Industry Job Postings
Frequently Asked Questions &
Guidelines for a successful internship
The information in this document is intended to help you in planning
and preparation for a successful IT Internship. It contains tips, checklists
and points to consider and is not a statement of policy or rules.
- 1. How can my organization benefit from hosting an
intern? What do we stand to gain?
- In a national study, 94% of those who had hosted interns in their
organizations were satisfied or very satisfied with their interns. Benefits
- A helping hand
- A fresh perspective
- A commitment to success
- An advocate and walking advertisement for your organization
- A potential new employee
- An opportunity to contribute to American education
- Access to other networks and resources
- 2. What costs, obligations, and risks do we incur if
we host an intern?
- Pay is not a requirement for UCF IT Internships. Pay is strictly at
the discretion of the hosting organization. Here are some points to
Can you afford to pay a salary? Should you ethically pay a salary? There
is no clear rule here, but a useful general guideline is based on whether
your organization will gain a financial profit from the work of the
intern. If so, many people who work with interns feel there is an ethical
obligation to pay the intern, even though the educational value to the
intern may be great. With nonprofit, public service agencies that rely
heavily on volunteers, interns are likely to be seen as appropriately
contributing services without pay. Agencies often try to compensate
their interns, perhaps through providing parking or a transportation
stipend, paying part of the intern's tuition and fees, sending the intern
to training sessions, or even paying a nominal salary.
Here are some indicators that an internship is an internship and not
- The intern doesn't replace existing workers.
- You have not made any implicit or explicit promises that lead
the intern to expect to be hired later.
- The intern doesn't expect any compensation from you.
- The intern doesn't receive any compensation from you.
- The intern does the internship as a documented part of an academic
- 3. Should we be concerned about protecting confidential
or proprietary information that we share with the intern during the
internship or that the intern develops during the internship?
- When appropriate, it's customary for interns to include products of
their internship work in a career search portfolio. As a general rule,
if the student intern is engaged in the creation of intellectual property
that potentially has substantial value, you should have a signed agreement
with the intern before the internship begins. Also as a general rule,
the agreement your intern signs should be essentially the same agreement
your other employees sign.
Basic Principles for a successful internship
- Experiential learning needs to be supported by a clear set of learning
goals, with tasks and other learning opportunities identified in relation
to those goals.
- The learning plan for an intern needs to provide and schedule self-assessment
for the intern.
- Finding just the right level of responsibility for an intern will
require a thought, careful planning, continued monitoring and some fine
tuning after the internship is underway.
- The host organization has primary responsibility to monitor, support,
assess, and provide feedback to the intern throughout the internship.
Checklist for Intern Orientation:
- Basic, mundane survival information
- Where's the bathroom? Where's the water fountain?
- Where's the mailroom?
- Where's my desk, phone, computer, other tools?
- When do I report? When do I leave? When can I take a break?
- When will I be scheduled to see my supervisor?
- When can I ask for help elsewhere?
- When are deadlines for projects and other procedures?
- Who is my supervisor?
- Who else do I report to? Who else do I work with?
- Who can I go to for help with different kinds of questions?
- Special terminology and jargon commonly used in the organization
- Organizational protocols for dress, correspondence, clean-up, and
maintenance of work space
- Organizational safety regulations
- Organizational security and confidentiality policies
Six general guidelines for effective mentoring
- Know your intern's learning objectives.
- Provide frequent, specific, descriptive feedback to your intern.
- Encourage your intern to be an active problem solver.
- When problems occur, communicate directly with your intern.
- Be sensitive to the role of power in your relationship.
- Use the support available from your academic contact.
Common assumptions made by supervisors
- Interns know how to learn from listening, absorbing, observing, being
in the environment.
- Reality: This environment is unlike the classroom and student
roles they know; they may need help to make the adjustment to this
new kind of learning.
- Interns will appreciate the time I give them as a supervisor.
- Reality: Interns may not even see the help; they expect help from
teachers and advisors as a matter of course.
- Interns will initiate and ask questions.
- Reality: Interns often don't know what to ask; they may not be
used to being active learners. They may feel too intimidated by
the pace of the organization or daily demands on the supervisor
to assert their needs and questions.
- Interns will understand the opportunity they have and will take advantage.
- Reality: Often the intern does not know enough about the organization,
its mission, its resources, or its context to recognize opportunities
and to take advantage of them without some guidance and assistance.
- Interns will be eager and enthusiastic.
- Reality: Sometimes enthusiasm and commitment are not what they
should be, as the list of intern's dysfunctional assumptions and
the stages suggest. Some students may be used to weekends off, college
parties, variable class hours and "laid back" attendance
policies, watching afternoon soap operas, and constant change of
pace. Other interns may be experiencing additional stress because
they are working part-time or taking additional classes while interning.