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Creating Effective Internships

boston college career center

A good internship provides a positive experience for both employers and interns. As an employer, you play a critical role in making sure everyone benefits from the internship. Here are some things to consider.


Training and Supervision

Create a plan to train your intern before the internship begins. This might entail on-the-job training or a more structured process, or a mix of the two. In any case, you should assign a direct supervisor for your intern and schedule regular check-in meetings.


Quality of Work Experience

An internship is designed to be a learning experience in which the intern gains a broad understanding of the career field and develops relevant skills. Give your intern substantive work and keep clerical work to a minimum. 



Provide clear, constructive, and timely feedback to your intern. Evaluations should include consistent verbal feedback as well as a written mid-point evaluation.



Most academic year internships involve 8 to 16 hours per week, while summer internships can be full or part time. When you hire an intern, clearly define the terms of the internship, including the hours and days to be worked, and designate appropriate space and equipment for the intern.



Internships may be paid or unpaid; however, students typically seek out paid positions first. For information on intern salaries, see the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) salary survey.

Federal guidelines suggest that for an internship to be unpaid, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the intern derives more benefit from the position than the employer does. If the internship is unpaid and the student incurs significant cost (such as for transportation or meals), we ask that you consider paying a stipend to cover expenses.

For more information about compensating your interns, see the Department of Labor’s fact sheet on internships.


Academic Credit

In some cases, students can receive academic credit for internships. Students, not employers, work directly with their academic departments to arrange this credit.



Please contact the Career Center. We look forward to helping you reach your hiring goals.