What is an internship?
- A practical work experience or project, given by a designated supervisor
- An opportunity to observe, contribute, and rotate through the different parts of the department/organization
- Career connections, mentorship, and networking opportunities within the organization/industry
- Training, either “formal” or on-the-job along with constructive, ongoing feedback for personal and professional development
What are the benefits to employers?
- Find future employees: An internship program is a year-round recruiting tool. With fall internships,
summer internships, semester internships, and quarterly internships, implementing an intern program means you have an ongoing pipeline of future full-time employees.
- Cost-effective: Hiring an intern is a cost-effective opportunity to evaluate potential future employees. An internship program allows you to benefit from added manpower while more accurately assessing candidates.
- Increase visibility: Recruiting and hiring for an intern provides enhanced visibility and branding to the 46,000+ students on the University of Houston campus. If your organization impresses one class of interns, word will quickly spread. Enthusiasm for your field and your organization will increase.
- Foster leadership skills in current employees: Mentoring and guiding others often motivates employees to hold themselves more accountable and become effective leaders. In this way, adding interns to your company can enhance and multiply leadership.
- Give back to the community: Creating an internship program is an excellent way to give back. Hiring interns not only helps students in your community get started; it enhances the local workforce as a whole.
What is the typical length of an internship?
- Completed during an academic semester or summer; at least 6 weeks
- Summer internships traditionally run from the middle of May/June to the beginning/middle of August
How many hours do interns work a week?
- 8 – 20 hours per week during the fall, spring, or summer semesters
- Paid, full-time internships may be offered during the summer
How much should I pay an intern?
- Starting at minimum wage (TX 2020 rate: $7.25 per hour) to $25 per hour
- Average - $15-$20 per hour
- NACE internship salary information
- Unpaid interns
What is the timeline for hiring summer (May to August) interns?
- June to August: Develop a job description
- August to March: Recruit students and conduct interviews
- December to March: Offer internship to the student(s)
- January to April: Student accepts the offer and completes paperwork
- May to August: Student completes internship
- July to August: Assess and evaluate internship
How do I start an internship program?
- Assess the needs of your organization and determine what you hope to achieve from an internship program
- Define the aspects that will make an internship an educational, interesting, and rewarding experience
- Draft a job description that clearly explains the duties and the role the intern would play as part of your organization
How do write an internship job description?
- Treat the job posting as an opportunity to showcase the internship and your company.
- Provide an accurate overview of the internship position’s responsibilities, work assignments, and time frame.
- Include: Position title, location, hours required, primary duties, necessary qualifications, compensation, how to apply, and deadline.
- Example internship job description
How do I support an intern on their first day and beyond?
- Send a welcome email prior to the first day, welcoming them and providing 1st-day expectations
- Orient the intern to your organization; provide a tour, go over organizational structure or culture and discuss expectations
- Identify goals for the intern or tangible deliverables
- Provide the intern with an evaluation and feedback on their performance
Additional Internship Resources:
- 15 Best Practices for Internship Programs
- Key Items to Document for Your Internship Program
- Recruiting Methods That Do, Don’t Work
- Toolkits Provide Key Information to Interns, Managers
- 60x30TX Internship Toolkit
Recent Grad / Experienced Hire FAQ
Hiring International Student FAQ