- The U.S. Department of Labor has identified six criteria to help students and employers determine if an intern can be non-paid. View the Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Employers can post paid internships. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies can post unpaid internships.
- To post, use Handshake account.
- Call our office, (269) 387-2745, for a consultation about the best program(s), majors or student candidates to fill your internship. You can post the position, search resumes, and connect with faculty and student organizations.
- Download the Internship Toolkit for employers.
STEPS IN STRUCTURING A SUCCESSFUL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Assess your readiness for an intern
- Can you provide a meaningful work assignments?
- Are you prepared and able to invest time in interns?
- Can you pay the interns?
- Do you have adequate office space and equipment for interns (computer, phone, desk, etc.)?
Select the intern supervisor
- Is this person committed to and capable of developing student interns?
- Does this person have time to supervise interns?
Develop a position description
- Provide an accurate overview of the position responsibilities, work assignments, and time frame.
- Clearly outline expected learning outcomes.
Consult and communicate with WMU
- Consult Career and Student Employment Services for assistance in developing and promoting your internship or co-op program.
Review applications/resumes and interview prospective interns
- Do not automatically accept candidates without interviews.
- Discuss actual start and end dates for the internship position as well as the intern's work schedule.
- Notify other employees when an intern will be starting and provide background information about the projects on which the intern will be working.
- Arrange for appropriate workspace for the intern.
Orient and supervise the interns
- Share your organization’s mission statement and goals with the intern. Provide them with a tour of the facilities and information on company policies and procedures, formal and informal. Introduce the intern to all staff who will be a resource.
- Arrange for training, as necessary, with computer programs, telephone systems, copy and fax machines or other equipment the intern will be using.
- Provide information regarding appropriate work attire and behavior.
- Offer direction on specifics of work assignments.
- Include the intern in staff meetings when appropriate. Assist the intern in arranging informational interviews with colleagues in other departments or offices.
- Meet with the intern regularly to answer questions and provide feedback.
Seek and provide feedback
- Ask the supervisor to write a recommendation for the intern if appropriate.
- Take the intern to lunch on their last day. Discuss the experience with your organization.
- Complete an evaluation of the intern; review and provide a copy to the intern.
- Assess your internship program. Make adjustments as necessary.
WMU Internship / Co-Op Posting Guidelines
Description of the Organization
- Describe the general product or service that the organization provides. Provide us with your web site address, and a direct link will be provided to your organization’s website.
- Titles that describe the position or its tasks are most helpful to students.
- Briefly describe the role, responsibilities, and expectations you have for an intern. These may include routine work duties, special projects, staff relationships, travel, and equipment/software to be used. This is where students look to size up the internship; it is the educational experience in addition to income that the student is seeking.
- Indicate knowledge and skills that are required and training that will be provided.
- The most effective listings of qualifications focus on the skills, experience, or interests that you are seeking in an intern. Generally it is advisable to target the major(s) that would be desirable candidates.
- Explicitly indicating the qualifications needed to do the work will help us assist you in attracting suitable candidates.
Hours per Week
- Indicate the number of hours per week you expect an intern to work. Indicate how flexible the scheduling may be and whether or not there are fixed times the intern must be available.
- For example, 15-20 hours per week, including Mondays 8:00 – 11:00 am.
Length of Internship
- Indicate the duration of the position. WMU students are typically available for full-time work May 1 to August 20.
- Local employers employ students on a part-time basis during the academic year.
- Full-time internships are typically four months: May through August. Part-time internships are typically during the academic year: September through April.Compensation
- Include compensation and any additional stipends, travel expenses, parking, meals, flexible hours, or tuition reimbursement that you use to attract interns.
- Post the internship in Handshake.
- Meet candidates at WMU job fairs or during other events involving employers.