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Steps to Providing Internships

Step 1—Define the Parameters of the Internship Program

Set Goals and Policies for the Internship Program

  • Review business activities and consider what projects you would like to create or expand
  • Consider projects that are beneficial not only to your organization but would provide a challenging learning experience for students
  • Examine your company’s recruiting needs. Do you have areas of anticipated growth? Do you expect some retirements? Other?

Who will supervise and mentor the intern?

A supervisor should be selected because he/she likes to train, teach and develop people. Additionally, they should have the time and resources available to mentor a student. The internship supervisor will direct the intern’s projects. An internship supervisor is often a department head, project leader, acting supervisor or long time employee. The internship supervisor should be knowledgeable in the area of the intern’s project and provide orientation and guidance to the student.

Will you pay the intern?

Internship opportunities can be paid or unpaid. Some universities require that internships be paid if the student is seeking credit. This could be an hourly wage or stipend. If you are considering a stipend, please check with your human resources department to explore any legal issues regarding alternative payment option.

If your organization is a for-profit business, we strongly encourage you to offer compensation. A majority of SMSU students work through college. If students accept an unpaid internship, they often have to give up paying part time employment which can lead to financial hardship. Paid internships also tend to encourage a larger pool of highly qualified applicants.

Unpaid internship employment will not violate the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act if it is a training program meets certain criteria. Click here for more information.

Step 2—Develop the Internship

  •  Identify goals, timelines, and general project descriptions.
  • Determine workspace and other supplemental equipment that may be needed to complete the internship
  • Create a job description for the internship position

Step 3—Recruit a Qualified Intern

  • Begin searching 2-3 months before you expect to fill the internship.
  • Post the position on
  • Contact Career Services and inform the office of your openings. Our office can do additional promotion of your position to SMSU students

Contact Career Services with any questions: 507-537-6221

Last Modified: 9/9/22 10:23 AM | Website Feedback