The Center for Career and Professional Development designed this program to provide SFA students with experiential education opportunities in the form of internships through collaboration with the campus community and area employers. The Lumberjack Internship Program is an opportunity for you to offer resources and mentorship to help prepare our students for career experience outside the classroom.
Regardless of whether you're an on-campus or off-campus employer with a need for an intern, here's how to get that position filled:
- Determine your goals.
- Develop a plan.
- Promote your internship.
- More details on how to obtain internship candidates, below.
- Interview candidates and hire an intern.
- Orient your intern.
- Supervise and evaluate your intern.
- Keep the focus on the future.
- Reflect on the internship experience and how you can improve it.
- Your intern is now a walking billboard for your organization!
- Keep recruiting at SFA!
Answers to your important questions
How does my organization benefit from hiring an intern?
- Gain year round source of highly motivated pre-professionals
- Find new perspectives to old problems by involving student interns
- Meet peak or seasonal needs without long-term commitment
- Freedom for professional staff to pursue more creative projects
- Generates pipeline of qualified candidates to meet future recruiting needs
- Increase visibility and branding of your organization on SFA campus
- Enhancement of staff supervisory skills
- Fulfill a civic and professional responsibility
- Help to keep college-educated talent in our region
How do I promote my internship to SFA students?
Advertise your internship position with the CCPD through our Handshake website. Handshake is SFA's online career management platform for students to seek an internship, part-time off-campus position, or full-time employment. To utilize Handshake, you will need to either create an account or log in.
Other marketing suggestions:
When should I begin looking for an intern?
Promote your internship early as students seeking an internship for course credit will need ample time to get their internship opportunity approved by the chair of their academic department. We suggest advertising your internship three to four months before you need your intern to begin.
Is there a difference between an internship and a summer job?
Yes, for the most part. An internship is a structured program with specific learning objectives. The internship is set in a learning environment for academic credit and reserved for students. In contrast, a summer job is primarily pursued to earn money. It may or may not be related to a student's career interests; a "summer job" for one student could very well be an "internship" for another.
What is expected of me as a Site Supervisor if I hire an SFA intern?
First and foremost, appreciate that the student you will select for the internship has learning objectives related to their field of study. Work with your intern to incorporate their learning goals into the internship. In addition, we ask that the Site Supervisor maintain regular contact with the intern's Faculty Advisor as well as provide a safe, supervised and structured worksite that provides the intern with real job skills, training and productive feedback.
What should I do if there's a problem with my intern or the program?
We strongly recommend addressing performance issues with the student first! Often, a frank conversation about how the intern can improve their performance can help. Remember, this is a learning opportunity for this student.
However, should you anticipate a dilemma or if any problems arise:
- If the intern is completing the internship for course credit, contact your intern's faculty advisor with whom you've been working.
- If the student is not doing the internship for credit, we suggest handling issues as you would for other employees in your organization.
- On-campus internships: contact Human Resources.
- Off-campus internships: feel free to reach out to the CCPD.
Can interns be classified as independent contractors or volunteers?
Probably not. The independent contractor designation doesn't fit in with the operation of most internship programs. In the typical internship program, the employer exercises control over the result to be accomplished and means and manner by which the result is achieved. Because of this (although there are some other considerations), the courts are allowed to consider the intern an employee, not an independent contractor.
Classifying interns as volunteers is equally problematic. Department of Labor regulations define a volunteer as an individual who provides services to a public agency for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons without promise or expectation of compensation for services rendered. Most internships don't fit with that definition.
Questions about international students serving an internship
- Must an international student serving an unpaid internship claim the internship time period as part of his or her practical training time?
- Can the student serve the internship without authorization from the INS?
The following information has been provided with permission by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. This is provided as a courtesy and for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice from the university or as creating any attorney-client relationship with SFA. SFA makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy of any of the following. All individuals are encouraged to consult with their own legal counsel for specific legal advice for their individual situation.
Immigration law states that if a foreign student is found to be "out of status," which could include working in practical training without the appropriate authorization, the student may be barred from re-entry into the United States for a period of five years. Thus, you should seek legal counsel from an attorney before agreeing to permit an international student to participate in an unpaid internship without receiving appropriate INS work authorization approval.