Offer an Internship

Hiring an intern from Western is not only an excellent opportunity for you to help cultivate talent,
but also to add value to your organization.

There are a couple of key points internship providers need to  consider when offering an experiential opportunity to Western students:

Compensation

Paid vs. Unpaid
Some internships offer stipends or even an hourly wage, whereas others are unpaid. When developing your internship, keep in mind that if a student is earning academic credit for the internship, they have to pay tuition on the experience, so paid internships tend to be more appealing. Federal guidelines also impose stricter standards on employers offering unpaid internships. Either option that you choose, you will want to verify that it is in accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act.

Academic Connection

Credit
Some academic programs at Western require a student to complete field hours or an internship in order to graduate. For an undergraduate student to receive academic credit, the student must obtain pre-approval from the appropriate faculty establishing internship learning objectives and academic requirements. A formal evaluation process assesses the student's competencies as they pertain to their academic goals. The student's grade is then awarded based on their performance during the internship. The internship provider (supervisor), student and Western faculty member are all included in the assessment process. 

Students pay tuition for credit-bearing internships and earn a final grade; tuition generally provides coverage under Western's workers' compensation policy for the semester in which the student is enrolled in the internship credit(s). Students earn credits based on the number of field hours they complete. Internship credits are allocated at 1 credit per 37.5 hours of supervised work.

Scheduling

Depending on the student's academic major, they may not be required to complete a credit-bearing internship in order to graduate. With that said, there are many students who are seeking experience and networking opportunities and are not as interested in the credit component. With non-credit internships, there is no official paperwork that must be submitted by the internship provider or the student. In fact, the institution is released from any connection with that experience.

Non-credit internships can be completed during a time frame that is both convenient for the internship provider and the student as it is not influenced by Western's academic calendar.

Credit-bearing internships take place during one of the following time frames (see the academic calendar for current term dates):

Fall Semester: late August through mid-December

Spring Semester: mid-January through late April

Summer: early May through mid-August

The student must be enrolled for the credits during the term in which the work is initiated. The course work is part of a student's academic load for that semester.

Advertising Your Opening

Handshake is a free platform for you to connect with students via an online job and internship career management system. You create a profile and post your openings. Students are then able to log in and view postings. For best results, please also communicate with Career Services so we can help advertise your position.

 

Western views an internship as a reciprocal arrangement with a business or organization, wherein a student makes a real contribution to the organization, but the organization also provides a pre-professional experience for the student. Internships may be paid or unpaid. We allow private, public and not-for profit organizations to recruit Western students.

The internship site supervisor plays a vital role in the student's development and success. At the internship site, we seek a supervisor who:

  • Provides authentic work* aligned with the student's objectives, which allows the student to master skills and develop competence in new areas
  • Has knowledge and experience corresponding to the internship focus and who will serve as a mentor/guide in the professional world
  • Provides regular feedback related to the student's professional and academic objectives (including submitting all evaluation paperwork to the appropriate Western faculty member)
  • Increases the level of responsibility over time and maximizes the scope of the student's organizational experience

*Authentic work: The internship should include a clearly defined project with tangible deliverables and an appropriate level of challenge. It should also present a professional opportunity for students to apply classroom theory. Some typical internship assignments include direct work with clients, conducting research, data collection (surveys), compiling reports, developing presentations, generating plans (marketing, business, etc.), creating and conducting trainings and writing handbooks or manuals.

REMEMBER: Review the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act's definition of internships.

Credit-bearing Internships at Western are designed for traditional undergraduate students who have completed at least 12 credit hours in the academic area of the internship and maintained at least a 2.0 GPA. The internship policy of individual disciplines may be more stringent. The purpose of internships is to give students an experiential career development perspective, specific marketable skills, opportunities for networking and communicating with professionals in their field of interest and the change to develop strong work related characteristics such as initiative, motivation, integrity and a focused work ethic.

Your guidance and mentorship of our students is very much appreciated. Each student also has a faculty member who assists them in the development of a learning contract that will structure the student's academic program, resulting in academic credit and a grade for the course.

We will ask you to submit some forms throughout the duration of the internship. These forms are very important as the student's grade and credit will be depended upon the evaluations. Each individual faculty member might have a different deadline and process, however, in most cases, there is the initial paperwork, mid-way through the internship there is some form of communication, and lastly at the end of the internship there is final documentation.

Non-credit internships are completely organized around what the employer and the student agree upon.