Defining an Internship Program
An internship program should serve as a short-term employment assignment, during the summer or long semester, that is related to a student’s major or career goal. Interns work in a setting under the supervision of a practicing professional and are typically given projects or duties that are uncommon to a regular employee’s job description. They will be eager and motivated to work on relevant tasks that contribute to the organization.
A well-developed internship program will expose students to a variety of functions within a company and increase their understanding of a career within the industry. The intern can expect to receive quality training, feedback and a workspace conducive to producing work that meets the employer’s expectations. Providing professional development and mentorship opportunities will be well received by the intern as they continue to develop their own career preferences.
What type of work does a student typically do during an internship?
Students are looking for internships that will be closely related to the overall objectives of the company, and will give them professional experience toward their major or career goal. The internship job description should list essential duties and can include financial or process analysis, research, writing, planning, database management and more. Participating in day-to-day activities and meeting with employees and immediate supervisors can give interns a glimpse into the daily operations of your organization. Setting up additional professional development events or lunches with high-level executives will give interns a chance to understand the strategic direction of the company.
Will students receive academic credit for their internship, and does my company have to offer this as an option?
UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business students may complete and internship for academic credit if they meet certain requirements of their degree plan, however it is not necessary. If a student chooses to pursue an internship for academic credit, it is their responsibility to complete the necessary paperwork before university deadlines. Should the student choose to seek academic credit, the internship supervisor will be expected to complete a form that outlines their duties at the beginning of the internship, followed by a post evaluation of the intern’s performance. Remember that students will have to pay tuition to receive academic credit for their internship experience. Knowing this, students are more likely to seek paid internships.
Students who choose not to pursue an internship for academic credit will be gaining professional experience and a better understanding of the company. These students will also list the internship experience on their resume and discuss their role in your company, as they progress toward a professional career.
What is a competitive hourly rate to pay interns?
This will vary depending on the industry. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average hourly rate in 2018 for internships is $18.73. Internships that require more technical or highly sought after skills can be as high as $25 an hour. The hourly investment that a company makes now can lead to future long-term employees.
Guidelines for Employers
The College of Business adheres to the NACE Principles for Professional Practice for Career Services and Employment Professionals and expects employers to do the same. These principles are available on their website.
- The UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business encourages its students to pursue more than one internship and obtain as much professional experience toward their major as possible. Knowing the timeline for when to best conduct an intern search can result in a very capable pool of candidates. Eager students looking to secure a summer internship will begin searching for positions as early as October of the previous year. Interviews are typically conducted between December-February, and internship offers are announced and accepted during March and April.
- While recruiting for new interns, showcase past success stories of former interns who were offered full-time opportunities within your company. If your company is starting an internship program, recent college graduates in your organization can be helpful in connecting and relating to students. If you have former UTSA interns or alumni in your organization, consider using them during your recruitment process.