What is an Internship?

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships allow students to gain valuable applied experience and make connections with the professional fields they are considering for career paths, while enabling employers to guide and evaluate talented students.

Characteristics of an Internship:

  • Duration of 100 hours or more.
  • Generally a one-time experience.
  • May be part-time or full-time.
  • May be paid.
  • Part of an educational program that is carefully monitored and evaluated for academic credit.
  • Can be part of an individual learning plan.
  • An intentional learning agenda is structured into the experience.
  • Learning activities include learning objectives, observation, reflection, evaluation, and assessment.
  • Establishing a reasonable balance between interns’ learning goals and the specific work to meet the needs of organizations.
  • Promote academic, career, and personal development.

Internship Benefits for Employers:

  • Find future employees.
  • Assess talent.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Increase employee retention rate.
  • Enhance perspective.
  • Take advantage of low-cost labor.
  • Find cost-effective solutions.
  • Give back to the community.
  • Support students.

Internship Benefits for Students:

  • Gain valuable work experience.
  • Have an edge in the job market.
  • Transition into a job.
  • Decide if this is the right career path.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Apply classroom knowledge.
  • Gain confidence.

Internship Benefits for Universities & Communities:

  • Implementation of internships results in improved placement of students in career positions upon graduation.
  • Training in technical skills and specialized equipment placement by the business community allows the institution of higher education to allocate funds to other educational areas of need.
  • Internships can serve as a source of financial aid for less privileged students.
  • Internship programs provide opportunities for enhanced relationships with the community.
  • Participation in an internship improves student retention due to the increased relevance of education.
  • Students with practical experience are more likely to share their knowledge with other classmates, making the job of faculty easier.
  • Once the business community knows the university is producing skilled graduates, corporate support is more likely.