Develop an Internship Program

Thinking about starting an internship program? Wonderful! But before your company jumps into creating one, there are specific components to keep in mind in order to create a good, solid program. It’s important to make sure that you not only have the resources you need to start a program but also the right kind of personnel.

What makes a successful internship program? Consider the following criteria below:

  • Keep It Student centered. Remember that students sign up and are there to learn. Through this arrangement, the work environment is an extension of their classroom experience. 
  • Determine Learning Objectives. Learning objectives and duties of the students and employers must be clearly outlined before the beginning of the internship experience. Generally, a way to do this is through some sort of project that the student can focus on and get some practical experience.
  • Outline Transferrable Skills. There must be transferrable skills and knowledge that could translate well into other work environments.
  • Set a Duration. There must be a defined duration period for the internship and a job description. It’s important to factor where in the academic year you want your internship to take place, especially in consideration to a student’s academic or personal responsibilities.
  • Determine Who Will Supervise. There must be a supervisor who has the background and expertise to provide routine feedback and direction. You want to make sure that you have the right person who can act as a helpful supervisor for your interns.
  • Determine Compensation. Establish work schedule and pay rates or stipend ahead of time. Make sure that your company allocates sufficient funds for the duration of the internship.
  • Plan Your Orientation. Just like with any new employee, think about how you will orient the student to your company policies, expectations, resources, equipment, and facilities. This is especially important if your company works with heavy equipment, chemicals, or any other safety hazards.

If you feel like your company is in a good position to create an internship program, check out the sections below to learn about the internship process at UOG.


Internships can be mutually beneficial to both the students and employers.

Students…Employers…
Gain a set of experiences and skills that better prepare them for the job market.Help develop future talent that could set up a successful transition into the company itself.
Acquire competency skills that make them more attractive candidates to recruiters.Allow opportunities for current employees to develop leadership/mentorship skills.
Build their professional network and connections in the field.Get the chance to project their public presence and branding into the community.
Get the chance to apply their knowledge and skills into a practical setting.Gain access to a recruitment pool of effective and often enthusiastic students.

To understand the internship process from the employer’s side, refer to the image below.

There are two types of internships that employers could offer:

For-Credit Internships: For many companies, internships can be offered in tandem with an internship course (usually senior-level). This provides the opportunity to bridge further alignment between the company and the University while offering students both the practical work experience and course credit. The decision on whether or not to allow an internship experience count for credit is made at the academic department level and thus will require further authorization and documentation.

Zero-Credit Internships: Another option is a zero-credit internship opportunity. This is mainly used in the context where course credit is not tied to the internship experience, such as a summer internship or an extended off-island internship that takes place over a long period of time.

What About Paying the Interns? Internships are assumed to be unpaid. However, we encourage companies to consider offering paid internships where they can, whether through a wage or by providing a learning stipend, which can help draw more candidates to your internship opportunities. Depending on the academic department’s policies, companies may need to complete further paperwork and authorization when offering to provide financial compensation.

When it comes to recruiting for internship programs, the Career Development Office has specific procedures to better track student success. Career Advising Specialists will work closely to set up this system and provide a basic overview to company personnel in charge of managing Handshake account.

  1. Career Advising Specialists will coordinate with the company on the initial set up of Employer Profiles, Company Profiles, and Job Postings.
  2. Career Advising Specialists will also coordinate with a designated company personnel who will oversee the Handshake account.
  3. After brief training process, the specialist will gradually release Handshake responsibility to the company personnel.

Once company personnel is familiar and comfortable with the Handshake platform, Career Advising Specialist will step back into a support role.