The NDSU Career and Advising Center defines an internship as a form of experiential learning. They integrate knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional workplace setting. Internships allow students to explore career fields, gain valuable skills, and make professional connections.
Hosting an intern is a recruiting investment. Many of the employers who hire NDSU students for internship experiences consider offering them full-time employment when they graduate.
Some of the benefits include:
- Build a talent pipeline
- Increase relationships with local colleges and universities
- Experience fresh talent and new perspectives
- Evaluate future professionals over a longer period of time
- Increase brand awareness on campus
- Diversify workforce
- Provide supervision and mentorship opportunities for current staff memebers
- Meet short term and special project needs
- Increase staff retention rate with intern to full-time conversions
Roles should be professional or paraprofessional in nature. They should be close to the equivalent of an entry-level position with adequate supervision. An internship is not: free help, a replacement of a full-time employee, or more than 20% “busy work.” We expect students to be treated as pre-professionals, utilizing the skills they are learning in the classroom on internship assignments.
- Parallel: Students work part-time with an employer and still take classes at NDSU.
- Alternating: Students alternate between attending classes on campus full-time for a semester and working full-time on an internship assignment for a semester.
- One Semester: Students work on an internship assignment for one semester only.
- Consecutive: Students work 2 or 3 semesters in a row (sometimes referred to as a cooperative education experience, or co-op).
Internship/co-op assignments may be completed during any semester. Summer semester is a very popular time to do an internship.
• Many employers do not have a formal or on-going Internship program; rather, they hire one student for one work assignment.
• If you are reviewing the option of beginning an Internship program, it may be advisable to start by employing one student to determine the level of mentoring needed to make it a successful experience. If you’d like more information about starting an internship program, please contact Alli Goossens, Assistant Director of the Internship Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701.231.7112
• It is very simple to become an internship employer.
• Develop a job description that details what the intern will be doing in your organization.
• Determine the salary that will be offered.
• Log on to Handshake to post the position or call (701).231.7111 to begin the hiring process.
Employers agree to:
• Pay the student a wage that meets or exceeds North Dakota minimum wage OR agrees to abide by the FLSA’s “Primary Beneficiary” test for unpaid internships.
• Accept qualified students and assign jobs without regard to age, race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or color.
• Notify the Career and Advising Center of any performance issues and/or concerns.
• Employ the student in a position that provides career-related work experience, while supervising and evaluating his/her work performance.
• Employ the student under the same working conditions and rules that govern other employees, including worker’s compensation.
• Notify the Career and Advising Center when the student is hired for an internship assignment that was posted on Handshake or the applicant was accessed through Career and Advising Center resources (such as career fairs).
• Write a detailed job description so students have an understanding of the position they are applying to.
• Pay for the academic credits associated with the experience.
• Because NDSU students earn credit for internships, they are responsible for the cost of those credits. One of the strongest recruiting tools an employer has is to pay the cost of the internship credits in order to compete for the most sought after students. A number of internship employers make the investment in NDSU students by paying the cost of the credits students earn from the internship.
• Make sure the salary you are considering is competitive with the prevailing market.
• Increase visibility on campus through informational meetings and attendance at recruiting events sponsored by NDSU.
• Consider taking a more liberal view of application requirements. While company application, cover letter, high GPA, transcript, year in school, and academic major can help you in the screening process, requiring all of these things may serve as a barrier to some qualified students who may not apply. The less you restrict application standards, the wider the pool of applicants.
• Some employers offer benefits beyond salary that may include:
Housing: Assistance in finding housing, a housing allowance, or furnished housing for remote assignments.
Perks: Company outings, conference attendance, company apparel or swag, or access to amenities that are offered to full-time employees.
Training/Certifications: Some employers also provide opportunities for interns to complete official trainings or certifications specific to their industry which are paid for by the employer.
Handshake is the #1 way students look for internships. Creating a Handshake account is easy and free for employers to utilize.
Creating an Account in Handshake:
- Create your account/login here: https://app.joinhandshake.com/employer_registrations/new
- Multiple people can create accounts and all link to the same organization.
- Follow the prompts and confirm your email
- After creating the company profile, connect with NDSU as an institution
- Post your positions and connect with students!
Once a student has accepted an offer, they have the choice to register their internship for credit. The student will fill out an online application form with the NDSU Career and Advising Center’s Internship Program.
Employers will receive an email from the Internship Program Team with a link to approve/reject internship registration. Simply follow the directions in the email to complete this process. We also collect an approval from the student’s faculty advisor in the same manner.
Once we’ve collected the approvals from you, the employer, and the student’s faculty advisor, you will receive another email explaining the next steps and some important dates to remember.
Near the end of each semester, we ask employers to complete a short evaluation of the intern. This evaluation is sent via email and can be complete online.
Yes! The ND EPSCoR STTAR Program provides an opportunity for employers to partially fund internship salaries in the STEM field. Businesses must submit an application in order to be considered for the program.
To learn more about funding opportunities available to STEM Employers, please follow the hyperlink below: