Defining an Internship

According to the National Association of College and Employers, an internship is 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.

Components of a Successful Internship Experience:

  • The experience has a defined beginning and end and includes a job description with desired qualifications.
  • Clearly defined learning objectives and goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • Supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • Regular performance feedback provided by the experienced supervisor.

Internships can be paid or unpaid opportunities. If you are offering an unpaid internship, you should familiarize yourself with Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines.