Internship Guide

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Fact Sheet

Internship Fact Sheet

What is An Internship?

An Internship is a highly structured, time-limited, Career Preparation activity in which students/learners are placed at a worksite to participate in and observe work firsthand.

Internships provide students/learners the opportunity to learn by doing real work and being productively engaged in the workplace. They may provide the opportunity to work in teams, work on a project, or rotate through a number of departments and job functions.

Internships are one activity in the continuum of authentic work-based experiences provided through Earn & Learn.

Internships Are Designed To:

  • Promote hands-on experience in a field of interest.
  • Provide productive value for the employer.
  • Provide exposure to a wide range of careers and jobs within the industry.
  • Offer opportunities to develop, practice and demonstrate employability skills.
  • Build occupational knowledge.
  • Create awareness of the education needed to be successful in the industry.

Internships Are Structured To:

  • Enhance workplace knowledge and career awareness.
  • Help build the skills required for specific occupations.
  • Expose students/learners to a wide spectrum of workplace activities.
  • Support key academic concepts, as well as technical and occupational skills development.

Internships Are Supported By:

  • Student/learner preparation in the classroom.
  • Internship design with the employer partner.
  • Employer host orientation and ongoing troubleshooting.
  • Multiple opportunities for reflection on the experience, both verbally and in writing.
  • Employer assessment of skills acquisition.

Internships Are Connected To:

  • Classroom learning.
  • Individual career development/training plans.
  • A sequence of educational, training and workplace activities.
  • The student’s/learner’s next steps.
Internship Format Variations
  • Hours: Internships take place for a minimum of 60 hours with more hours being optimal.
  • Compensation: Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on whether the student is performing productive work for the employer and other factors.
Support Materials
WBL Connector Checklist

WBL Connectors Internship Checklist

Quick tips for Work-Based Learning Connectors to ensure a successful internship.

Before The Internship:

  • Review the Fact Sheet and any required forms.
  • Meet with teachers/faculty and discuss how they can help with student/learner selection, internship design, reflection activities and support the classroom connection. Share the Teacher/Faculty Tip Sheet.
  • Maintain regular communications with teachers/faculty.
  • Design and develop the internship with the employer.
  • Arrange for student/learner interviews.
  • Debrief following the interviews.
  • Have the employer sign the worksite agreement.
  • Identify interested students/learners and review resumes.
  • Select and refer qualified students/learners matched to employer specifications.
  • Confirm placement details by providing both the employer and student an offer letter.
  • Conduct a site visit to address key legal or safety issues.
  • Prepare hosts by providing an orientation and determining the preferred frequency and method of contact.
  • Prepare interns by sharing the student/learner checklist.
  • Develop specific learning objectives for their WBL plan.

During The Internship:

  • If possible, meet with the intern and worksite supervisor at the workplace and observe workplace activities. Finalize training plan and make appointments for any future visits.
  • Assist the worksite supervisor in completing the Employer Evaluation of student/learner performance at the mid-point and completion of the internship.
  • Facilitate learning by coordinating opportunities for interns to reflect on their internships in the classroom and regularly assess progress using evaluations.
  • If applicable, monitor intern timesheets and payroll. Resolve any issues that may arise.

After The Internship:

  • Conduct follow-up activities by reviewing the completed evaluations with the intern.
  • Help interns update their career plan and think about any next steps they would like to take to further their career goals.
  • Provide avenues for feedback on the effectiveness of the internship and make recommendations for adjustments in the future.
  • Coordinate opportunities for student/learner reflection with teachers/faculty to help make the connection between this internship, classroom learning and next steps.
  • Document the experience in ELENA and provide reports ti all parties.

This includes Earn & Learn work-based learning connectors and others who facilitate, arrange and support work-based learning activities for students or other learners.

Sample Timeline
  • Five Months In Advance:
    • Develop and design the internship.
    • Confirm student/learner availability and schedule with appropriate stakeholders.
    • Get signed worksite agreement.
  • Three months in advance:
    • Review resumes.
    • Schedule interviews.
    • Process results.
    • Confirm placement details.
    • Conduct a site visit.
  • Two months in advance:
    • Prepare internship hosts.
    • Prepare interns.
    • Prepare teachers.
  • Two weeks in advance:
    • Confirm details with all parties.
  • On the start date:
    • Check in with the intern and employer.
Tips For Success
  • Conduct Effective Planning
  • Prepare for Success
  • Identify Learning Objectives
  • Create Authentic and Engaging Experiences
  • Connect to Careers
  • Support Student/Learner Growth
  • Ensure Activities are Safe and Legal
  • Provide Ongoing Support
  • Provide for Reflection, Presentation and Feedback
  • Connect to the Student/Learner Next Step
  • Assess and Document the Experience
Tools & Documents

Internship Downloads

Did You Know?

Internships can support classroom curriculum and allow for students/learners to see and apply practical applications of key academic concepts.

Students/Learners who participate in internships while in High School or College pay more attention in class, enjoy higher graduation rates and better employment outcomes later in life.