Start an Internship Program

Training the next generation of hires through internships.

Launching an internship at your organization is an excellent way to recruit bright new minds and bring new professionals into your company while providing crucial, real-world exposure to students interested in your field.

A well-planned internship program helps you identify potential employees, increase productivity, bring fresh and new ideas to your organization and build community relationships. More importantly, you have the chance to convert interns to full-time employees when they graduate. You'll find plenty of qualified Kelley students eager for the chance to show you their skills.

Kelley Indianapolis Career Services is here to help walk you through the process of creating an internship program for your company.

Internship Guidelines

We follow the internship guidelines below, set by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

To ensure that an experience, whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually, is educational and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all 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.

If these criteria are followed, it is the opinion of NACE that the experience can be considered a legitimate internship.

Career services professionals should monitor positions posted through their career centers to see that they follow the NACE definition and criteria articulated in this paper. This is particularly important for unpaid internships, as allowing an unpaid internship to be posted implies approval of the internship. Therefore, career centers should not post any unpaid internships that do not meet the seven criteria set forth above.

While academic credit legitimizes an unpaid experience, in order to be identified as an internship, that experience must fit the criteria. For experiences that employers make available only if academic credit is awarded, the college or university's requirements in combination with the criteria laid out in this paper should be used to determine if the experience is a legitimate internship.

Kelley Indianapolis sets internship policy based on the IU Indianapolis Employer Recruiting Policies and Procedures.