**Reminder: Minimum wage is currently $11 an hour**
Posting an Internship is Free!
Posting internship listings at the University of California, Riverside is free. Internship listings are available 24 hours a day to the student population online via our password-protected UCR Handshake site. Opportunities posted are exclusively for UCR students and UC alumni.
Purpose of the Internship Program
The purpose of the Internship Program at the University of California, Riverside is to facilitate student learning opportunities outside the classroom. These experiences provide the opportunity to apply classroom theory to "real world" situations thus enhancing the students’ academic and career goals.
The partnerships developed between the employer, the university and the student have proven beneficial to all concerned. The program is a valuable source for completing special or temporary projects and potentially filling permanent positions. Our students are dedicated, bright and highly motivated. Many employers tell us that students bring new ideas and fresh insights to the workplace.
Benefits to Employers
- Employers have found the program to offer the following benefits:
- Interns are a great resource for one-time projects.
- Interns provide completion of special projects and fill the gap during peak workloads.
- Interns perform fundamental tasks freeing permanent employees to do more advanced or higher-priority work.
- Interns are great public relations agents; students can have a positive effect on future recruiting and hiring efforts.
- Interns can complement the organizational or corporate goals that focus on community involvement.
- Interns are often recruited to career positions reducing recruitment costs and lowering training costs.
Advice for Starting an Internship Program
Advice for Starting an Internship Program
Planning for an effective internship from the very beginning is a good way to ensure a successful experience. A few guidelines are offered below to assist you in your early planning.
Ask Yourself Some Realistic Questions
- Can you provide meaningful work assignments?
- Is there a professional staff person to supervise interns?
- Do your top managers and employees want to have interns on-site?
- Can you provide financial support (salary, gas money, supplies, etc.)?
- Do you have sufficient office space?
Create Effective Job Descriptions
The quality of students attracted to your listed positions sometimes depends upon the quality of your announcement. In addition to the position title, hours, salary, and location, describe the duties, qualifications and application instructions in terms that will attract students. Provide enough detail to identify specific academic disciplines and learning objectives. One-line descriptions are not sufficient. Reference descriptive material such as your Web site.
Carefully Select the Site Supervisor
Is this a professional member of your staff who is committed to and capable of developing people? Does this person have the time to supervise interns? Review resumes and/or applications and interview students. Do not automatically accept interns without conducting interviews.
When an Intern Has Been Selected
Discuss start and end dates with the selected student. Agree on days and times they will be expected to be on site. Provide intern with information regarding work attire. Notify your permanent employees when the intern will be starting and provide them with background information about the projects the intern will be doing. Set up work space for the intern. If the student is not seeking academic credit for the internship, complete the Learning Agreement offered by the Career Center.
During the Course of the Internship
Orient the intern and get them started on assignments. Provide any necessary training. Meet with the intern on a regular basis to provide and seek feedback and ensure projects are on track. Evaluate the intern's performance. Ask interns to complete the Student Evaluation regarding their experience with your organization. Have the site supervisor complete the Employer Evaluation of the student intern and return it to our office. Write recommendations, if appropriate. Ask interns to discuss their experience with your organization. Identify improvements to your internship program and make revisions.
Other Helpful Hints
- Though periods do occur when the workload is low, every effort should be made to keep the student occupied with meaningful, productive assignments. Student assignments should mirror those normally given to new, entry-level professionals.
- A gradual increase in the level of responsibility in assignments will serve to keep the student motivated and challenged throughout the placement period.
- Interns should be involved in assignments and projects that contribute to the departmental or organizational objectives.
- Professional Development
- Attention should be given to help the student develop a sense of professionalism. Supervision meetings with the student might relate to expectations for new professionals and typical career paths in your particular field.
- Look Ahead
- Should a student become a permanent employee in the future, the investment made by the supervisor during an internship experience can yield significant payoffs including reduced recruitment and training costs and the development of a more productive employee in a shorter span of time.
Types of Experiential Learning
"Experiential learning" is a broad term that encompasses a variety of hands-on learning experiences including internships, cooperative education programs (co-ops), service learning, research projects, Student Career Experience Programs, community service, and more.
UCR has mechanisms in place to support each type of program. There is a great deal of variation among and within each type of experiential learning: some are full-time, some part-time. Some are paid, others unpaid. They may be short-term or long-term. If you have any questions about how your company's opportunities fit in with these criteria, please contact the Employer Relations Team and we will be happy to direct you to the services appropriate for your opportunities.
It is suggested that all internships affiliated with the University of California, Riverside, are documented. Either a Learning Agreement (available on-line or supplied by the student) or an Academic Credit Form 198I (supplied by the student) should be filled out and signed by the intern and the site supervisor and returned to the Career Center at the start of the student's internship or co-op experience. The student is responsible for providing the appropriate document.
At UCR, students have the choice of applying for academic credit or doing the internship simply for professional development. UCR has mechanisms in place where eligible students may earn academic credit for an approved internship experience. Internships for academic credit require a faculty sponsor. Students who seek academic credit are referred to their academic department for appropriate approvals and academic assignments.
For more information, please contact the Employer Relations Team.
An internship is generally a short-term learning experience. The most popular type of internship is part-time, 10 to 20 hours per week during the academic year. This schedule allows a student to continue with course work during the internship. Summer is the preferred time for a full-time internship. A well-designed internship will provide students with professionally-oriented activities that will enable them to experience work similar to that of a new entrant in the field. Clerical or non-professional tasks must be limited to 20% or less of the overall responsibilities. Internships can be paid or non-paid. Most for-profit businesses will find it to their advantage to offer paid internship positions, particularly with regard to state and federal labor regulations.
Criteria for an Experience to Be Defined as an Internship
- UC Riverside upholds the criteria for an experience to be defined as an internship, set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE):
- 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.
Read complete NACE Position Statement on U.S. Internships .
Internship Programs Under the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act
The company/organization will assume liability for interns/co-ops working on their premises. This holds true for both paid and unpaid (volunteer) interns. The University does not accept responsibility for student liability during an internship. If this is a major concern for a site, it would be advisable to contact the staff to discuss risk management concerns. No employee of the University or any UCR student is authorized to sign a “hold harmless and indemnification” agreement. Internship sites must be equal-opportunity employers and cannot practice “unlawful discrimination”.
Equal Opportunity Employment Affirmation
Non-Discrimination Policy Statement: The University of California, Riverside, Career Center does not make its interviewing facilities and online job listing services available to employers who unlawfully discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of age, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or any other basis prohibited by applicable Federal and State laws. We reserve the right to refuse service to employers due to any violation of University of California rules and regulations.