Employer Internship Toolkit - Planning the Internship

Back to: Developing an Internship Program

Step 2: Write a Plan for the Internship

Initial Considerations:

Learning Outcomes: Make sure to consider what the student needs to learn about your field.  Take a look at the sections below, found on the student's Learning Agreement.  While the student and faculty will actually complete this section, you can make it easier for a student to obtain academic credit by taking this into consideration.

Learning Objectives: What are the specific educational goals, e.g. academic knowledge and career skills, to be obtained during this experience?  This is unique per student experience.




Job Description: What are the planned responsibilities, e.g. tasks and activities, expected of the student and learning opportunities provided to the student that will help achieve the learning outcomes? (An agency/employer position description may be attached to supplement the answer below.)



Departmental Requirements: You should also look at the Departmental Requirements listed here to make sure you meet them.  If you have questions, you can always contact Career Services or visit the departmental directory

Planning the Internship:

Create a Work Plan: Identify goals, timelines, and a general description of the project, which will become your work plan, so that everyone understands the purpose and expectations involved. There is a sample work plan provided here.

Projects can be specific to a department or position, or “floating” internships can be created. A “floating” intern can be utilized throughout different areas and departments of the organization.

  • An example of a “floating” internship: Public Administration is a broad field in which students working toward a degree in Public Administration are qualified for positions in various areas of an organization; therefore, students would be great candidates for “floating” internships.
  • Benefits of a “floating” internship:
    • Students who have not identified a specific area of interest within a field are able to get experience in various departments in order to choose where to concentrate their career path.
    • Builds engagement between the student and the organization, which can increase output.
    • Increases communication between departments.

Create a Job Description:

Job descriptions will be used for the recruiting process. Job descriptions outline the requirements you are looking for in an ideal candidate and also help determine what skill sets are needed to fill the responsibilities required by the position.

Here is a job description template to help you get started.  For specific majors/job types, a quick Google search of "job title, internship, sample posting" is a great place to start.  If you need help, please don't hesitate to contact us!

Additional Ways to Involve Interns:

Further involvement can include training programs, social events, and opportunities to network with executives and other companies. Best practices for social events include:

  • Inviting your intern to company sponsored events
  • Considering organizing an end-of-the-program experience, such as participation in a golf outing or a lunch/reception with upper management.
  • Having the intern shadow in other departments to familiarize them with your organization and expose them to opportunities outside of their original scope.
  • Inviting your intern to Board meetings or other formal group settings to encourage networking with potential future employers.


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