The Thomas College Internship Program is designed to benefit students and employers alike. Internships are learning partnerships involving students, employers, and the College. Employers can expect a valuable contribution from our student interns as they carry out their designated assignments in the workplace.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m interested in hiring an intern. How do I start the process?
Employers can begin the process of hiring an intern by contacting Professional and Career Development email@example.com or 207-859-1106. We will need details about the work assignment, including a written job description that can be made available for students. In the job posting, please include the application, start and end date, number of hours, pay range, and work location.
What kind of paperwork do I need to be aware of?
The process is simple and requires very little paperwork. Employers typically only need to have a written job description to begin. We post all internship openings on the Professional and Career Development online job board, and students apply directly to the employer. Once a student is selected for the internship, there is a learning contract required, which is the student’s responsibility. They create five learning objectives which they document on the learning contract, to be signed accepted through Handshake by their academic contacts at Thomas and you, the site mentor. The objectives need to be developed in collaboration with the internship sites, as they need to be consistent with the job description and your expectations. The completed learning contract is provided to the employer for approval. When the internship is completed, the employer completes an evaluation form, rating the student intern on several performance criteria.
What’s the process for selecting an intern? Does the College choose, or do I interview the candidates?
Typically, students seeking an internship make themselves known to their career advisor or through Professional and Career Development, and we connect them with employers interested in hiring interns. Ultimately, the choice is the employer’s about who is selected. We strongly recommend that the employer meet with the student prior to making any commitments.
What’s the timing involved in finding an intern to work for me? When should I advertise an opening?
Professional and Career Development will post a request for interns anytime. Typically, students schedule their semesters a couple of months before it begins, so posting an internship in October for Spring (January-April), March for Summer (May-August), and April for Fall (September-December) is ideal.
How many hours do interns need to work?
Students serving as interns need to work at least 150 hours to earn 3 academic credits, and this can be scheduled over a 10 – 15 week period. Students can earn a maximum of 12 credits by working 600 hours. The working assignment may continue for more hours than what is needed for earning credits.
Does the internship need to be scheduled to match the academic calendar?
Not necessarily, although most internships take place during a semester or the summer. We are flexible with situations where the needs of the organization begin in the middle of a semester.
How do interns get graded? Am I responsible for assigning a letter grade?
As part of the employer evaluation form, we ask you to designate a letter grade. For most internships, the employer evaluation feedback comprises 50% of the student’s grade for the internship, and the other half is based on written assignments and internship seminar presentations. (Internships through The Washington Center are graded using a different rubric.)
All paid interns should be considered “employees,” not “independent contractors,” for IRS purposes.
Interns may be considered “trainees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if criteria are met. View the FLSA internship document.
Internship Worksite Roles and Responsibilities
Hiring an intern is similar in many ways to hiring an entry-level employee. As with new employees, interns need some assistance with the transition into a new working environment and clear communication about what the expectations are. The difference lies in the extent to which coaching and mentoring are required. The internship is intended to be a learning experience that complements a student’s academic program. Thomas College asks employers which hire our students as interns to:
- Provide a safe working and learning environment.
- Provide a written job description for the student.
- Review the student’s Learning Contract to ensure the dates, hours, tasks, and other criteria are accurate and the student’s learning objectives seem reasonable and achievable within the internship context.
- Provide worksite mentoring and supervision throughout the internship; designate a mentor who will be the primary contact person and supervisor for the intern.
- Discuss the student’s progress with the student at regular intervals during the internship, providing both positive and constructive feedback.
- Discuss student’s progress with the faculty advisor or career advisor.
- Provide comprehensive training that will prepare interns for expected work. Training should include workplace policies, safety protocol, job-specific skills, and overall expectations.
- Site mentors should provide interns the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of all areas of business operations at some time during their internship.
- The organization is responsible for ensuring paid interns are covered by appropriate liability insurance. Thomas College covers students who are unpaid and who are interning for college credit.
- Complete a written student evaluation at the end of the internship (form to be provided) and return it to the career advisor.
Professional and Career Development