• Career Development Center

  • Employer Internship Guide

    Each year, nearly 300 Hamline students connect their education to the world of work by completing internship experiences. The Hamline Internship Program seeks to provide students with quality work experiences to deepen their academic, professional and personal development. At the same time, Hamline seeks to provide employers with student interns who are intentional, eager to learn, and excited to contribute to the goals of an organization.

    Topics:

    An Introduction to the Internship Program
    Key Participants and Their Roles
    Requirements for an Internship
    Internship Site Supervisor's Responsibilities
    Internship Timeline for Site Supervisor
    About Compensation 

    Introduction to the Internship Program 

    The internship program is designed to help students with their professional development by providing them with the opportunity to apply their learning, test career interests and gain confidence and obtain resume-building experience. Internships provide students with supervised, meaningful work experiences in professional settings. Students are looking for hands-on experiences that allow them to develop skills while contributing to the goals of an organization. Hamline interns bring with them a strong work ethic, creativity, and desire to learn and make difference. Many organizations use internships as pre-recruiting tools, a chance to see potential employees in action, while students also take a closer look at the fit between their goals and the organization.

    Internships are collaborations between the intern, the site supervisor and the faculty supervisor. Every internship requires a minimum of 120 hours of work at the internship site and the completion of academic and reflective work, done under the supervision of a Hamline faculty member. The total number of internship hours and the work schedule are negotiated by the intern and the site supervisor. As a potential internship site, you first determine the needs an intern could meet in your organization, then identify a site supervisor for that intern. Successful internships include weekly meetings with the intern, attendance at staff meetings for educational purposes, clearly defined work assignments, and regular feedback from the site supervisor.

    Key Participants and their Roles  

    The site supervisor is a knowledgeable professional who has some expertise in the intern’s work area. The supervisor becomes a mentor/teacher responsible for orienting and training the intern as well as guiding and evaluating performance. Supervising requires time to discuss the intern’s work, provide background information and resources, give coaching and feedback and provide opportunities for new learning. The site supervisor also maintains contact with the faculty supervisor and evaluates the intern’s progress and performance on the Two-Week Review, the Midterm, and the Final Evaluations.

    The student intern plays the most important role because internships are self-directed learning experiences. The student is responsible for developing internship goals and plans, applying, interviewing and negotiating internship details, preparing the LEAD Learning Agreement (LLA) and meeting or exceeding the performance objectives and responsibilities outlined in the job description. Student interns are also responsible for ensuring that their site supervisors complete the Two Week Review, the Midterm and the Final Evaluations on schedule, and for turning them in to the Career Development Center (CDC).

    The faculty supervisor is a Hamline professor who helps the intern develop learning goals, encourages reflection throughout the internship, and evaluates the student's learning by assigning a final grade. The faculty supervisor provides guidance, feedback and support when needed or when problems arise.

    The Internship Program Director supports students and supervisors throughout the internship process by assisting with the internship search, providing guidance with regards to registration procedures, and answering any questions about internship policy. The Internship Program Director serves as an information and problem solving resource for interns and supervisors.

    Requirements for an Internship 

    An internship must be a minimum of 120 hours to be accepted for undergraduate credit; 80 of the hours must be completed during the term for which the internship is registered. Students should work an average of 8-12 hours per week during fall and spring semesters; January and summer internships are often full time.

    For Legal Studies majors, an internship must be a minimum of 150 hours. Students must be supervised by a licensed attorney.

    The academic calendar runs as follows:
    Fall term: Labor Day week - mid December 
    Winter term: January
    Spring term: February - mid May
    Summer term: June - August

    The employer/site supervisor must provide a job description to the student. With the help of the faculty and site supervisors, the intern develops goals for the internship and completes the LEAD Learning Agreement (LLA). The intern returns the LLA and the job description to the Career Development Center. The LLA identifies what the student plans to learn, the steps that he/she will take to accomplish that learning, the evidence he/she will present to demonstrate it, and completion dates that detail when it will be accomplished. The purpose of the LLA is to clarify the educational goals and purposes of the internship and to ensure that those who are principally involved understand them. Students are responsible for developing the LLA (they take the leadership role) but can do so only after consulting with their faculty and site supervisors. A significant benefit of the LLA lies in the dialogue it fosters among the student, site and faculty supervisors about the purpose and intentions of the internship.

    The internship requires three-way communication between the intern, site supervisor and faculty supervisor during the Two-week Review, the Midterm Evaluation, and the Final Evaluations. The communication may be face-to-face, but will probably be through telephone, email or in writing.

    Internship Site Supervisor's Responsibilities  

    • Orient the intern. Provide an introduction to the office, staff, clients/customers, systems and procedures.
    • Be present and available. Schedule regular meetings with the intern and provide regular feedback. Invite the intern to share suggestions and ideas.
    • Assign a specific project to the intern. Hold the intern accountable for his or her performance in completing the project.
    • Be honest and direct with the intern. College students are accustomed to frequent feedback. Offer praise on the spot and address performance concerns in private as soon as possible.
    • Be yourself. Share your wisdom and expertise. Tell your own career story.
    • Include the intern. Take the intern to meetings and take time to explain the background to plans, decisions and professional and ethical standards.
    • Communicate regularly with the intern’s faculty supervisor. Let the supervisor know how the intern is (or isn’t) progressing and ask the supervisor for insight or advice when needed.

    Internship Timeline for Site Supervisor  

    Before the internship

    • Post the internship 60-90 days (this is ideal) before you would like an intern to begin. Hamline uses an online job and internship posting system called HamlineCareerLink. The Internship Program Director can also assist with advertising the internship to students.
    • Students apply for the internship with a resume and cover letter.
    • Interview and select an intern.

    Internship Begins

    • Provide the intern with an internship job description
    • In consultation with you and the faculty supervisor, the intern prepares the LEAD Learning Agreement (LLA) which outlines the academic, professional and personal goals for the internship. The internship job description you provided must be attached to the LLA. The LLA must be approved and signed by you and by the faculty supervisor.
    • Orient and train the intern.

    After two weeks or 20 hours

    • Consult with the faculty supervisor by telephone or email before completing the Two-Week Review with the intern. Issues you may wish to discuss and explore: Is the internship developing as expected? Is the intern performing up to expectations? Does the intern feel s/he is receiving the supervision and information needed to succeed? Should this internship relationship continue?
    • Make photocopies of the completed Two-Week Review for your own records. The intern returns the original copy of the Two Week Review to the CDC. The CDC distributes a copy to the faculty supervisor.
    • The intern finalizes or revises the LLA as needed.

    At midterm or after 60 hours

    • The Midterm Evaluation is a more formal review that assesses the intern’s performance and growth in important skill areas.
    • With the intern, complete the Midterm Evaluation Form and make photocopies for your own records. The intern returns the original copy of the Midterm Review to the CDC. The CDC distributes a copy to the faculty supervisor.
    • Phone or email the faculty supervisor regarding the intern’s progress.
    • This is the time to post an internship vacancy for the next term.

    End of term or after 120 hours

    • You and the intern complete the Final Evaluation Form and make photocopies for your own records. The intern returns the original copy of the Final Evaluation to the CDC. The CDC distributes a copy to the faculty supervisor.
    • Phone or email the faculty supervisor regarding the intern’s progress.

    About Compensation  

    Pay is negotiated between the employer and the intern, and is typically between minimum wage and $15 per hour. Stipends are an option as well, although you may wish to check with your human resources department to explore any legal issues regarding alternative payment. For information on the Department of Labor's guidelines regarding internship programs and compensation, see the fact sheet.

    If your organization is unable to offer a wage or stipend to your intern, you may consider offering to reimburse travel or parking expenses. Regardless of whether an internship is paid or unpaid, the quality of the internship experience is the most important compensation you can provide a student who interns with your organization.