Recruit at PLU!

Pacific Lutheran University students are uniquely prepared to succeed in the working world, and to lead lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care. With a background in the liberal arts, students hone their skills in communication, global and intercultural fluency, critical thinking and leadership. Here, you will find students unlike any others, who care for other people, for their communities and for the Earth.

At Pacific Lutheran University, employers are reaching a talent pool that spans 40 academic majors, 55 minors, and graduate and professional programs. PLU’s smaller size of 3,100 students means that your on-campus and online recruiting efforts are being efficiently used to reach the student body.

We offer the following recruitment services and resources:

Connect at a Career Fair

Gain visibility and get to know PLU students at one of our career events. Alumni & Student Connections’ career services partners with academic divisions to host discipline-focused career fairs throughout the academic year. These fairs more closely align employers with students who meet their recruiting needs.

Questions?

Margaret Sauer

For more information, contact Margaret Sauer.

Email:
sauermf@plu.edu

Phone:
253-535-8283

Post a Job or Internship

The PLU Opportunities Board, our online job and internship board, allows employers to post positions for PLU students and alumni for free.

Post a Volunteer Position

Volunteer positions (non-paid) should be posted with the Center for Community Engagement & Service (CCES).

For questions regarding posting volunteer positions, please call CCES at 253-535-7652 or service@plu.edu.

Create an Internship

Alumni & Student Connections will work with you to develop an internship that benefits both students and your organization.

Host an Informational Table

We can reserve table space for you to share company information and talk with students inside the Anderson University Center. There is no fee associated with informational tabling. We offer tabling on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Please contact Margaret Sauer to schedule a tabling session at sauermf@plu.edu.

Hold On-Campus Interviews

Interviewing on-campus is an efficient and productive way to meet with PLU students.

You have the ability to request, promote and manage an on-campus interview event through your Opportunities Board employer account, or e-mail Margaret Sauer at sauermf@plu.edu.

Schedule an Information Session

There could be an opportunity to host an information session. Once approved, Alumni & Student Connections will arrange an information session to showcase your organization and speak with students about open positions and your application process. Contact our office to discuss eligibility.

Present at a Student Club Meeting

Student clubs and organizations provide a captive audience to promote your organization and the opportunities available to students*. Contact PLU Alumni & Student Connections if you would like assistance in identifying a student club in line with your organization.

*Student clubs and organizations are not required to sponsor an employer event. Student clubs make the final decision regarding with whom they engage.

Host a Career Trek

Alumni & Student Connections can arrange an employer site visit. We will work with you to create a program that highlights your organization and will recruit students for participation based on your recruiting needs.

Learn About Funding Options

Government agencies, for-profit corporations, small businesses, and non-profit organizations, who are not involved in political or religious activity may be eligible to participate in the State Work Study (SWS) program. Through SWS, the state contributes to the wages of work study student employees, so participating employers benefit from educated, motivated workers at a lower cost.

Internship FAQs

What are PLU's expectations of an internship sponsor?

  • Assist the intern with formulating learning objectives and goals.
  • Take on a mentoring role with your intern. Be there to answer questions and provide guidance and feedback when needed. Help the intern understand the specifics of your department, the company/organization, and the professional industry or field.
  • Provide a workspace for the intern, appropriate to the intern’s position.
  • Provide a structured work experience. Give the intern specific tasks and timelines with explicit performance criteria. Schedule a weekly or biweekly “check in” meeting to discuss the intern’s progress on assigned work and projects.
  • Communicate to the faculty sponsor or Elli Schappler, Alumni & Student Connections’ Assistant Director for Career & Experiential Learning, (schapplere@plu.edu) if any problems arise that you are unable to resolve with the intern.

When should internship recruitment begin?

Most companies and organizations begin recruiting 4-7 months before the internship start date to ensure a strong applicant pool. Starting early allows more students to apply and gives employers a chance to fully screen applicants to hire a perfect fit.

What are the best recruiting strategies?

Most students complete internships to build resumes and gain experience with their future career in mind. That said, creating a compelling description that makes the student see the benefit of working for your organization and the skills they will gain is imperative. Imagine that there are a dozen of the same type of position the student can apply for. What sets you apart from the rest?

The best way to meet prospective interns is through attending career events, such as career fairs and networking events. Plan to attend at least one career event at PLU throughout the academic year. Click here for a list of recruiting resources at PLU.

What goes into selecting an intern?

Believe it or not, you begin crafting a candidate pool as soon as you identify your internship needs and write the internship description. Are you looking for only juniors or seniors? Do you expect the intern to start with knowledge, gained either through a class or with a particular resource? Are you searching for a student with a particular educational background, e.g. only psychology majors? By making these specifications in the “qualifications” section of your posting, you will automatically deter or encourage certain students from applying to your position.

When you’ve achieved a strong candidate pool, it’s time to begin selections. Depending on the size of the applicant pool, some employers may interview every application, while others will pick the top candidates. It is an expectation that an interview is a part of your selection process.

How can I appeal to PLU students in particular?

We recommend that internship terms match the semester schedule at PLU:

Fall: September – December
J-Term: January
Spring: February – May
Summer: June – August

Try sticking to a predictable recruiting schedule. Knowing that your organization will recruit an internship each spring, for example, allows Alumni & Student Connections to prepare students in advance and build awareness of the opportunity year round.

Should I pay the intern?

The Test for Unpaid Interns and Students Courts have used the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA. In short, this test allows courts to examine the “economic reality” of the intern employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship. Courts have identified the following seven factors as part of the test:

  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

How much should I pay the intern?

If your organization is for-profit, you must pay the intern minimum wage or above. By paying the intern, they are considered an employee of your company or organization according to the Department of Labor. Non-profits, government agencies, and educational institutions are exempt from the FLSA.

If a student is doing an internship for credit, do I still have to pay them?

Yes, compensation and academic credit are not mutually exclusive. One does not preclude the other.

Can I hire the intern on full time after the duration of the internship?

Yes. Although, we do not encourage the practice of an unpaid internship serving as a long-term interview.

Who can site supervisors contact at PLU if they need to discuss an issue regarding an intern?

The person to contact during the course of the internship is the student’s faculty sponsor, if known, or Elli Schappler. As PLU’s Assistant Director for Career & Experiential Learning, Elli will consult with the employer and faculty sponsor to ensure a successful experience for all involved.

What is the sexual harassment policy? How can interns report a case of misconduct?

You must follow the same guidelines for interns, regardless of compensation, that you do for permanent employees. Share policy and reporting guidelines with students during the orientation. PLU reserves the right to request a written copy of the employer’s sexual harassment policy.

Do I give the intern a grade?

Faculty sponsors are responsible for assigning the student a grade. Often, they will solicit feedback from you concerning the intern’s performance (in person, over the phone, or through a survey). Please provide feedback about your experience to faculty and Alumni & Student Connections. It is important to know what skills the intern can improve on so we can better prepare the next intern you host!