How to Get Started
“Interns are an energy infusing, capacity building resource for the Western Dairyland Women’s Business Center. They allow us to extend the reach of our organization’s mission by providing relevant and thoughtful opportunities for people in our community to advance economically and socially.”
Designing an internship/co-op position requires research and planning to provide a well-rounded and positive learning experience for the student. Many internship positions are developed by identifying the following criteria:
It is important to have specific projects and goals that students can accomplish. The goals, deadlines, and outcomes for a project-focused experience should be identified so everyone clearly understand roles and responsibilities.
Once the internship/co-op duties have been identified, the time required to fulfill the duties of the internship/co-op should be determined. This includes the number of months and hours per week the student will work.
Delegate a direct supervisor and the support of other staff members who may be working with and/or mentoring the intern during their experience.
Before interviewing and hiring a student, create a job description that highlights:
- Objectives for the internship, projects, responsibilities and training
- The organization
- Required knowledge, skills, and experience
- The hiring and training procedures
INTERNSHIP and CO-OP BEST PRACTICES:
- Orientation: A standardized orientation ensures everyone has the same expectations and role definitions. It is best if orientation involves the student, supervisor(s), and/or mentors.
- Training: Invite students to be involved in company trainings or give them access to in-house training on both work-related skills and professional development.
- Real Work Assignments: Students should be taking on work that relates to their career goal and allows them to be challenged. The meaningful work assigned should be valuable to the organization.
- Presentation/Expo: Allow interns the opportunity to demonstrate achievements through an end of the term presentation or expo. This is also a chance for all employees to learn about the universities.
- Exit Interviews: Collect feedback from the student’s experience, asses the intern/co-op program, and gauge the student’s interest in returning to the organization.
- Evaluation: Provide feedback to the student on their work and contribution to the organization. Feedback allows for reflection on strengths and an opportunity to understand areas for improvement.
POSTING A JOB AT UW-EAU CLAIRE AND UW-RIVER FALLS:
Register with Handshake, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls’ online internship and job posting site. app.joinhandshake.com/register
POSTING A JOB AT UW-STOUT:
Register with CareerLink, UW-Stout’s online co-op, internship and job posting site. uwstout.edu/academics/career-services/careerlink uwinternshipnetwork.com