/assets/img/adobestock_616657232-291x1920.jpg

Internship Activity Guide

Internships

An internship is a highly structured, time-limited, Career Preparation activity in which students are placed at a worksite to participate in and observe work first hand.

Internships provide students the opportunity to learn by doing real work, addressing specified learning objectives and being productively engaged in the workplace. They may provide the opportunity to work in teams, work on a project, or rotate through a number of departments and job functions.

Internships are designed to ...

  • Promote hands-on experience in a field of interest.
  • Provide productive value for the employer.
  • Provide exposure to a wide range of careers and jobs within the industry.
  • Offer opportunities to develop, practice and demonstrate employability skills.
  • Build occupational knowledge.
  • Create awareness of the education needed to be successful in the industry.

Internships are structured to ...

  • Enhance workplace knowledge and career awareness.
  • Help build the skills required for specific occupations.
  • Expose students to a wide spectrum of workplace activities.
  • Support key academic concepts, as well as technical and occupational skills development.

Internships are supported by ...

  • Student preparation in the classroom.
  • Internship design with the employer partner.
  • Employer host orientation and ongoing troubleshooting.
  • Multiple opportunities for reflection on the experience, both verbally and in writing.
  • Employer assessment of skills acquisition.

Internships are connected to ...

  • Classroom learning.
  • Individual career development/training plans.
  • A sequence of educational, training and workplace activities.
  • The student’s next steps.

Internships take place for a minimum of 60 hours with more hours being optimal. They may be paid or unpaid, depending on whether the student is performing productive work for the employer and other factors.

Internships are one activity in the continuum of authentic work-based learning experiences provided to all students engaged in career-related programs or course of study in the Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium colleges.


Coordinator Internship Checklist

Quick tips for those charged with arranging and supporting work-based learning activities to ensure successful internships.

Before the Internship ...

  • Review the Fact Sheet and any required documents/ or forms.
  • Meet with faculty and have them give their students access to the internship application.
  • Design and develop the internship with the employer.
  • Identify interested students and review resumes.
  • Establish a schedule for first round student interviews with volunteers and professionals.
  • Select and refer qualified students matched to employer specifications.
  • Assist the employer in scheduling interviews with referred students.
  • Prepare students by sharing the student tip sheet.

During the Internship ...

  • If possible, meet with the student and worksite supervisor at the workplace and observe workplace activities. Finalize training plan and make appointments for any future visits.
  • Assist the worksite supervisor in completing the Employer Evaluation of student performance at the mid-point and completion of the internship.
  • Facilitate learning by coordinating opportunities for students to reflect on their internships in the classroom and regularly assess progress using evaluations.

After the Internship ...

  • Conduct follow-up activities by reviewing the completed evaluations with the student.
  • Provide avenues for feedback on the effectiveness of the internship and make recommendations for adjustments in the future.
  • Coordinate opportunities for student reflection to help students make the connection between this internship, classroom learning and next steps.
  • Document the experience and provide reports to school leadership and employer partners.

all guides

Sample Internship Timeline

Three months in advance:

  • Develop and design the internship.
  • Confirm student availability and schedule with appropriate stakeholders.

Two months in advance:

  • Review resumes.
  • Schedule student interviews.
  • Process results.
  • Confirm placement details.

One month in advance:

  • Prepare internship hosts.
  • Prepare students.
  • Inform faculty.

One week in advance:

  • Confirm details with all parties.

On the start date:

  • Check in with student and employer.

Student Internship Checklist

Internships can give you valuable experience in the workplace. It is a really exciting time because you get a preview of what your life could be like working at a job in an area of interest to you. You’ll meet many new people and learn a lot, so work hard and pay close attention and think about the possibility of this being the start of a career for you.

Before the Internship ...

  • Think about the kind of internship you might like to have. Once you’ve asked around about what’s available, decide on the one that fits you best and apply for it.
  • Turn in all required forms and complete any other assignments.
  • Create a resume and prepare for your interview.
  • Practice your “elevator pitch” introduction (who you are, why you’re interested in the internship, what you’re studying in college and what your career goals are).
  • Do some research. Find out what you can about the company and the position.
  • Have your questions for the employer ready.
  • Map out the location and leave early enough to ensure you arrive 10 minutes before the interview. Plan out what you’re going to wear for the important first meeting.
  • Once you have a placement confirmed, CONGRATULATIONS! Learn all you can about the company and what will be expected of you.

During the Internship ...

  • Talk to a faculty member or coordinator about your learning goals. Think about what you want to learn and the skills you’d like to develop, and then work with your worksite supervisor to help you learn and acquire them. Include these in your WBL Training Plan.
  • Go to the orientation and any other trainings that your worksite supervisor requests of you.
  • Make sure you understand your duties and complete all assigned tasks.
  • Ask questions if something is unclear!
  • Keep your coordinator informed about how it’s going at your internship.
  • Track your hours and submit your timesheet (on time) to be paid!
  • Consider keeping a daily journal about what you’re learning and experiencing.

After the Internship ...

  • Participate in ongoing self-reflection activities and classroom assignments. What were you able to accomplish and what did you learn through this experience?
  • Send a thank-you letter to your worksite supervisor and ask if you can use him/her as a reference on your resume or connect on LinkedIn.
  • Update your resume based on new skills and experiences gained and record the experience in your career plan.
  • Think about what you’d like to do next to move your career forward and update your plan.

all guides

Getting Ready For Your First Day

  • Map out employer location and plan to get there 10 minutes early.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Bring your ID and any other forms that you need.
  • Know the name of your supervisor and who to ask for when you get there.

Faculty Internship Tip Sheet

Internships are designed to ...

  • Promote hands-on experience in a field of interest.
  • Provide productive value for the employer.
  • Provide exposure to a wide range of careers and jobs within the industry.
  • Offer opportunities to develop, practice and demonstrate employability skills.
  • Build occupational knowledge.
  • Create awareness of the education needed to be successful in the industry.

Before the Internship ...

  • Give the coordinator information about students who are ready for an internship. Talk about how you can best support students in reflection and other activities.
  • Help refer students to specific internship opportunities based on their skills and interests and the employer’s needs.
  • Help students prepare for the interview, including their “elevator pitch” and how to dress.
  • Have students research the employer and identify career options or pathways that are of interest.
  • Work with the student to define learning objectives and create a WBL plan.
  • Let students know how they’ll be evaluated on their performance.
  • Explore what concepts discussed in the classroom might be demonstrated in the workplace.
  • Distribute and collect all required forms.

During the Internship …

  • Work with the work-based learning coordinator to document learning objectives.
  • Design and coordinate concurrent learning activities in the classroom.
  • Provide opportunities for students to reflect on their internships in the classroom, both verbally and in writing.

After the Internship...

  • Review completed evaluations with students. Discuss and record next steps.
  • Work with the coordinator to finalize documentation of student learning. Together, assess the effectiveness of the internship and make recommendations for adjustments.
  • Provide opportunities for students to reflect on their internships or showcase their work through presentations or demonstrations.
  • Check in and see if students need assistance with updating their career plan.

Go Deeper

  • Guide students through a comparison of the culture and style of the workplace with others they have observed, including behavioral and communication expectations.

all guides

Did You Know?

Internships can support classroom curriculum and allow for students to see and apply practical applications of key academic concepts.

Students who participate in internships pay more attention in class, enjoy higher graduation rates and better employment outcomes later in life.

Interns make more informed choices about their course of study, and make better employees when they complete their education or training.

Employer Internship Tip Sheet

Internship

Through an internship, students are placed at a worksite for a defined period of time to participate in and observe work first hand.

Internships provide a direct benefit to the employer and give students the opportunity to learn by doing real work addressing specified learning objectives and being productively engaged in the workplace. Interns may work individually, in teams, on a project, or rotate through a number of departments and job functions.

When hosting an intern or launching an internship program at your company, keep the following success factors in mind.

Before the Internship...

  • Contact your work-based learning coordinator to discuss hosting an intern. If/when you decide to move forward, interview and select or hire the student intern.
  • Work with the work-based learning coordinator to develop and design the internship.
  • Determine who supervises and guides the intern.
  • Review the informational packet provided by the intern’s college.
  • Meet with the coordinator and the intern to finalize learning plans and agree on an ongoing communication strategy.
  • Inform other staff that an intern will be at the workplace.

During the Internship...

  • Provide a workplace orientation for the intern.
  • Consider ways the intern can develop employability skills (ask the coordinator for a copy of the list) and be exposed to a range of careers in your industry.
  • Identify opportunities that will support the intern’s academic, occupational and employability skill development and assist the intern in working toward learning objectives.
  • Think about ways you can serve as both a coach and supervisor.
  • Communicate successes and opportunities to the coordinator that can be used to enhance the value of classroom connections.
  • Use the WBL Plan and Evaluation to assess the intern’s performance at a mid-point and completion of the internship. Discuss it with the intern and the coordinator.

After the Internship...

  • Hold a debriefing session internally at the company, review the effectiveness of the internship program and make suggestions for improvement.

Resources

  • Review the Employer Participation Options Fact Sheet to learn more about how to get the most out of your partnership with the Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium.

all guides

Did You Know?

Student interns are learning about your industry and are considering how they might prepare for their career.

Students who participate in internships enjoy higher completion rates and experience better employment outcomes later in life.

Interns make more informed choices about their course of study, and make better employees when they complete their education or training.

Employer Internship Fact Sheet

Internship

Through an internship, Los Angeles/Orange County area community college students are placed at a worksite for a defined period of time to participate in and observe work first hand.

Internships provide direct benefit to the employer and give students the opportunity to learn by doing real work, addressing specified learning objectives and being productively engaged in the workplace. Interns may work individually, in teams, on a project or rotate through a number of departments and job functions.

Why is an Internship important for students?

  • Every young person needs a first job, and for many, an internship provides that opportunity.
  • An internship provides exposure to a wide range of careers and jobs within the industry and a chance to explore a field of interest.
  • Students who participate in an internship experience higher completion rates and better employment outcomes later in life.
  • Helps develop occupational knowledge and the ability to perform successfully in the workplace.
  • Offers an opportunity to develop, practice and demonstrate new skills and to learn what education and skills are needed to be successful in the industry.
  • Gives students a chance to develop adult and team relationships.

What are the benefits to my company?

  • Introduces potential future workers to job opportunities with your company.
  • Exposes students to the skill needs, educational requirements and career opportunities in your industry.
  • Brings new energy and a fresh perspective to your workplace.
  • Shows your employees that you’re committed to supporting education.
  • Helps employees understand how to communicate with the next generation of workers.
  • Provides opportunities for existing workers to develop supervisory skills.
  • Promotes an understanding of the role and contributions of your business in the community.
  • Offers a public relations benefit.

What do I need to do next?

  • Contact your coordinator and work with him/her to design the internship.
  • Arrange for a presentation to your employees.
  • Consider any impacts on company policy.

Resources

  • Distribute the Employer Internship Tip Sheet to interested employees.
  • Review the Employer Participation Options Fact Sheet to learn more about how to get the most out of your partnership with the Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium.

all guides

Activity Summary

  • Program Level: Advanced
  • Ratio: 1:1 (maximum 1:5)
  • Duration: 6 - 8 weeks, 60 or more hours
  • Location: Workplace
  • Costs: Wages
  • Special Considerations: Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on whether the student is performing productive work for the employer and other factors.

    See USDOL Internship Factsheet #71 http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm