Internship Guide for Employers
A General Overview for Organizations with Intern Needs
This guide has been developed by Career Services at UW-Green Bay in an effort to respond to common questions from organizations and employers in the community about internships involving UW-Green Bay students.
What's the difference between an internship and a job?
The National Society for Experiential Education defines an internship as "a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he or she is learning throughout the experience."
In a typical entry-level job, an employee receives training to perform the tasks necessary for the position, and then the employee is expected to carry out the duties as assigned, preferably with little supervision. In an internship, however, interns bring "intentional learning goals" that support their academic and career interests. Interns are asked to reflect actively on their experience. This means that interns will often have more questions than a typical employee before, during and after the internship. This reflection helps make the internship more meaningful, while connecting the on-site experience to the student's academic training.
How many hours per week can a student intern perform work during an internship?
Interns work on average of 10-20 hours per week. Some interns may work more or less hours depending on the exact need of the organization. In most cases, students do have some flexibility to schedule hours around class times to meet the needs of the organization. Many times students are asked to work full-time during breaks and summers (40 hours per week).
Are internships on-going or for a fixed period of time – one semester?
Many organizations will have an internship that is for a fixed period of time - one semester. It is a regular occurring need that exists in part to provide solid experience to students and support the need of the organization. A different student is then recruited to replace the current intern each semester or each year. Other organizations have on-going internships and the student works continually until the student chooses to leave, the organization requests the student leave (rarely happens), or most likely, the student graduates from UW-Green Bay.
Do all students receive academic credit for internships?
Students may choose to complete an internship for academic credit. A small number of academic programs (Design Arts, Engineering, Computer Science, HIMT) require students to complete internships which also includes Social Work, Education and Nursing based on specific certification requirements. To receive academic credit, a student has additional academic requirements to complete with a faculty member supervising the experience in addition to the on-site responsibilities. Internships can range from 1-12 credits. The amount of credit is most often determined by the number of hours spent at the site. Typically, a 3-credit internship is received and a student must complete 10 hours per week on-site for the semester to total 150 hours, or 50 hours onsite for every 1 credit earned. There are some exceptions to that average - but not many.
If a student receives academic credit, does the organization have additional responsibilities as a host/supervising site?
The academic credit internship form is now electronic and the student initiates the process through our Registrar's Office at UW-Green Bay to receive the credit. If a student intern has noted that he/she is receiving credit for the experience, it is recommended that the host organization ask about official university process. The supervising faculty member should contact the site supervisor noted on the electronic form to confirm the internship. Lastly, in most cases, the site supervisor at the organization will be asked to complete an evaluation of the student by the faculty member assigned to the student’s internship. The evaluation may be electronic by survey or emailed form. On-site performance and evaluation of the student by the site is not the sole factor considered in the grade received for the internship experience. Most internships are not graded, only credit or no-credit. Rarely will a faculty member make a site visit to see the student intern during her/his experience.
Can a student repeat an internship or continue in an internship after credit is awarded?
Students may continue in the same internship beyond one semester, but they are not able to receive additional credit for the same experience with the same organization. Students may receive additional internship credit for different internships with the same organization or with different organizations.
Can students be paid for internships and receive academic credit?
Yes - if a student is paid, technically the student is an employee of the organization. The student may opt to receive credit as well. This is the student’s choice and not regulated by the University.
If a student is not paid, it is recommended that an organization require the student to complete the experience for credit to ensure accountability. It would be the organization's choice to have an unpaid intern who is not receiving credit. It is also recommended that if a student is not paid, the student be required to enroll for the credit prior to beginning the experience with the organization. Academic credit must be earned for an unpaid internship with a business or private organization due to wage and hour laws.