Build an Internship Program
Jumpstart a student's career

When building an internship for the first time, design, marketing, implementation, documentation and evaluation are all critical components to consider. By definition, an internship is expected to be a learning experience. An internship refers to experiences outside the classroom that enable students to develop skills related to their academic or career interests. Efforts should be made to balance the intern’s learning goals with the needs of the organization.

Internships may be structured with a variety of options:
• part-time to full-time (10 - 40 hours per week)
• paid, unpaid, stipend, housing or travel allowance
• semester, summer or year-long

Setting up an internship:
• establish support from management or administration
• develop written guidelines (goals, requirements)
• designate an intern site supervisor(s)
• determine the organization's needs
• identify intern projects and responsibilities
• draft a position description
• anticipate direct and indirect costs and draft budget if appropriate
• consider any potential legal issues (worker's compensation, EEO, wage and hour laws, etc)
• establish selection criteria for interns
• determine whether references will be required
• establish dates for interviews and final decisions

Organizational support of internships:
• create an effective orientation program for interns and supervisors
• develop guidelines for supervision and evaluation
• design professional development and social opportunities for interns
• evaluate and document your internship program
• conduct exit interviews with interns
• consider developing an intern-to-full time conversion program

Anticipate student concerns regarding:
• the relationship of the job description to the student’s learning goals
• compensation
• work hours
• expected contributions
• professional development opportunities/skill building
• housing and transportation
• fitting in with other workers
• regular evaluation and feedback
• appropriate attire in the workplace

Tips for a successful internship program:
• clearly defined policies and procedures
• well-developed orientation and training program
• job assignments that are clear and related to learning goals
• regular supervision and feedback
• social activities that bring everyone together
• discussion of further contact for networking purposes, professional development and mentoring upon completion of internship

Internship Descriptions

Your internship descriptions should offer candidates with the relevant information they need in order to evaluate their “fit” for the internship, as well as understand the relevant qualifications you are seeking. Elements of and internship description should include the following:

• information about your organization (description, contact information, website)
• description of the intern’s tasks and responsibilities
• timeframe of internship (i.e. fall semester, spring semester, summer, academic year)
• preferred majors/minors/coursework that the intern should have completed
• listing of skills desired
• start/end dates for the internship and typical working hours
• compensation
• location(s) of internship
• application instructions
• application deadline

Sample Internship Descriptions

Employer ABC is one of the world's largest investment management companies, with over $1 trillion in U.S. assets. We provide a full array of financial products to individuals, institutions, companies, and financial professionals. Our company headquarters is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with additional branch offices in Alabama, South Carolina, California, Australia, and Japan.

Summer Finance Internship
If you're a college undergraduate who wants a meaningful, stimulating paid summer internship experience, this internship is for you. As an intern you’ll work with analysts, process specialists, auditors, and other financial professionals, and gain invaluable exposure to a range of finance careers. You will also be introduced to a rewarding career educating and advising our diverse client base in several areas of the company, including Advice Services, Brokerage, Retirement, Participant Education and more. Responsibilities will include:

• Maintain advanced financial models
• Perform various financial analyses, including valuation
• Conduct comprehensive and in-depth company and industry research
• Prepare presentation and other materials for clients
• Attend client and team meetings
• Communicate and interact with clients
• Work closely with professionals throughout the organization

While in this program, you'll work for a world leader in investment management services as you hone your own leadership and technical skills. This outstanding opportunity will connect you to experts, provide exceptional hands-on experience, and expose you to a successful business model that helps millions of investors build a secure financial future. This internship is based at our company headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. Our interns receive compensation of $16.00 per hour plus a weekly travel allowance.

Who Should Apply?
We're a company that champions diversity, so we encourage students of all backgrounds and majors to apply. What our candidates have in common are exceptional leadership, a commitment to teamwork, and a passion for learning. If you possess these attributes, we would like to hear from you. Please submit your resume and cover letter to Ms. Rita Jones, Internship Coordinator at by November 1st. Applicants who are invited for interviews will be notified by November 20th. Expected start date for our interns is June 1st. This is a full-time 10 week summer internship.

Contact Information:
Ms. Rita Jones
Internship Coordinator
ABC Company
100 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19002
Phone: 215-555-1212
Fax: 215-555-1234

Art Center XYZ was founded in 1975 by a now illustrious group of artists, writers and patrons. The founders envisioned a place in Chicago, where young artists and writers could live and work together in the early phase of their careers. The founders believed that the freedom to pursue creative work within a community of peers was the best catalyst for artistic growth.

Art Center XYZ’s summer internship is designed to introduce students to the workings of a nonprofit arts organization. The position involves a multitude of tasks designed to give each intern a basic overall understanding of how Art Center XYZ (and many other nonprofit arts programs) operates. Responsibilities include: writing press releases and event introductions; staffing readings, gallery openings and public events; assisting with clerical work, mailings, and general office tasks. This is the perfect opportunity to build a resume in the nonprofit sector. All undergraduate students interested in the non-profit sector are welcome to apply. Those seeking experience in Arts Administration and Development are particularly encouraged to apply.

Interns will be expected to work 20 to 25 hours per week, and must be able to commit to the full eleven weeks of the internship, June 9 through August 24. This is an unpaid internship. Interns are welcome, though not required, to attend three Summer Program workshops free of charge. Additionally college or university course credit is available. Please check with your school about receiving academic credit for unpaid internships.

To apply, please submit the following by March 31st.

• a résumé
• a letter of introduction and intent (what do you hope to get out of the internship? what attracted you to this particular internship? what are your strengths and weaknesses? what can you offer as an intern?)
• one letter of reference from an academic advisor or faculty member (letter should particularly address your skills, and what you can offer as an intern).

Mr. Robert Smith
Executive Director
Art Center XYZ
335 Creative Way
Chicago, IL 60601
Ph: 312-555-1212
Fax: 312-555-1234