Internship FAQ for Employers

What is an internship?
An internship is an educational experience in which a student works in a position related to his or her career interests and, through observation and reflection, links that work experience to classroom learning. The purpose of an internship is to provide a student with an opportunity to

  • Explore a career field and gain relevant work experience
  • Apply classroom learning to real world situations
  • Build critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and professional skills
  • Network for future job opportunities

Is my organization eligible to be an internship host site?
All Massasoit internships must be approved by Massasoit’s internship coordinator or a Massasoit faculty advisor. A Massasoit internship host site must be a corporation, a limited liability partnership (L.L.P.), a not-for-profit [501(c)(3)] organization, a government agency or an educational institution.

What are my responsibilities as an internship host?
An internship host site is responsible to provide the following:

  • Professional experience that relates to the student's career interests
  • A minimum of 64 hours of work during the course of a semester for a non-credit bearing internship, 135 hours of work for a 3 credit internship.
  • A safe, professional environment with a dedicated work space
  • Continuous supervision by an on-site professional

Organizations who recruit Massasoit student interns must agree that no qualified student shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, or national origin. They further agree to provide the intern a working environment free from sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination.

Massasoit’s Internship Policy is available here.

Am I required to pay an intern?
Paid internships are more attractive to students than are unpaid internships. Most Massasoit students work to pay for college while supporting themselves and sometimes family. A student intern will provide a service to your organization, and we encourage you to provide financial compensation for his or her work.

Unpaid internships are acceptable to some students who need real-world experience, and we encourage you to list your opportunity with the Center for Experiential Learning. Unpaid internships must meet the following criteria established by the U.S. Department of Labor:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Note: The FLSA makes a special exemption for individuals who volunteer for a state or local government agency and for individuals who volunteer for humanitarian, religious, charitable, civic purposes to non-profit organizations. For more information, visit: Department of Labor.

How many hours will an intern work at my organization?
A student intern participating in a Massasoit recognized non-credit internship is required to complete a minimum of 64 hours of work at the internship site during the course of the semester. Over a 15-week semester, that averages to approximately 5 hours per week. A student intern participating in a CEL 3 credit internship is required to complete 135 hours of work at the internship site during the course of the semester. Over a 15-week semester, that averages to 9 hours per week. You may establish a different work schedule for a total of 135 hours during the semester if that is manageable for your organization and your student intern.

How is an internship different from a part time job?
An internship is an educational experience and considered training, not work. An intern’s duties are to be linked to stated and agreed-upon learning goals and the intern is to work under the guidance of a professional already working in the field. Non-paid experiences must meet the following criteria established by the U.S. Department of Labor:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

What are the criteria for an experience to qualify as an internship?
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), for an experience to qualify as an internship, all of the following criteria must be met:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. 
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor. 
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Is my organization expected to hire an intern at the end of the semester?
You assume no commitment to hire a student intern at any point.

Will Massasoit provide assistance during the internship?
Massasoit’s internship coordinator, Tuuli McElroy, 508-588-9100, ext. 1020 is available to provide support as needed.

How will my organization find an intern?
Email our internship coordinator, Tuuli McElroy, or call 508-588-9100, ext.1020. You may submit internship opportunities here.

When should my organization recruit an intern?
Internships should align with the academic calendar, which runs from September to December, from January to May, and during the summer months. Recruitment should begin no later than one month before the start of the semester in which you plan to host an intern.

Where can I get more information?
Email our internship coordinator, Tuuli McElroy or call 508-588-9100, ext. 1020.

The Center for Experiential Learning at Massasoit makes every effort to research employers and internship opportunities posted in our database and to prepare our students for the internship search and interview process. The responsibility of background screening of prospective interns and employers rests with the respective companies and students, as does the decision to extend or accept internship offers. The Center for Experiential Learning shall not accept responsibility or liability for the future actions of either the employer or the intern. The Center for Experiential Learning encourages all parties involved to utilize discretion and sound judgment prior to entering into an internship agreement.

The College makes no guarantee that a qualified applicant will apply for any posting.