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Set your sail right with PLU Success 287: J-term Internship Preparation & Success Course

Students

Can I receive credit for an internship I have done in the past?

No. You can only receive credit for an internship completed during the same term you expect to receive credit. For example, you may not complete a summer internship and receive credit in the fall semester.

If I do an internship for credit over the summer, am I still required to pay tuition?

Yes. Summer tuition is issued by credit hour. Visit the summer session website for more information.

Is there a deadline to register?

You must fully complete the registration process by the last day to add or a late fee will be assessed. This is usually the 10th day of the fall and spring semesters.

How do internships impact financial aid?

Submit your paperwork on time so that you are registered for the correct number of credits for financial aid purposes.

  • Paid internships could impact your eligibility for financial aid next year since it counts towards taxable income.
  • If you have Work Study as a part of your award and find a Work Study position in your career field, you may qualify to take it as an internship!

Connect with your Student Financial Services Specialist for more detailed information.

Are all internships unpaid?

While we encourage employers to post paid internships, it depends on the industry and the intern’s role. Most non-profit organizations and social services agencies can only offer unpaid internships. Keep in mind, paid internships are more competitive. Contact Career Connections at 253-535-7459 to ensure you are the top candidate.

If you have been offered a summer internship which is unpaid, you may be eligible to receive funding for your internship through the Krise Endowed Internship Fund or the Long Science, Technology and Society Endowed Internship Fund.

What if things change at my internship?

Contact your faculty sponsor to find new objectives that you can meet. Submit these in writing to your faculty sponsor and to Dawn Rinehart (rinehadm@plu.edu) and your information will be updated. It is your responsibility to get approval from your faculty sponsor!

I’m not learning from my internship. How can I ask for more to do?

Start by discussing your Learning Agreement objectives with your supervisor and see if you can change your role to find ways improve the experience. If that doesn’t work, reach out to your faculty sponsor and Dawn Rinehart (rinehadm@plu.edu)! In collaboration, we can personally walk you through some strategies to improve the situation.

What if I have a disability?

Examine the internship duties and responsibilities. Can you accomplish them with reasonable accommodations? If you have specific questions about disability disclosure, please contact Disability Support Services for guidance.

I am being treated badly at my internship! What do I do?

If you are uncomfortable in your position, let someone know. You should visit with your supervisor first unless it is your supervisor who is causing your discomfort and you feel unsafe to confront them. Let your faculty sponsor or Dawn Rinehart (rinehadm@plu.edu) know as soon as possible.

What if I was hurt at my internship?

Report your injury to your employer right away! The employer’s insurance usually cover any accident typical to the internship workplace. Visit with your employer to determine what coverage they offer interns. If you have a paid position, you will be covered under Washington State Labor and Industries. Some volunteer/unpaid positions are also listed under the employer’s L&I. Sometimes an employer will request proof of insurance from the student. Your regular insurance company can provide the documentation the employer requires and usually involves a simple phone call request to your insurance agent’s office.

I would like to receive credit for an internship abroad. What do I do?

Start early by scheduling a meeting with the Assistant Director of Career & Internship Development to review the process of receiving credit for an international academic internship. There are a number of forms required for independent international travel, and students must submit all required forms no later than the last day of the term before the proposed independent international travel. The Assistant Director of Career & Internship Development is available to students throughout the process to answer questions and provide assistance.

Employers

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 Career Connections to prepare students in advance and build awareness of the opportunity year round.

Should I pay the intern?

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division clarifies through the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that an internship can legally be unpaid if:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in an education environment.
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
  4. The employer who provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the interns and, on occasion, the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in 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.

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 Career Connections. It is important to know what skills the intern can improve on so we can better prepare the next intern you host!

Faculty

How are credit hours should the intern I’m sponsoring earn?

Although you, as faculty sponsor, ultimately decide how many credit hours the internship is worth, the general guidelines is 30 hours of work at an internship site equals 1 credit hour. Therefore, an internship that is roughly 10 hours per week through the duration of the semester can equal 4 credit hours.

How should I evaluate the student?

Evaluation is determined on a case by case basis, usually determined by the discipline, the number of credit hours and the student’s learning objectives. Some faculty sponsors have students keep a daily log and submit a final research paper. Others may have their student read several print materials, write a literature review, and present to a panel of faculty. If you would like to discuss some potential options and hear what other faculty have used as evaluation methods, please contactDawn Rinehart (rinehadm@plu.edu) or click here to see Internship Evaluation Ideas.

What contact should I have with the internship provider?

Again, this is completely dependent on what you and the student decide! If the internship is local, some faculty like to spend a few hours at the internship site observing the student and meeting their colleagues. Other faculty sponsors are hands-off and never interact with the internship provider. It is important to discuss this aspect of sponsorship with the student when completing the Learning Agreement.

How do I submit a final grade?

Grades for internship coursework are submitted through Banner, like a typical class at PLU.