Getting Started with a UT Internship
- Determine if your organization has work assignments and/or projects that:
a. Have short learning curves: internships are usually 8-12 weeks in length; 10-15 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer,
b. Provide opportunities for learning, and
c. Allow a relatively inexperienced student to make a valuable contribution. The content of the internship should not have more than 20 percent of routine clerical work.
- Complete an Internship Request Form, describing the internship opportunity, and submit it to The University of Tampa, Office of Career Services, at least two months prior to the starting date of the internship. Please contact Ali Dunn, assistant director of internships, with any questions at (813) 258-7356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Determine the level of compensation available for the internship. Many employers are paying interns due to an increased demand for interns in the workplace. Unpaid internships that are part of an academic program and/or where the intern doesn’t replace existing workers are within the law.
- Assign an intern supervisor with the time, education, experience, motivation and resources needed to mentor the intern. Supervision, especially at the beginning of the internship, will require a time commitment.
Review student resumes and interview students (either on-site or at The University of Tampa). Notify both the student and the University of the results of the interview process.
During the Internship
- Provide orientation to the intern upon arrival at the site, including an agreement between the supervisor and the intern on the learning objectives (and timelines). This requires identifying the main responsibilities of the internship and setting an objective for each one to identify the task to be completed, what the intern is expected to learn during the completion of the task and how the intern will be evaluated.
- Provide a location for the intern to work with the necessary access to phone, computer, and other resources to be successful in the job.
- Introduce the intern to the staff and let them know the types of responsibilities and projects that he/she will be assigned. Explain to the intern how the department fits into the organization as a whole.
- Provide periodic feedback/meetings, using the learning objectives of the internship as a guide. Meetings and feedback should be more structured in the beginning and less formal when appropriate. Be aware of assumptions that the intern brings that need to be addressed to avoid confusion/misunderstandings.
- Give the intern opportunities to attend meetings whenever possible.
- Explain to the intern how decisions are made. What are the options? How did the supervisor draw certain conclusions?
- Give the intern opportunities to provide input and ask questions about the processes and decisions.
- Assign a project to the intern where they can have ownership of the progress and results if possible. It is usually good to assign a long-term project as well as several short-term ones if possible. Suggest that the intern maintain samples of their work, if confidentiality is not an issue.
- Discuss career opportunities and the career paths of college graduates in the field and provide contacts in the field for networking.
- If there is a problem, speak directly to the intern. If the supervisor is unsure how to deal with a particular situation, please call the University.
- At the end of the internship, complete an evaluation form to provide formal feedback about the intern. Provide the intern with a letter of recommendation (if appropriate).