Internships are defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) as: “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” While students benefit from the internship experience, organizations benefit as well.
Opportunities that are mostly clerical in nature, unsupervised or don’t offer a learning experience should not be considered an internship.
Value of Internships
- Having an internship program is a cost effective way to evaluate an intern’s potential as a future employee of your organization
- Access to enthusiastic, talented and innovative students who can contribute their skills and knowledge to your organization
- Increase productivity within your organization by meeting seasonal or short-term needs without a long term hiring commitment
- Build and promote your organization’s visibility to Boise State students
- Take part in influencing the next generation of professionals in your field
Best Practices for a successful internship program
- Provide a meaningful, challenging “real world” work experience
- Supervision of intern by a “professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience”
- Provide orientation to your organization
- Here are some great resources:
- 15 Best Practices For Internship Programs
- Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program (Find the document with this title under the “For Your Employer” section of the page)
Compensation of Internships
- Internships can be paid or unpaid. Although compensation is not required to post your internship opportunity; if your organization is a for profit business it is generally expected that you will be providing compensation.
- If an intern is an “employee” being paid wages, then the employer must pay at least minimum wage according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- If you are a for-profit organization and you will not be providing compensation we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the FLSA rules on unpaid internships.
- Academic credit is not considered an alternative to compensation
Academic Credit for an Internship
- Employers do not have the ability to grant academic credit for an internship; that is determined by the student’s department internship coordinator in their Major.
- Students are responsible for contacting their academic department prior to the start of their internship if they want to register for academic credit for their internship opportunity.
- Department internship coordinators in the student’s major will determine if a potential internship can be done for academic credit
- Students must register (and pay) for academic credit just like any other academic course
- Typically an internship for academic credit is completed in one semester timeframe but the program is flexible
- Department requirements may differ but an internship for academic credit requires a qualified supervisor for each intern who will also serve as a liaison with the Boise State department internship coordinator evaluating this internship
- If a student is seeking to do an internship for academic credit; you will be asked to complete some documentation which will be sent via email from Boise State
Duration and amount of hours worked during the Internship
- Time frames for an internship should be flexible and determined by your organizational needs
- Boise State runs on a semester calendar (fall, spring and summer)
- During the fall and spring semesters, students generally work from 15 to 20 hours per week
- Interns sometimes work full-time during summer as well as semester breaks
- Often, the intern and the organization agree to continue the employment relationship even after the internship for academic credit is complete.
Hiring an Intern
- Post your internship opportunity on Handshake, our web-based job posting system where all Boise State students search for part-time jobs; full-time career opportunities and internships. Go to Handshake.
- Let us know if you are targeting specific demographics of students (GPA, major, class level, etc) as we can send targeted emails through Handshake promoting your opportunity
- Participate in On-Campus Recruiting
- Attend our Career Fairs
For further information about the internship program:Hank Ebert, Experiential Learning Employer Relations Representative
Boise State University Career Center
Boise ID 83725-1310
Telephone: (208) 426-5415