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Employer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an internship?

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.

How long do internships last?
An internship is typically one-semester in length, with a definite beginning and end, and involves direct supervision by an employer and oversight (and assignments!) by a faculty member.
What kinds of tasks can I have an intern work on?
The tasks assigned must be related to the student's major or minor and cannot simply be administrative in nature.
Do I need to pay an intern?

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.

When in their college career do students typically intern?
UNG students typically intern in their junior or senior year. In order to receive course credit for their internship, a student must have completed at least 48 hours before he/she can complete an internship. This guideline ensures that the student has completed core classes and is entering into his or her major and/or minor classes. An employer can require that applicants have a higher number of hours or have already completed specific courses related to their major/minor.
Does UNG have the majors that I need student interns to have?
UNG offers over 50 bachelor degree programs, and therefore, we offer a multitude of diverse majors to accommodate most professional settings. If you have any questions regarding specific majors offered at UNG, feel free to contact the Career Services office.
How do I start an internship program?

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.

When should I start the recruiting process for an intern?
Depending on your particular internship program, we recommend starting the recruiting process at least a semester prior to the intended internship semester. Students need to have time to register for an internship course, and therefore, the sooner you advertise the position, the simpler the process will be for recruitment and registration.
How do I recruit an intern?
There are a number of ways to recruit a UNG student intern. We suggest you start by registering on the UNG Job Board. Once your registration is approved, you can begin posting internship opportunities. You can also recruit directly on-campus by setting up an information table or participating in an information session, arranged through Career Services. Individual interview sessions can also be held in the Career Services office. If you are interested in any of these options for on-campus recruitment, please contact the Career Services office at 706-864-1951 for the Dahlonega Campus and 678-717-3964 for the Gainesville Campus.
What paperwork is involved?
In order to receive course credit for an internship, the student and the organization should work together to complete an Internship Learning Agreement. The Internship Learning Agreement will outline the student's duties, responsibilities, and expected outcomes for the internship. Also required may be an Intern Evaluation that will be sent about two weeks prior to the end of the semester. These evaluations may be used by the faculty for course grading.
Are virtual internships allowed?

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.

How many hours does an intern work?
The amount of hours an intern works depends on guidelines set by the Faculty Instructor of Record, as well as the student's class schedule and the employer expectations. To gain three hours of course credit, a student typically needs to work between 10-15 hours per week. The internships can be up to 40 hours per week depending on the course requirements.
Once I have hired an intern, what are some best practices for ensuring that the internship meets the specific internship guidelines?

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.
How do I find out more information?
Contact the intern coordinator in Career Services at 706-864-1951 for the Dahlonega campus and 678-717-3964 for the Gainesville campus.

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