Internship Guidelines


What is an internship?

  • Internships are project based, experiential learning opportunities that allow students to integrate their academics with practical experience, develop and refine professional skills, and explore career interests.
  • Internships should benefit the student rather than the employer.
  • There is intentional onboarding, ongoing supervision, and frequent feedback by an experienced professional in the field.

How are internships different from jobs?

  • Internships have a defined beginning and end and are centered on specific projects with clear learning outcomes, rather than routine office operations.
  • Internships are focused on the learning component of experiential learning. Please review the U.S. Department of Labor definition of internships in Fact Sheet #71.

Creating an internship partnership with Whittier College

Employers create internship programs to build a talent pipeline, to build on new and existing projects, and to engage with new professionals. Internships need time and intention in the planning to ensure long-term success of the internship program.

Step One: Explore

  • Review the different components that make up an internship experience.
  • Explore compensation with your organization whenever possible. Monetary compensation is strongly encouraged whether or not interns choose to earn academic credit for their internships.

Step Two: Identify

  • Identify your overall goals and learning objectives for the internship program and how much support your organization can feasibly provide to the student interns.
  • Identify a meaningful project for your intern to complete during the duration of their internship.
  • Identify supervisors to guide your intern during their internship experience and support with their learning. These supervisors must be willing to support with onboarding, ongoing training, feedback, check-ins, and final performance evaluations.

Step Three: Develop

  • Develop a hiring and recruitment timeline, including application and supplemental application requirements
  • Internship description including a section on learning objectives, start and end dates, pay, internship site, and commitment
  • Develop an onboarding plan for interns to familiarize themselves with your organization and meet key professionals
  • Develop a holistic experience that is not just project work but also encompasses training opportunities, professional development, leadership meetings, and meetings with key leaders at your organization.

Step Five: Submit an Internship Interest Form

Step Six: Promote your internship on Handshake

  • Once approved, you will be able to promote your opportunities via Handshake.