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Washington State University
Academic Success and Career Center Cultivating Successful Scholars and Professionals

Employer Guide to Internships

What is an internship?

Generally, internships are designed by the employer to meet the needs of the organization while at the same time providing for the needs of the intern. Interns make a short-term commitment to work for an employer in order to achieve learning goals and gain valuable experience and exposure to their field of interest. The employer in turn, commits to providing the intern with a learning experience, specific work assignments, and training.

Internship programs offer an opportunity for students to expand their education into the world of work. Students are seeking internships that allow them to build professional experience in their field of interest, test tentative career choices, receive mentoring, establish a professional network, and make their academic studies more relevant. Internships usually last a semester (15 weeks) or summer. Internships can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid. They may be part of an educational program and carefully monitored and evaluated for academic credit. Or, they can be part of a learning plan that the intern develops. The important element that distinguishes an internship from a short-term job or community service is the intentional “learning agenda” that the intern brings to the experience and the employer provides.

It is the responsibility of the student to work with their faculty internship coordinator if he/she is enrolled in academic credit during the internship.

Starting an Internship Program


Unpaid Internships

Employer Responsibilities

Internship Liability

On-Campus Interviews


For more information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Academic Success and Career Center at 509-335-6000 or email