Empowering students through successful internship experiences.
For many students, completing an internship while in college can be an important part of launching one’s career. The Center for Student Experience and Talent (SET) provides tools and “best practices” for academic departments or instructors as they guide students through the internship experience. By connecting with SET staff, you’re able to receive customized support in your needs.
Empowering successful internships: Best practices for instructors, better preparation for students.
SET provides a comprehensive set of best practices for instructors at universities looking to guide their students through successful internship experiences, including starting the search early, completing a site visit, and utilizing department or SET internship documents. By following these best practices, both instructors and students will benefit from a streamlined, structured process that will lead to successful internship experiences and better prepare students for their future careers.
It’s recommended to start exploring and applying for internships at least six months in advance of the desired start date for the experience.
Weekly Supervisor Check-Ins
To ensure a valuable learning experience, it’s important to have a dedicated supervisor/mentor at the internship site who is committed to a student’s professional growth and is available for regular weekly meetings.
To ensure a successful start, a site visit should be conducted by a faculty member and, if necessary, a member of the SET team before the student’s first day.
Onboarding and Training
It’s important to confirm that there are clear processes in place for criminal background checks, onboarding, and training of new interns to ensure that the internship runs smoothly.
Department or SET internship documents, including a learning agreement, timesheet, mid-experience review, and final review forms, can be utilized to enhance the quality of a student’s internship experience.
Networking and Extension
Building relationships and professional networking are crucial components of internships, so it is recommended that internships extend beyond one semester if possible.
Credit and Wage
To provide students with a well-rounded experience, it is ideal for them to receive both credit and a wage as a result of the internship experience.
The integration of a course with formative and summative reflection and assessment as part of an internship process can allow students to reflect on their individual professional growth and the impact of the organization within the community.
To provide a comprehensive experience, internship duties should include a legacy project that allows for integration into the day-to-day operations of the staff at the site.