Hire a Pirate

Internships

Southwestern University student interns smart, versatile, skilled, and motivated. Hire an intern to expand your organization’s capabilities while helping students explore fields of interest and clarify their choice of major.

Through Southwestern’s internship program you may test, groom, and recruit full-time candidates while furthering your organization’s success. Or just add some additional people power to your team while helping students gain valuable professional experience. Many students also seek to earn academic credit for internship experiences. 

Components of an Internship

INTERNSHIP SITE SUPERVISORS

Site supervisors are essential for successful internship experiences - both for the intern and the organization. They provide support and feedback to guide the student in achieving his/her learning goals throughout the duration of the internship. Supervisors in an experiential learning environment should expose interns to “cutting-edge” techniques and new developments in the field, train interns on specific job duties, and foster other valuable skills such as writing, research, technology, and communication. Liaison and supervision by a faculty member and by a primary supervisor at the internship site is necessary if the student seeks full academic credit to ensure coordination between the academic program and the work experience.

DEDICATED WORKSPACE

Interns must have access to a safe work environment with the necessary space and equipment to carry out their required tasks. 

ACADEMIC CREDIT

Internships for academic credit require significant academic work from students beyond on-site hours, such as keeping a journal, creating a poster, 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. 

Recruiting Interns

GETTING STARTED

For assistance developing a new internship opportunity, contact the Internship & Employment Development team at internships@southwestern.edu or 512.863.1346.

If you are ready to recruit, see the links to the left for information on posting positions and conducting on-campus recruiting (e.g. information tables/sessions, the semesterly Internship & Career Fair, and on-campus interviewing).

PREFERRED TIMELINE 

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. The Center for Career & Professional Development can work with you to determine the best time to publicize your internship opportunity.

UNPAID INTERNSHIPS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (FSLA)

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 (updated Jan. 2018): 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 Center for Career & Professional Development for further information and how you can work with Southwestern University.