Texas Tech University

Guidelines for Establishing Strong Effective Internship Programs

What you should know

  • An internship is an on-site pre-professional experience providing exposure to actual career fields and responsibilities
  • Internships provide students with opportunities to identify skills and gain practical work experience
  • An internship is NOT free labor
  • Typical internships range from 8 - 15 hours a week during semesters and full-time during the summer
  • Unpaid internships should have a start and an end time frame 
  • Many students are compensated monetarily for their internships. The range is from approximately $10 - $17 per hour based on experience and industry/field
  • Students usually recieve credit or some kind of acknowledgment from their program department for unpaid internships and they negotiate the terms of the agreement
  • Stipends, recognition dinners, cook-outs or outings add a nice touch to unpaid work experiences.

Internship Guidelines

Establishing an Internship Program

  • Consider your organization's ability to provide meaningful work assignments, to invest time in interns through training and supervision
  • Begin by locating a staff member who would enjoy and benefit from working with an intern
  • The intern supervisor should be a professional in the field who is committed to and capable of providing instruction and constructive feedback for the intern
  • Develop goals and learning objectives for the intern and identify the intern's projects and activities
  • Take into account your ability to provide financial support (monetary compensation) as well as office space

Finding your intern

  • To list an internship opportunity for Tech students, register with Hire Red Raiders, our online job portal
  • Provide a company overview, job description, and qualifications. Give a brief idea of projects, tasks, compensation, location and time commitment.
  • Meet with the intern to discuss the job descriptions and expected outcomes. Decide on start and end dates.
  • Orient the intern to your work site through a tour. Acquaint the intern to the mission, goals and policies of your company (written and unwritten).
  • Provide staff with background information about the intern's projects and responsibilities.
  • Schedule regular meetings with the intern to provide a forum for feedback and questions.
  • During the internship, the supervisor and intern should meet frequently to discuss progress and expectations.
  • An exit interview should be done with the intern to review the intern's performance and accomplishments.

The Texas Tech University Career Center adheres to the National Association of Colleges and Employers position statement on internships:

National Association of Colleges & Employers

The Texas Tech University Career Center adheres to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Position Statement on Internships as detailed below. 

To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework. 
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.  
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals. 

For more information, please visit the following websites:

NACE Internship Position Statement: http://naceweb.org/advocacy/position-statements/united-states-internships.aspx
US Department of Labor Internship Statement: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm


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