Office of Career Services

Internships

An internship can be a win-win situation for both an employer and a current student.

Southwestern University student interns are skilled and motivated.

Through Southwestern’s internship program you may test, groom and recruit full-time candidates while furthering your organization’s success. We invite you to sponsor Southwestern students in internship positions. They possess determination, effective communication skills and strong academic preparation.

Help students explore fields of interest and clarify their majors.

Through internships, students customize their college experiences and gain a competitive edge in the job market. Knowledge is gained related to the major, graduate studies and career goals. In addition, students earn practical employment experience that may be added to a resume. Plus, students learn to build a network of professional contacts, mentors and references, which are valuable for lifelong career goals.

Southwestern students are smart and versatile.

Students receive enriching classroom and laboratory experiences because they are able to work one-on-one with faculty dedicated to undergraduate education. A broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum is at the heart of Southwestern’s academic programs. Additionally, pre-professional programs are offered in athletic training, ministry, engineering, medicine, dentistry, law and education. General education requirements at Southwestern provide a well-rounded education that fosters skills most valued by today’s employers and graduate schools—problem solving, communication, cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.

Things To Know

Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) & Unpaid Internships

The US Department of Labor has six criteria that must be met when considering offering unpaid internships.  While we recognize that many organizations may prefer to offer unpaid internships, we encourage all employers to review the FSLA Fact Sheet below that addresses unpaid internships and the criteria used to ensure those internships qualify.  

Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act

Organizations may want to consider creating a written intern agreement with the student that provides agreed upon goals, tasks and mutual expectations.  In addition, it would be beneficial to also include written evaluations of the program by the student intern and site supervisor at the conclusion of the internship.  Our office can provide resources to help get you started or enhance your current internship program.

In July 2011, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Board of Directors adopted the following statement regarding internships:

Position Statement on U.S. Internships: A Definition and Criteria to Assess Opportunities and Determine the Implications for Compensation

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Career Services Office for further information and how you can work with Southwestern University.

Components of an Internship

Internship Site Supervisors

These individuals provide support and feedback to guide the student in achieving his/her learning goals throughout the duration of the internship. In providing an experiential learning environment, the employer should expose the intern to “cutting-edge” techniques and new developments in the field. In addition to training for specific job duties, other valuable skills such as writing, research, computer expertise and communication should be enhanced through the internship experience. Liaison and supervision by a faculty member and by a primary supervisor at the work site is necessary if the student seeks full academic credit. This ensures coordination between the academic program and the work experience.

Dedicated Work Space

If sponsoring an intern in your organization, it is essential that the intern be provided with a safe work environment that provides them with the necessary space and equipment to carry out their required tasks. 

Academic Internship Credit Policy

Internships for academic credit require significant academic work from students beyond on-site hours — such as keeping a journal, writing, research, classroom meetings and presentations. This academic component, supervised by a faculty member, is part of what distinguishes academic internships from part-time or full-time employment, volunteer work or non-academic internships. Internships during the regular academic year average 10 to 15 weeks and usually follow the academic calendar. The length of summer internships varies but is normally at least six weeks. As part of all academic internships, students receiving credit must work a minimum of 40 on-site hours per credit hour they seek for the internship during the academic term of enrollment. For more information, see the Academic Internship Fact Sheet.

Recruiting Southwestern Students for Internships

  • PirateLink:  Career Services provides a free, online job/internship posting system for all internships. 
  • Internship Connections Fair:  This free, annual spring event provides you the chance to recruit students for internships available throughout the year. Registration opens to employers in December each year. 
  • Information Tables:  Spend a few hour on campus any time hosting a drop-in information table in the McCombs Campus Center.  Advanced reservations are required.

Preferred Timeline for Recruiting Interns from Southwestern

Fall Semester:                  February through mid-August

Spring Semester:             August through December

Summer Semester:          August through April

Some internship programs have dates well in advance of this timeline, but if you are hiring an intern for the first time, consider recruiting when students are most actively searching for opportunities.  Southwestern students typically finish the school year around May 1. Many have already secured summer internships by then. Career Services can work with you to determine the best time to publicize your internship opportunity.

I’m interested.  What do I need to do to get started?

For assistance developing a new internship opportunity, please complete the Southwestern University Internship Proposal Form or contact Dana Luna, Internship Coordinator, at (512) 863-1671 or internships@southwestern.edu. If you are ready to post an opportunity, please visit PirateLink.