credit for multiple internships with the same organization; however, each internship must represent new learning opportunities as reflected in the Learning Objectives, established by the student, worksite advisor, faculty advisor, and Career Services. This is often accomplished by the student accepting a new project or position.

How do I find an intern?

Contact us!

Clarke University
Counseling and Career Services
1550 Clarke Drive
Dubuque, IA 52001-3198
Phone: (563)588-6302
Fax: (563)588-8173
E-mail: careerservices@clarke.edu

Click here to post your internship position description on-line or you may also phone, mail, e-mail, or fax a description. Counseling and Career Services will then advertise this position to Clarke students.

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