You want an intern? What a great idea! (FAQs, Part 1.0)

You have a question? I'm listening...

A common question I get from employers and individuals is some version of “I think I want an intern, what should I do?”

My initial response is…great question! This question is so good that it’s earned a spot as the first Favorite Asked Question (FAQ), of which you’ll see many more over the coming months!

And, then, my second response is something like this…Internships can be a fabulous experience for both student and employer. As a former intern, I owe a big thank-you-in-advance to all future intern supervisors, since the work you will do for these promising professionals will likely be paramount for their careers.

That said, there are a couple of steps necessary to go from point A (“I want an intern! I mean…Yes, I am ready to shape and mentor a young professional”) to point B (“Here is your desk, respected and honored intern”). Don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like more details about any of them….

  1. Please peruse the Career Center’s Internship Central. We’ve included information about Department of Labor policies, points of contact on campus, and best practices.  It will feel like a lot of information (especially the DOL part) but please trust me that it’s crucial for organizations to understand what’s required.
  2. Prepare! Please consider your goals for the position, and for the experience the student will gain.  It is also recommended to identify the employee who will supervise and guide the student through their internship. Create both a clear job description that outlines the intern’s duties, and an internal plan for how you’ll ensure that both intern and supervisor goals are met. Also, don’t forget to plan to share opportunities for growth throughout his/her stay, and to evaluate them at the end of their internship.
  3. Once you are ready to post the opportunity, you can visit Zotlink* to share it with a wide audience of UCI students and alumni.

So, to summarize, the steps we’ve covered are: Peruse (Internship Central), Prepare, and post.  Sounds easy, right? It certainly can be, but if any steps need further explanation or detail, let me know!


*Zotlink is UCI’s online job posting board, which comes in the form of a snazzy website that is free for employers to use (and free for students to use to apply)

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