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Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Career Center

What is an internship?

An internship is any carefully monitored work or service experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he/she is learning throughout the experience, and promotes academic, career and personal development.

  • A typical duration of three to nine months
  • The majority of internships are summer, or semester long
  • A part-time or full-time commitment
  • Paid or Unpaid opportunities
  • Academic credit may be earned

What is the importance of internship programs?

Benefits for employers
  • An internship program is an inexpensive recruiting tool and an opportunity to train future employees. The opportunity to evaluate prospective employees while they are working for the organization can reduce significant costs in finding new talent.
  • Interns bring current technology and ideas from the classroom to the workplace and therefore increase an organization's intellectual capital.
  • An internship program can supply an easily accessible source of highly motivated pre-professionals.
  • Interns provide an opportunity for mid-level staff to manage and freedom for professional staff to pursue more creative projects.
  • The organization has increased visibility on campus.
  • Interns do not require a long-term employer commitment.

The Legality of Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

There are guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) to protect interns and employers regarding the legality of paid vs. unpaid internships. The Johnson Career Center adheres to all regulations to ensure the legal right of its students. All College of Business internships must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that supports the learning objectives/goals (NACE Position Statement: 2011).
Employer Internship Briefcase logo

Internship Briefcase

A guide to building a successful internship program.

Contact Us

Peter M. & Paula Green Johnson Student Success Center

College of Business

1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3275

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-8249

Fax: (307) 766-3074


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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