Internships are most effective if the experience begins with an orientation to the work site. Here are some suggestions:
- Tour of the office.
- Introduce fellow workers, colleagues, upper-level management, outside contacts--anyone with whom you interact on a daily basis.
- Explain department goals, functions, services, and procedures.
- Clarify and be upfront about the expectations and role of the intern.
- Discuss the learning goals written by the student and specific projects/needs.
- Determine the intern's work schedule.
Regular and consistent supervision is very important in creating a valuable learning experience for the intern. Here are some suggestions:
- Discuss the intern's learning contract with the student at the beginning of the internship.
- Schedule regular weekly meeting times with the intern.
- Explain to the intern how decisions are typically made.
- Discuss career opportunities in the field and education required.
- Share positive feedback and recommend areas for improvement.
Many organizations wonder about compensating interns. We refer to the U.S. Department of Labor's guidelines
for for-profit organizations. These guidelines do not pertain to non-profit organizations.
Additional information about the Westminster College Internship Program can be found in the Supervisor Manual