transforming the internship experience
The Chambers College is transforming the way organizations and students view the
Internships have become increasingly critical in student development and we're creating an environment where foundational theories and concepts are put into practice through a variety of real-world experiences. We're re-imaging business education by developing opportunities to enhance learning beyond the classroom through internships, co-ops, experiential projects, and undergraduate research.
Benefits to Employers
- A great resource for one-time projects or additional assistant during peak workloads.
- Perfect for performing fundamental tasks freeing permanent employees to do more advanced or higher-priority work.
- Public relations agents; students can have a positive effect on future recruiting and hiring efforts.
- Complements to the organizational or corporate goals that focus on community involvement.
- Often converted to full-time roles, reducing recruitment and training costs.
Advice for Starting an Internship Program
Planning for an effective internship or co-op from the very beginning is a good way to insure a successful experience. A few guidelines are offered below to assist you in your early planning.
Ask Yourself Some Realistic Questions:
- Can you provide meaningful work assignments?
- Is there a professional staff person to supervise interns?
- Can you provide financial support (salary, gas money, supplies, etc.)?
- Do you have sufficient office space?
Create Effective Job Descriptions
The quality of students attracted to your listed positions sometimes depends upon the quality of your announcement. In addition to the position title, hours, salary, and location, describe the duties, qualifications and application instructions in terms that will attract students. Provide enough detail to identify specific academic disciplines and learning objectives and reference descriptive material such as your website.
Chambers College students have the choice of applying for academic credit or doing the internship simply for professional development. Internships for academic credit require a faculty sponsor. If a student is seeking academic credit they will work with Ryan Noon, assistant director of the CCD, and a faculty member from the appropriate academic department for approvals and academic assignments. Please direct questions to Ryan.Noon@mail.wvu.edu.
Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
There has been much attention given to the issue of paid and unpaid internships. Employers need to be aware of the legal issues governing internships and co-op programs to ensure that these programs do not unwittingly subject them to potential liability. The Chambers College recognizes the value of experiential education opportunities. Internships, paid or unpaid, offer our students first-hand career related experience and the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in the workplace. The Chambers College supports the position of the National Association of Colleges and Employers ( NACE) and encourages employers to familiarize themselves with the guidelines set forth by the federal government.
The company/organization will assume liability for interns working on their premises. This holds true for both paid and unpaid (volunteer) interns. West Virginia University does not accept responsibility for student liability during an internship. If this is a major concern for a site, it would be advisable to contact the CCD to discuss risk management concerns. No employee of the University or any WVU student is authorized to sign a "hold harmless and indemnification" agreement. Internship sites must be equal-opportunity employers and cannot practice "unlawful discrimination."