What is an Internship?
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships allow students to gain valuable applied experience and make connections with the professional fields they are considering for career paths and allow employers to guide and evaluate the talented students.
Characteristics of an Internship
- Duration of 100 hours or more.
- Generally one-time experience.
- Maybe part-time or full-time.
- Maybe paid.
- Part of an educational program that is carefully monitored and evaluated for academic credit.
- Can be part of an individual learning plan.
- An intentional learning agenda is structured into the experience.
- Learning activities include learning objectives, observation, reflection, evaluation and assessment.
- Establishing a reasonable balance between the interns’ learning goals and the specific work to meet the needs of organizations.
- Promote academic, career and personal development.
Internship Benefits for Employers
- Find future employees
- Assess the talent
- Increase productivity
- Increase employee retention rate
- Enhance perspective
- Take advantage of low-cost labour
- Find free of charge
- Give back to the community
- Support students
Internship benefits for Students
- Gain valuable work experience
- Have an edge in the job market
- Transition into a job
- Decide if this is the right career for you
- Networking opportunities
- Apply classroom knowledge
- Gain confidence
Internship Benefits for University & Community
- Implementation of internship results in the improved placement of students in career position upon graduation.
- Training in technical skills and specialized equipment placement by the business community will allow the institution of higher education to expend its funds to other education areas of need.
- Internships can be a source of financial aid for the less privileged students.
- Internship programs provide opportunities for enhanced relationships with the community.
- Participation in an internship improves student retention as a result of the increased relevance of education.
- Students with practical experience are more likely to share their knowledge with other classmates making the job of faculty easier.
- Once the business community knows the university is producing skilled graduates, corporate support is more likely.