Faculty Internship Manual

internship manual image

Internship Manual

I. Overview/Mission and Vision

Florida International University

Division of Student Affairs

Career Services Office

II. Resources for Faculty

A. Before the Internship

What is an internship?

What types of internships are there?

What are the benefits of an internship?

Identification and Selection of Intern

Additional Resources

Questions to ask students when helping them define their internship goals

Resources to help students find an internship

How your student should prepare for their internship search and experience

B. During the Internship

Keys to Internship Success!

C. After the Internship

Suggest that students network and maintain professional contacts

Encourage students to visit their Career Services Office

Reporting internships for the University

Internship Search Sites


Florida International University


Florida International University will be a leading urban public research university focused on student learning, innovation, and collaboration.


Florida International University is an urban, multi-campus, public research university serving its students and the diverse population of South Florida. We are committed to high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with our local and global communities.

Our mission is to impart knowledge through excellent teaching, promote public service, discover new knowledge, solve problems through research, and foster creativity.

Division of Student Affairs


The Division of Student Affairs at Florida International University will be known as a leader in promoting excellence and fostering student learning.


The Division of Student Affairs at Florida International University supports the mission of the University by engaging students in becoming active contributors in an evolving global and technological society. The Division teaches civic responsibility, leadership, and commitment to service; nurtures an understanding of diversity; and contributes to academic success by providing students with support services and experiential learning opportunities.

Career Services


FlU graduates are equipped with the tools and resources to develop and manage their careers within a global workforce.


To provide FIU students, alumni, faculty, administration and the community with current information regarding career development skills, trends and issues while preparing a viable global workforce for the 21st century.


I. Before the Internship

What is an internship?
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent (National Association of Colleges and Employers – NACE).

What types of internships are there?

  • Credit/Non-Credit
    One option students need to explore is whether they can receive academic credit for their internship experience. Only their advisor/department can answer questions about whether they can obtain credit for their program by participating in an internship. This is a great advantage to students who are trying to find ways to fit an internship into their already busy schedule, and also helps to balance the fact that the internship they want may be unpaid. The requirements vary according to department, so make sure the student gathers that information before they accept an opportunity.
  • Paid/Unpaid
    Each internship experience is unique and many times the choice to pay or not to pay is determined by industry, company size and other factors. Some organizations will offer to pay a salary as well as airfare and/or housing while others will provide a “one-time” stipend at the end of the experience. It is important to remember that while an internship may not be paid, it is still one of, if not the best way for college students to gain real-world experience. So what you are not getting paid in dollars and cents, you are getting paid in the type of experience and professional skills that all employers are looking for after graduation. It is also a wonderful opportunity to begin building a professional network, which is vital for students’ job search success.
  • Full-time/Part-time
    There are a variety of internship options available to students, allowing them to cater their experience to their own schedule. Part-time internships typically require students to be present between 15-25 hours a week. Part-time internships tend to be advantageous for students who are already working a part-time job, or are enrolled as full-time students. Employers understand that student interns have busy and non-traditional schedules, so they should be flexible in terms of making adjustments to their intern’s schedule during the week of mid-terms, finals or vacations/holidays.Full-time internships typically require students to spend around 40 hours a week at their internship site. Full-time internships tend to be paid, or offer a stipend. They are advantageous for students because they allow them to spend extensive time developing professional skills, working on multiple projects, and establishing deep relationships with the employees at their respective sites. These can all still be achieved during a part-time internship, but with more hours per week comes more time to dedicate to the work they are involved in, and more time to allow others to see them shine in a professional environment.

Before deciding to accept a full-time internship, students need to consider their school and life requirements, and make sure that they are able to balance everything. Most students who accept full-time internships will either take evening or online courses during their internship, or even elect to take a semester off from classes in order to put all of their attention on maximizing their internship experience. Another option that many students elect to use is to seek out full-time internship opportunities over the summer, when they are either not in school, or are taking a light course load.

  • Length of Internship
    Typically, the length of an internship is one semester, but there are also several opportunities for year-long internships, or in some cases, shortened internship opportunities (for example, an internship during the winter school break, known as a “winternship”). The important thing for students to remember when they begin thinking about doing an internship is that the search and application process needs to happen the semester before the semester they intend to start their internship. So, for example, if they are looking for summer internships, they need to begin that process during the spring semester.Internships are not a secret or a new phenomenon, so in most cases, they are very competitive. This means that students need to develop their professional resume and cover letter writing skills, and practice their interviewing skills in order to separate themselves from the other applicants. Encourage them to visit the Career Services Office to learn about how to start this process.

What are the benefits of an internship?

  • National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) statistics

i. 60% of 2012 college graduates who participated in an internship received at least one job offer.
ii. 95% of employers are looking for college grads with experience.
iii. Organizations converted 58.6% of their interns into full-time hires (highest recorded percentage)
iv. 83.4% of employers say that their internship program is designed to help their organization recruit entry-level hires.

  • Help your students gain the real-world experience that all employers seek.

When employers are asked what they are looking for in a recent college graduate, they say that they want an individual with critical thinking skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to work in a team, and above all else, real-world experience in their field. This skill set can only be achieved by combining practical experience and academics.

Volunteering and being engaged on campus through student organizations are great ways to develop personally and professionally, but the best resource available to your students to help them gain the skills that employers covet most is to participate in internships. During an internship, students have the ability to engage in multiple projects, and interact with everyone in the office, which enables them to diversify their experiences.

Employers know that internships are designed to be learning experiences for students, so not only do students get to participate in multiple tasks, but they are given the hands-on training and feedback that empowers them to leave their internship with the confidence to tackle any task at their next job.

  • Promote exposure to various fields.

A common mistake that students make is that they choose a major that feels like a good fit for them, work hard to earn a degree in that major, and then when they enter the world of work, they realize that the field they chose is not what they thought it was, and they want to find a new career.

One of the many great advantages that internships offer students is that it enables them to try on many different careers during their time as a student. If you are working with students who are currently undecided on their major, stuck between one or two different majors, or even if they are confident in the major that they have chosen, multiple internship experiences can give them the exposure they need to make the best and most informed decisions for their career development.

  • Help your students build their professional network

As faculty, you are the experts in your field, and can serve as a tremendous resource to your students. Many students are unsure as to how to start building and maintaining a professional network on and off of campus, so your guidance towards building that network while at their internships is vital.

  • Great resume boost

Internships can provide the shot in the arm that many of your students need, so be sure to remind them that without the real-world experiences and skills garnered through internships, their resume may fall short in comparison to others competing for the same jobs.

  • Classroom ⇒ Internship ⇒ Job

If employers are looking for real-world work experience from new college graduates, then what about all of the great knowledge that your students are learning in the classroom? Internships are a great forum for them to apply and practice that knowledge, all while gathering the skills that employers seek.

For example, you teach a theory in your class that your students then see in practice or decide to implement at their internship. This not only makes them an asset to their internship employer, as they are bringing a fresh educational perspective to the workplace, but it also helps them bring real-world applications back into the classroom, thus strengthening their comprehension and performance as a student. This symbiotic relationship leads to the development of knowledge, experience and skills that employers are looking for.

Identification and Selection of Student Interns
Students are not the only one interested in their success; their accomplishments are also very important to the college. Staff members in Career Services, admissions, development, alumni relations, and you, the faculty, have a direct investment in their achievement. The role you play in the employment process complements the role played by Career Services. Occasionally, however, helping students in their internship and job searches can result in unanticipated illegal or unethical actions. (http://www.naceweb.org/legal/faculty_guide/)

Some of the guidelines for making sure that you stay within those legal and ethical parameters are as follows:

1. All candidates should have equal access to the opportunity for open and free selection of employment opportunities consistent with their personal objectives and optimum use of their talents.
2. Both colleges and employers should support informed and responsible decision making by candidates.
3. All aspects of the recruiting process should be fair and equitable to candidates and employing organizations.
4. Career Services professionals and faculty involved in recruiting should provide generally comparable services to all employers, regardless of whether the employers contribute services, gifts, or financial support to the college, department, or office, and regardless of the level of such support.
5. As required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), any disclosure of student information outside of the educational institution will be with prior consent of the student unless health and/or safety considerations necessitate the dissemination of such information. Both Career Services professionals and faculty will exercise sound judgment and fairness in maintaining the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including written records, reports, and computer data bases.
6. Any recruitment activities through student associations or academic departments should be conducted in accordance with the policies of the Career Services Office and accepted ethical, equal employment and legal practices.
Because of the influence you have with both students seeking jobs and internships and employers seeking new talent, NACE has created this guide to assist you.
Ethical and Legal Standards for the Prevention of Hand-Picking and Hiring Students
The Career Services Office does not place students in internships but provides resources for employers to identify and select quality FIU students and alumni.

Please visit NACE Faculty Guide for further clarification.

  • FIU Career Services accords equal opportunity to all placement registrants without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status or veteran status.
  • All employers recruiting through Career Services are likewise expected to conform to Equal Employment Opportunity regulations and related legislation in their recruitment and hiring practices.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
“The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.” http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

a. NACE 15 Best Practices for Internship Programs
b. NACE Faculty Guide
c. National, member organizations can offer excellent assistance. The following organizations, and their regional and/or statewide affiliates, should be consulted.

National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE)
19 Mantua Rd.
Mt. Royal, NJ 08096
Phone: 856-423 – 3427
Fax: 856-423-3420
Web: www.nsee.org

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
62 Highland Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18017-9085
Phone: 800-544-5272
Fax: 610-868-0208
Web: www.naceweb.org

a. What are their professional goals/career interests?
b. What types of organizations are they interested in?
c. Where do they want to pursue their internship?
d. What is the right term? (Beware of deadlines)

a. Career Services Office
b. Networking (faculty, classmates, relatives, former employers, etc.)
c. Major/Minor Department (how to provide your students with field-specific resources)
d. LinkedIn
e. Career/Internship Fairs
f. Informational Interviewing
g. Company Websites
h. CREATE their own internship (prepare an internship proposal)
i. Industry specific books/periodicals
j. Employer Information Sessions

a. Attend Career Services Workshops:
i. Resume/Cover Letter Writing
ii. Internships 101
iii. Interviewing Skills
iv. Networking Skills
v. How to Prepare for Career Fair
b. Have them schedule an appointment with a Career Services advisor to discuss their internship goals and to map out a course of action.

II. During

During the student’s internship, please encourage them to be professional, have a positive attitude and stick with it. Faculty can play a major role in the success of the student’s overall experience. Faculty are asked to motivate students to:

  • Set Personal Goals

While some internships are very structured, others are not, so students need to spend some time before they start the internship setting goals that they want to accomplish. Maybe it is deciding on what area within marketing they want to specialize in, learning new skills, or building their network. The student should then request from their supervisor and take the time to fill out a learning contract with the employer outlining their goals.

b. Regular Meetings with Supervisor
The site-supervisor should set regular meetings with the intern to go over the learning objectives, progress, and to address any issues or concerns. These regularly scheduled meetings should be in addition to any informal feedback provided throughout the internship. Undergraduate students expect clear direction regarding expectations and frequent feedback concerning their work. In their academic environment, clear direction and periodic feedback is the way of life.

c. Avoid negativity
The quickest way to kill a good internship is being negative. Students should avoid complaining, being rude, disrespecting coworkers, arriving late, leaving early, being closed-minded, missing deadlines, appearing arrogant, wearing improper attire, acting unprofessionally, appearing inflexible, and taking part in office politics.

  • Hint: A common mistake among interns and new hires is treating secretaries and clerks as being beneath them – encourage your students to avoid this behavior at all costs.

d. Seek opportunities to learn more about the company/industry
Students should take every opportunity presented to them to attend company or industry meetings, conferences, and events; participate in training workshops; and read company materials.

  • Hint: Meetings may appear (and actually be) boring to them, but they can often offer a good chance to increase their knowledge, network, and build relationships.

e. Get exposure
Some of the best internships rotate students among departments and supervisors, but if theirs does not, do not let that stop the student from tackling new tasks, meeting people outside their department, and attending company social events. The more they are exposed to new ideas and new people, the more they will learn.

  • Hint: Joining the company softball team (or other informal group) is a great opportunity to meet new people in a relaxed and informal environment.

f. Ask questions
The student should always remember that an internship is a learning experience. While the employer expects to get a certain level of work from them, they are not expected to know everything. They should seek advice and raise questions whenever they encounter something that is not familiar to them or in an effort to show interest and curiosity.

III. After
Faculty should encourage students to do the following once the student has completed an internship:

a. Encourage them to thank the staff/supervisor at their internship
b. Meet with their staff/supervisors leading up to the end of their internship
c. Maintain regular contact with their internship office/organization

a. Processing their internship experience and pulling out and documenting the transferrable skills that they developed during their internship.
b. Giving their resume a boost by adding their newly completed professional internship experience.
c. Reflecting on and learning from their experience by answering questions such as:
i. What have you learned about your field and what would you still like to learn?
ii. Has this internship changed your ultimate career goals?
iii. If you did not like your internship experience, was it the company culture that turned you off or the job tasks?
iv. If you liked your experience, are you interested in further developing in that field, and how can you do that?
v. How have you grown from this experience? What areas would you like to improve in for your next professional experience?

If you know of a student who has completed an internship during his or her time at FIU, ask them to report it to their respective Career Services Office. They can also ask their employer to contact the Career Services Office with basic information. FIU tracks internship experiences, which helps the University grow, and opens up future internship opportunities for the next generation of Panthers. Please help us in this pursuit!

Internship Search Websites

  • interninc: aims to be Facebook meets LinkedIn for students, employers, and universities — connecting them via a social networking platform. Students need to register with the site to enable searching for internships, as well as finding social connections and career advice. No cost to job-seekers.
  • externs.com: an internship site for college students, where you can browse for both traditional and virtual internships. With a virtual internship, you work in a remote location (dorm room?) from the employer. No cost to job-seekers.
  • GetThatGig.com: where young job-seekers (16-21) can find cool summer jobs and internships, as well as learn about extraordinary career paths in all types of industries, from entertainment and education to healthcare and marketing — and many others. Search for jobs or post your resume. Free to job-seekers.
  • internshipKING: “where smart students find the best internships.” The site includes internship postings, internship reviews, case competitions, company internship profiles, and breaking internship news. No cost to job-seekers.
  • InternshipPrograms.com: where internship-seekers can browse an internship database for possibilities and apply for those of interest directly from this site. Internship categories include: advertising/marketing/PR, journalism and communications, government agencies, sports teams and organizations, law firms, and others.
  • SummerInternships.com: provides expensive internship options (mostly summer, but expanding into fall and spring) in about 20 locations across the world. The all-inclusive programs include guaranteed internship placement, housing, meal plan, 6 planned weekend activities to the best tourist attractions in the area, a weekly seminar series, and daily transportation to and from work. Fee-based.
  • Monster College: Monster College, a part of Monster.com (Monster Worldwide), is a job search site directed specifically at helping “college students and recent grads find their first career.” Apart from searching for jobs, students can also hunt for internships in “government, non-profits, service vocations, start-ups, or the corporate sphere.”
  • Idealist.org: Idealist.org is THE place to find non-profit jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. As of this writing, the site features 4,047 internship opportunities worldwide with 3,375 of them being in the U.S. The database is updated daily.
  • Internships.com: Internships.com considers itself to be the “leading nexus between internships and students, higher education and employers.” Users can browse for internships based on their major, desired location, desired companies, compensation, and time commitment.
  • Indeed: Indeed is the “#1 job site worldwide, with over 40 million unique visitors and 1 billion job searches per month.” The website features a free internship search that shows available opportunities from employer websites as well as job boards and allows users to search based on keywords, location, and salary.
  • Intern Web: Internweb is a student focused job search website that includes a database containing thousands of internships and entry level jobs. Apart from free internships search, the site also contains informative articles and other resources to help you find and get the perfect internship.
  • InternZoo.com: InternZoo.com is a “dedicated online internship database for students across the country” aiming to “enable employers and internship seekers to find each other easily and efficiently” by maintaining postings that are “current and contain accurate information.”
  • Career Builder.com:CareerBuilder.com claims to be the “U.S.’s largest online job site that puts over 1 million jobs in front of poised job seekers.” Searches can be narrowed down to find only internships, and can further be categorized based on industry, field, and job type among other relevant preferences.
  • Simply Hired:Simply Hired has a simple objective in mind: they want to build “the largest online database of jobs on the planet” so that the process of finding a new job is “a simple yet effective, enjoyable journey” for the user. The database contains thousands of listings for internship opportunities in virtually every field throughout the country.
  • Career Rookie:CareerRookie.com is an employment search website for students that features a database for internships, part-time jobs, and entry-level careers, articles and other resources as well as a videos section containing short clips on a wide range of topics. Additionally, “users can also post resumes, get the latest news on companies and industries, sign up for automatic job alerts, view local career fairs and tap into advice on everything from writing resumes to on-the-job success – all from an entry-level point of view.”
  • Campus Career Center:Campus Career Center is dedicated to assisting college students and recent grads find jobs and other employment opportunities. Current college students have the ability to look for internships as well as part-time jobs.
  • Student Jobs:Student Jobs is a part of USA Jobs, the federal government’s official site for jobs and hiring information. Student Jobs lists internships, part-time opportunities, and entry level federal government careers throughout the country (and in some cases, abroad).
  • Experience:Experience.com is a career website for college students and recent grads. It helps users search for internships and entry level jobs. Experience reports that over 130,000 employers use the website for recruiting purposes.
  • College Recruiter:College Recruiter is the “leading job board used by students hunting for internships and recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities.” Key features of the website include hundreds of thousands of job-postings, “a School Finder feature which matches those interested in continuing their education with hundreds of traditional and on-line schools, and tens of thousands of pages of employment-related content, including articles, blogs, and Ask the Experts questions and answers.”
  • InternJobs.com:InternJobs.com is a free “global database of internships and entry-level positions.” Users can search for positions in over 60 countries. Furthermore, the website features employment advice and other resources as well as an e-newsletter.
  • AmeriCorps:AmeriCorps is an initiative of the US government to get more individuals to volunteer and work to address the critical needs of communities across the nation. AmeriCorps features opportunities with non-profits in a variety of sectors. It requires a part-time or full-time commitment for either a year or a summer. Participants receive a stipend as well as an education award.

International Internship Sites:

  • Global Experiences: an international education programs provider, specializing in international internships and work experience abroad, summer internships, fashion internships abroad, volunteer programs, teaching English as a second language, foreign language training, and similar programs. Fee-Based.
  • iHipo: a combination of social network and job site, iHipo provides young professionals and students the ability to browse through hundreds of international job and internship postings, post a profile, and develop contacts. iHipo stands for international High Potential network. No cost to job-seekers.
  • iTraineeship.com: where college students and recent graduates can find international experiences — international traineeships, internships, and graduate business courses. Browse current listings by category. No cost to job-seekers.
  • GoAbroad.com:GoAbroad.com is the umbrella organization that includes StudyAbroad.com, InternAbroad.com, VolunteerAbroad.com, etc. Thousands of international opportunities can be found for those seeking an experience abroad. GoAbroad.com was designed to link potential travelers with international organizations.

Federal Internship Sites:

  • Washington Internship Institute: search the database to find vital information on all about academic internships — mostly in government — in the Washington, D.C. area.