Employer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
For guidelines about what constitutes an internship, please see Hosting Interns - Important Information.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has set guidelines outlining the requirements that must be met for an internship to be unpaid. Currently, non-profit and government organizations may be exempt from paying interns, although we encourage all interns to be paid. Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs under the FLSA is a useful resource in determining the requirements.
In addition, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced a "primary beneficiary" test. Employers can use this as another useful resource in determining the requirements of unpaid internships.
Review important guidelines- Review internship guidelines set by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, as well as ones set by the Department of Labor, by visiting Hosting Interns - Important Information.
Set goals- What does the organization hope to achieve from the program? What do you (and the student & faculty member) want the intern to have learned by the end of their experience?
Write a plan- Create a job description and requirements and decide issues such as who will provide supervision, space for intern, organization and safety training, etc.
While we do not post virtual internships on the UNG Job Board, it is possible that students may find virtual internship opportunities on their own. As with any internship, final approval of the experience is the privilege of the Faculty Instructor of Record or is based on the policy of the particular department. The more detailed the internship description, and the more relevant the duties, responsibilities, and outcomes of the internship are to the student’s major, the more likely it is to be approved. Detailed information on the Internship Learning Agreement about training, supervisor contact, duties, etc. is particularly important for virtual internships.
Be sure to review both the NACE Guidelines and the Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71 before and after securing an intern. Read the tips below for more helpful advice on hosting an intern. If there are ever any questions regarding internship guidelines, do not hesitate to contact the appropriate Career Services office. Tips include:
- Ensure that the intern does not take the place/job of regular paid employees.
- Specify clearly if the internship is paid or unpaid (see Hosting Interns - Important Information for DOL and NACE guidelines). In addition, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced a "primary beneficiary" test. Employers can use this as another useful resource in determining the requirements of unpaid internships.
- Review over the Principals for Employment Professionals provided by NACE to ensure students will receive a rewarding internship experience.
- Don't promise a job with your organization to the intern. Obviously it is fine to offer a full-time position at the conclusion of the internship, but it should not be a promise prior to the experience.
- Prior to the start of the internship, create a space where the intern will work.
- Designate a mentor and/or supervisor for the intern that will provide instruction and feedback throughout the experience.
- Provide an orientation to the organization's policies and procedures at the beginning of his/her experience, including safety rules and regulations.
- Keep accurate records of the hours worked by the intern.
- Have the scope of duties, which should be educational in nature, clearly written out.
- Maintain an open communication relationship with the intern and Faculty Instructor of Record before, during, and after the internship.