Internships are structured, supervised, and short-term programs in which undergraduate or graduate students perform tasks and duties within an organization in order to gain knowledge and experience.
Students are assigned an on-site supervisor who creates specific learning objectives to be achieved throughout the duration of the internship. During an internship, students are able to apply classroom knowledge and skills to the workplace while learning additional career-related skills and competencies.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What should my internship include?
To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:
- The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
- The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
- The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
- There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
- There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
Do I have to pay my interns?
Internships may be paid or unpaid, but MUST follow the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act. We strongly encourage employers to arrange, at minimum, some kind of stipend for an unpaid internship to cover students travel and lunch expenses. This will help increase your applicant pool.
Across degree levels, the average hourly wage ranges from $14.47 for first-year associate degree students to $32.35 for those pursuing doctoral degrees. (See Figure 1 of NACE’s Intern Salaries Up Across All Degree Levels, Years).
How do I recruit for interns at UTSA?
The first step to reaching the greatest number of students is to post your internship in Handshake, our online job and internship database serving UTSA students. We ask that you include learning objectives in your internship description.
The University Career Center also hosts many Signature Events and career-related events each semester to help you connect with students on campus about your opportunities. In addition, you can Build Your Own Brand, and participate in recruiting events that best fit your need. To discuss a more tailored recruiting plan, set up a Recruiting Consultation with our On-Campus Recruitment Manager.
We also welcome you to participate in ongoing Internship events such as Internship Week, Internship Launch Party, and the annual Internship Poster Expo. You can even host a group of students at your organization through an Externship by completing the Employer Externship Request Form. For more information on how to get involved, contact Internships@utsa.edu.
What is the difference between an internship and a part-time job?
|Completed for possible options: credit/no credit||Completed for monetary purposes|
|Learning objectives reflect the goals of the student, the outcomes expected by the employer, and the requirements of the course||Learn tasks of job in order to complete the work adequately but not necessarily for personal gain|
|Projects or ongoing work that is purposeful and of a professional nature||Assigned work that needs to be completed, not necessarily professional in nature|
|Duration/Hours: typically part-time (10- 20 hours/week) in a semester or a summer (2-3 months); occasionally extended into next semester or year||Duration/Hours: no specific start/end date or designated time frame|
|Supervisor serves as a mentor figure to aid the student in the learning process||Supervisor serves as an authority figure to whom the employee reports|
|Allows for learning of transferable skills that you do not yet possess||Serves to fill a basic position within the place of employment|
|The opportunity to obtain “real world” experience in your field of interest and learn first-hand about companies, careers.|
Can I give academic credit for my internship?
Academic credit for an internship can only be arranged through the student’s academic department. In order to qualify as a credit-bearing experience, the experience must fit the NACE internship criteria, as well as the academic department requirements. To confirm that your experience aligns with the department, identify the academic program of interest at https://www.utsa.edu/academics/ and contact the department directly with your request. Some departments have an Internship Coordinator identified under Faculty, however if you are unsure of who the department contact is, contact Internships@utsa.edu for assistance.
Developing an Internship for the first time?
You are not alone! Join us for our quarterly Internship Workshops and learn how to establish and expand quality Intern programs. We facilitate a two-part series with the Small Business Development Center: How to Create a Quality Internship Program & How to be an Awesome Intern Manager. Sign up through the Small Business Development website to participate.
When creating an Internship program, we recommend that you develop a thorough job description for the intern, ensuring that 50% or more of the intern’s tasks are career-related. Involve the manager or mentor who will supervise the student in developing learning objectives and clear goals for achievement.