Hiring an Intern?

Internships are great opportunities for students to gain career-related work experience. ASU Career Services does not have a formal internship program – but rather, we offer resources to connect employers offering internships with students seeking internships. Internships that meet the criteria listed below and are in compliance with our Recruiting Policy can be posted to Sun Devil CareerLink, our online career and internship board.

*What Constitutes an Internship?

An internship is more than a part-time job or volunteer position, but rather a short-term, hands-on, supervised work experience with a professional organization that is designed to increase a student’s knowledge of a professional career field through significant learning objectives. An intern should not be expected to come into the role with all of the knowledge/skills necessary to do the job with little training/supervision.

At minimum, the outlined criteria below must be met to qualify as a professional internship:

  • The experience will be for the benefit of the intern, rather than the employer. Interns must not displace regular employees.
  • The intern will receive quality training by a supervisor/mentor who possesses expertise directly related to the intern’s responsibilities.
  • The experience will provide exposure to multiple aspects of a professional career field, internship organization, or industry.
  • A job description will be provided that includes a detailed explanation of duties and/or projects, required skills or qualifications, and minimum number of hours per week.
  • Clerical or nonprofessional tasks will comprise no more than 20% of the intern’s responsibilities.
  • The intern will be provided with an appropriate work space and resources required to complete assignments.
  • The internship will not involve door-to-door sales or require students to market goods/services/brands to university students on campus.
  • The intern will not be compensated solely on performance or commission.

Internship Credit: If a student is interested in receiving academic credit for an internship with your organization, they must contact their academic department to learn about eligibility and requirements. Internship requirements vary be degree program – you should not guarantee credit for your interns. Please keep in mind that students must also pay to receive internship credit at the same rate as tuition, and, beyond the hours they work for you as an intern, they are also required to complete additional assignments. Because of this, only about 50% of students pursue internship credit.

Unpaid Internships: ASU Career Services reviews all unpaid internships to ensure they are in compliance with U.S. Department of Labor standards.

The U.S. Department of Labor has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid. These criteria are as follows:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the student.
  3. The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
  4. The employer provides the training and derives no immediate benefits from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
  5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
  6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

All six requirements must be satisfied in order for an intern to be deemed a non-employee trainee (exempt from FLSA minimum wage requirements). All unpaid internships are approved at the discretion of ASU Career Services and we reserve the right to deny internships that we believe are not in compliance with the FLSA.

If you are a nonprofit employer or government agency, consider providing compensation to:

  • Attract skilled interns.
  • Increase intern commitment and reward for contributions.
  • Reduce financial burdens that may require a student to work a second job during their internship (or limit internship opportunities to only those students who can afford them).
  • Offset the cost of paying for tuition when a student chooses (or is required) to earn credit for an internship.

Additional ways to compensate interns:

  • Offer a stipend.
  • Provide networking opportunities (through professional association memberships, sponsoring attendance at networking events, opportunities to sit in on meetings, participation in workplace or vendor-provided training, and get to know personnel from other departments to increase organizational knowledge).
  • Cover out-of-pocket transportation, tuition for internship credit, or housing costs.

If you need general information regarding your internship posting or require assistance with developing an internship opportunity, please contact Career Services.

Temporary/Project Work

If you are seeking a student or recent graduate with career-related expertise to complete a project for you with little or no training provided, you are welcome to advertise the opportunity as a part-time position rather than as an internship. Please include in the title or description that this is a temporary project.