A quality internship program must be well planned. The focal point of the experience should be the student.
It is important that employers provide learning activities throughout the work experience and that the work assignments be considered a true and meaningful part of the student's educational experience.
High quality internship assignments
- Are related to the student's academic discipline and level in school.
- Are well conceived and planned out in advance of the student's starting date.
- Allow the student to be fully integrated as a member of the work team.
- Provide appropriate supervision and guidance, as well as an understanding that this is a "learning experience" for the student.
- Differ from other short-term job or volunteer opportunities in that there is an intentional "learning agenda" included in the experience.
- Offer meaningful opportunities for the student to increase knowledge and improve upon job-related skills.
- Do not require that students spend more than 20-25% of their time completing repetitive tasks (such as copying, filing, etc.).
- Allow employers to provide regular feedback regarding student performance.
For more details about starting and maintaining a quality internship program, we suggest you read this Internship manual compiled and edited by Michael True. Please keep in mind, this is general information and all portions of this manual may not apply to your particular internship situation.