Workforce Development

Internship Information for Employers

Student Intern checks his work
Student Intern checks his work

The Workforce and Economic Development Department is committed to cultivating meaningful internships that support the development of outstanding professionals.

An internship is a supervised pre-professional learning experience, in which students apply their skills and knowledge in a professional setting. By offering their time, talent, and enthusiasm, interns will contribute to an organization's mission and goals, while gaining valuable skills for the future, and seeing if a career is right for them. Most internships are temporary assignments that last approximately three months or up to a year. 

Internships are designed by the employer to meet their organizational needs while at the same time providing for the needs of the intern. Internship programs offer students an opportunity to expand their education into the world of work. They put classroom theory into practice, test tentative career choices and build their professional experience in preparation for graduation. 

The employer, in turn, commits to providing a learning experience and specific work assignments related to a student's studies.


 Goals of an internship:

  • Provide students with a full and realistic view of workplace culture and expectations
  • Integrate academic preparation with professional challenges
  • Build confidence and success through internship experiences
  • Encourage contact between LMC students and professionals in their field of interest
  • Help students build professional networks

What not to expect from an internship:

  • A part-time or full-time job that does not specify career related learning strategies and objectives
  • Unsupervised volunteer experience
  • Routine, repetitive clerical tasks



Forms for Employers:

Ways to Connect with LMC for Work-Based Learning Opportunities

LMC Internship Development Guide

Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Internship Checklist



What to keep in mind when developing an internship:

  • How does an internship work?

    An internship can be a variety of positions, as long as it contributes to the professional development of the student. In order to do so, considerations should be taken into account;

    • A position must be set up to fulfill a set of goals for professional development.
    • An internship must include a system for feedback and communication. Regular feedback sessions should be formally arranged to facilitate consistent supervision, guidance and constructive criticism on a weekly basis.
    • An internship position may be either paid or unpaid, depending upon the level of work, and number of hours.
  • What do interns do?

    Interns are a valuable resource. They may:

    • Assist with special projects, organize research projects, plan special events, develop special promotional campaigns.
    • Offer fresh, creative perspectives and energy.
    • Contribute experience with research techniques, computer skills, and current theoretical knowledge.
  • Organizational Support

    A critical step in developing internships involves identifying the office support needed for a successful internship. Consider the following:

    • Who will supervise the intern?
    • Where will the intern's work area be located?
    • What kind of orientation and training will the intern need?
    • What hours will the intern work?
    • How much will the intern be paid?
    • What will be the intern's daily routine be?
  • Internship Description

    Write the internship position description as if you were seeking a new part-time employee. Include the following in a brief description:

    • A brief description of the organization and its mission
    • Position title
    • Roles and responsibilities of the intern
    • Skills and qualifications required or preferred
    • Pay rate (hourly) and other compensation or benefits
    • Hours per week
    • Start/end dates of the internship
    • How to apply
    • What documents to send (cover letter, resume, writing sample, etc.)
  • Are unpaid internships appropriate?

    Under federal law, employers must pay workers unless the position meets the six criteria, including one stating that the employer "derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees or students".

    All of the following criteria must be met in order for an internship to be unpaid according to the US Department of Labor:

    1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school;

    2. The training is for the benefit of the trainee;

    3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under close observation;

    4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and on occasion the employer's operations may actually be impeded;

    5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period; and

    6. The employer and the trainee understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training. 

    Caution: Some employers assume that if a student earns academic credit for an internship, the employer does not have to comply with federal laws. That alone, however, does not guarantee that the employer is in compliance with the six criteria of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the US Department of Labor.


For additional questions regarding internships, please contact: