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Internship Programs

The John P. Fahey Career Center is pleased to provide the following resources and guides to employers who are interested in developing, implementing, or enhancing an internship program.

What is an Internship?

An internship is a hands-on work experience where students apply the principles they've learned in the classroom to a real-world setting. An internship should be designed to meet both the needs of the organization and learning goals of the student. It should have pre-set goals outlined by the employer and agreed upon between the employer and student to ensure all expectations are met.

Internship Basics:

  • Internships should balance the work needs of the organization and the learning goals of the intern
  • Internships promote academic, career, and/or personal development
  • Internships should be paid and can be full-time or part-time
  • Internships are distinguished from a short-term job or volunteer experience in that there is an intentional learning agenda structured into the experience
  • The duration may be anywhere from 8-12 weeks to two years, but typically last the course of a semester

Developing an Internship

Paid or Unpaid? Creighton University strongly recommends that all employers pay their interns, if possible. Employers will receive a higher level of commitment from the intern and the student will receive a more valuable real-world experience. If you do select to host unpaid interns, it is important to be providing a substantial educational experience and be aware of legal standards. Under the Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act, six criteria have been instituted to define an unpaid intern. For more information, please review the U.S. Department of Labor guidelines.

Publicizing an Internship

For no cost, you can post your internship opportunity on Handshake, Creighton University's online career management system for students and employers. You may also want to attend a Career Fair to recruit interns.

Academic Credit for Internships

Some academic departments encourage or require students to receive academic credit for an internship while others will not award credit for an internship. The decision is up to the student and a faculty member from their respective academic department, not the employer. Employers can not force a student to complete an internship for academic credit only. If the student receives academic credit, they pay related tuition and fees and complete academic work in addition to the work done for the employer. Students who work an internship for-credit are also eligible to be paid during the internship (which is recommended). 

Benefits of Internships for Employers:

  • Pipeline of quality candidates to fill entry-level needs
  • Source of fresh and diverse talent for new insight and ideas
  • Opportunity to select, train and influence the best and brightest
  • Gain early exposure to future corporate leaders
  • Intern recruiting aligned with college recruiting efforts
  • Interns act as advocates in recruiting other students (brand ambassadors)
  • Project help; reduce workload (part-time/short-term hiring)
  • Improve efficiency, morale and motivation
  • Promotes community involvement; great public relations
  • Maintain important connections with colleges
  • Training and development opportunity for managers and mentors
  • Opportunity to evaluate and screen students prior to making a full-time offer
  • Rapid assimilation into full-time positions (shorter learning curve)
  • Higher retention rate for former interns

Benefits of Internships for Students:

  • Meaningful work experience related to field of study and major
  • Exposure to real-world scenarios in the workplace
  • Experience complements theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom
  • Receive academic credit
  • Competitive compensation and benefits package
  • Professional, social and volunteer activities for networking
  • Commitment and assignment management
  • Helps students build resume
  • Recruiting, assessment and selection experience
  • Orientation and assimilation
  • Career development and performance management
  • Mentoring and coaching; training and development
  • Senior conversion into full-time position