Characteristics of a High-Quality Internship Experience
The internship is an experience that provides a substantial, meaningful, and challenging learning environment. While the intern’s primary role may be focused, it must be situated in a broader context that provides exposure to multiple facets of the organization, its operations, and the field at large. Learning goals should be co-created with the intern and supervisor and periodically revisited throughout the internship so that progress towards achieving the goals is monitored. Additional characteristics include:
- The duration of the internship is between 8 and 12 weeks.
- The roles and responsibilities of the internship are documented in a written position description and describes real work assignments that are recognized as valuable by the organization.
- At the beginning of the internship experience, a formal orientation session is provided for purposes of onboarding the intern. The session should include explaining the organization’s mission, culture, and structure; the intern’s specific role; what is expected of them in regards to job performance and appropriate work conduct; as well as any training necessary to use the organization’s systems and technologies.
- An experienced supervisor is assigned to oversee the intern’s work, ensuring they have adequate guidance and resources to learn and complete the assigned work. The supervisor is readily available to answer questions and provide feedback. To ensure a developmental learning setting, interns should not be directly supervised by a member of their family or close friend/peer.
- When possible, the intern is provided opportunities to participate in internal training. The content of the training could be in a work-related skills area such as a computer language or in a general skills area such as project management.
- Regular and ongoing feedback is provided to the intern throughout the experience. At the conclusion of the experience, an exit interview is conducted to gather feedback on the intern’s experience.
Securing Your Own Internship
Students participating in the Junior Practicum Program will receive funding for an internship they have secured on their own.
Below are suggested tips and resources to assist you in securing your own internship. If you or a potential internship sponsor have questions related to the Junior Practicum processes, do not hesitate to connect with Career Exploration and Development staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- October 4–December 15: Indicate your intent to secure your own internship on the Junior Practicum application form.
- October 4–January 17: Contact prospective employers to secure your own micro-internship; submit the Self-Secured Internship Form (to be sent by email) to Career Exploration and Development
- January 17: Deadline to submit the Self-Secured Internship Form to Career Exploration and Development
- April 1: Deadline to secure your own internship to be financially supported by the college. Any internship secured after this date will not be funded by the college.
- Leverage your network!
- Peruse online platforms.
- Go local.
Connect with local:
- nonprofit organizations
- government organizations
- healthcare facilities
- religious institutions
- Take initiative.
Do you have an organization you would like to work with? Send them an email directly! The Career Development Center can help you communicate effectively with employers about this opportunity.
- Connect with Career Exploration and Development.
We are here to help! Schedule an advising appointment with Career Exploration and Development via Handshake or call 440-775-8140.