Employer Services - Internship Assistance - Starting an Internship Program
The following simple steps can be used as guidance in ensuring a quality internship experience for both you and the students. Before recruiting for a position:
- Create a job description. Students should be assigned pre-professional level work in which they are actively involved rather than merely observing. The nature of the position should be clearly described, including specific responsibilities and the department or division to which the student will be assigned. Examples of special projects should also be included when applicable.
- Identify the qualifications the students must possess. Some employers request that a student have a strong interest in the field, while others require specific coursework or evidence of certain skills or qualities. Related experience is generally not expected, since the objective of an internship is to provide such experience.
- Develop a training plan. While students bring academic preparation to their employers, they will need orientation and training in their specific responsibilities. A good training plan includes a progression of assignments reflecting students' developing competencies. Employers who formulate well-designed training plans can count on an excellent return for these efforts.
- Decide who will supervise, who will mentor. A supervisor should have direct responsibility for training and evaluating the student on the job. A mentor, who may or may not be the student's supervisor, can provide guidance to the "apprentice" in other ways, such as assisting with the student's professional development needs.
- Determine the time commitment. Students are available on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time positions during the fall or spring should ideally be timed to begin in late August or early September, or January as it will most likely require the student to withdraw from classes that semester. Part-time or summer full-time positions may start at any time. You may want to refer to UC Berkeley's academic calendar.
- Establish the salary. Salaries should reflect the nature of the work performed and vary from one field to another. Some organizations also provide health benefits such as vacation leave or group health insurance. Employers located outside the Bay Area often provide transportation and relocation assistance.
According to results of NACE’s 2014 Internship & Co-op Survey, the average hourly wage rate for interns at the bachelor’s degree level is $16.35. Note that California intern wages may be slightly higher than national averages.
If you have additional questions, please contact Employer Relations at (510) 642-0464 or by email.