Creating & Posting Internship Opportunities
An internship is a short-term, supervised, career-related learning experience in a professional environment. The work as student performs as an intern is highly educational and intended to reinforce their academic training.
Internships may be paid or unpaid depending upon the employer (see Guidelines for Unpaid Internships with FOR-PROFIT Employers). In either case, the student experience should be equivalent to vocational training, and if desired by the student, would be approved for academic credit through a faculty member from the department associated with the student’s major area of study (see Earning Academic Credit - Student Requirements).
Posting an Internship*
Advising & Career Services uses the Experience eRecruiting Network to coordinate the posting of internships. You may post positions directly into the Advising & Career Services' jobs database or email a completed posting form to ACS.
To post a(n)...
If you need assistance posting your internship please call ACS at 503-725-4005.
ACS will post your internships on our web-based database. We can also help you target relevant academic departments and students grouped by major.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your internship opportunity prior to posting: Contact Jeanne Ellis, Internship Adviser, email@example.com, 503-725-4005.
How to Implement a Successful Internship Program
Designing the Internship
- Identify need: Projects, uncompleted work, seasonal events, etc.
- Create a highly educational and vocational student opportunity: Specify skills and previous academic work required.
- Appoint an on-site mentor, supervisor, or manager to oversee the intern
- Consider Compensation: Average wage is $8.95-15.00 per hour, although this varies. NOTE: There are legal limitations on unpaid internships with for-profit employers. Please see Guidelines for Unpaid Internships.
- Time Required Per Week: 10-15 hours is typical during school year, up to full-time in summer.
- Determine Duration of Internship: one term (typical for unpaid internships), 6 months, summer, full year.
Compensation for time spent in an internship depends upon the employer and/or the project. Some government and non-profit-related organizations offer unpaid internships, while most for-profit internships are paid, although there are exceptions. Typical wages range from $8.95 - $15/hr., with the exception of engineering internship opportunities which average $17-$22/hr.
Unpaid internships with for-profit companies are subject to Federal Labor Laws which are meant to distinguish an intern from a volunteer or an employee, and to also emphasize to the employer the necessary educational and legal aspects of an internship.
In addition to observing state and federal mandated labor laws, Advising & Career Services uses the following guidelines to ensure that all unpaid internships are meaningful, educational opportunities for our students, and that any unpaid internships with for-profit companies are within the legal confines as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act. These guidelines are derived from the National Association of Colleges & Employers criteria for unpaid internships as well as the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries standards for unpaid training.
- The Internship is highly educational and will primarily benefit the Intern
- Learning objectives are established with the intern before beginning the internship and are revisited regularly to ensure ongoing objectives are being met
- The Intern is supervised throughout the internship and is not the on-site expert for any project or task
- The Intern should not displace a paid employee
- The Employer derives no immediate financial advantage from the Intern (i.e.; no selling)
- No more the 30% of the Intern's time should be spent on clerical or repetetive tasks
- The internship is a substantial learning experience, such that a faculty member would approve the internship as worthy of academic credit
- NOTE to FOR-PROFIT Employers: PSU recommends that unpaid/non-credit internships are limited to only one academic term or 3 months. This will ensure compliance with the Federal Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act.
Duration of Internships and number of hours per week:
Internships are usually one term in duration, but occasionally longer depending upon the employer or project. The length of an internship is flexible, but should be agreed upon by both the student and the employer early in the process. Most internships are designed to follow the academic calendar and will involve working on a project which lasts throughout a term, others may be designed to span the summer months when many students are not enrolled in classes. An optimal work week is 10-15 hours, but some internships during summer months may be full-time.
Earning credit for most internships is optional, but requires the student to get approval and sponsorship from a faculty member who teaches in a department closely related to the internship experience. The process is primarily student and faculty driven, and uses our Credit by Arrangement process. The faculty sponsor will review the position description and determine its value as a credit-worthy experience.
In addition to the duties as outlined in the internship description, faculty may also require students to perform duties such as filing weekly reports, writing a reflection paper, or giving a presentation at the completion of their experience. Faculty may or may not also ask for a final student evaluation from the employer.
On the Job Mentoring and Supervision
Working closely with a supervisor or mentor at a job site is what helps make an internship valuable for a student. It provides regular opportunities to focus on learning objectives, and develop new job-related skills. It will also likely result in an experience that benefits both the student and the employer.
Interns can benefit an Employer by offering fresh perspectives, current academic training, creative new ideas, and enthusiasm for their areas of interest.
PSU Academic Majors & Programs
Portland State University takes advantage of its excellent position in the local community by combining academic integrity with experiential learning. Many of our academic programs encourage a high degree of interaction and involvement between students and the community, with local leaders sharing their expertise in the classroom and with student often performing internships and working within these companies and organizations.
Portland State University offers more the 120 academic majors, minors and concentrations. A wide range of programs and majors are found within our Schools and Colleges.
Portland State University is a equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.