What is an Internship?
An internship is an entry-level training experience related to the student’s major that will allow the student to apply academic knowledge and skills in a hands-on environment. An internship provides the student with the opportunity to gain experience and grow professionally.
The organization must provide the following essential components of an internship:
- Mentored by an experienced professional
- Meaningful and challenging work experience
- Experience related to the intern’s major
- Start/end date
- Included as a part of the team and organization
- Evaluation and feedback on the intern’s performance
How can my organization benefit?
Internships are a cost-effective way to recruit and groom potential employees. Internships allow you to evaluate a candidate before making a permanent offer of employment. Internships can also fill project-based, temporary or seasonal work.
- Interns bring fresh ideas to the workplace
- They apply current academic knowledge and skills in a hands-on environment
Do interns earn academic credit?
Students can receive academic credit in the following programs: Accounting, Criminology, Finance, General Business Administration, *Hospitality Management, Information Technology, Leadership, Marketing, Management, and Technical Writing. For other majors, students may be able to earn elective credit through Independent Study with academic approval. Students must work 50 hours per credit hour. Students are eligible to earn one to 6 credit hours depending on the project and duration of the internship. A typical course is 3 credit hours. * The Hospitality Management Program requires a capstone internship of 300 hours of work. Note: Field experience and practicum’s are coordinated directly out of the following academic programs: College of Education, Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
When are interns available?
Students can apply for an internship after completing 6 credit hours at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Internships are most appropriate for students in the senior year. Internships for credit coincide with the academic semester approximately 15 weeks. The work schedule is to be determined by the employer and the intern.
Is compensation required?
Yes. The company/agency shall adhere to all federal, state, and local laws governing wages, hours of work, and discrimination including but not limited to the Fair Labor Standards Act, Florida Civil Rights Act, Civil Rights Act of 1974, Internal Revenue Code, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Age Discrimination and Employment Act. Please consider minimum wage, a stipend, or paying for the internship course.
While students recognize the value of unpaid internships, the applicant pool is small and the number of hours or work per week can be limited. According the Department of Labor, unpaid internships should be designed strictly for the benefit of the student and similar to training as in a vocational setting. It is the responsibility of the employer to adhere to the criteria defined by the Department of Labor.
How do I get started?
First, identify an expert on your team who is willing to mentor the student and be a point person for any questions. Determine what types of assignments or projects the student can complete for you. Ask yourself, “What does the student need to know or do in order to complete this project?” Develop a training plan. Finally, post the description on College Central, online job posting and resume search system.
Questions? Call Toni Ripo at 359-4703.