Best Practices for CFS Internships

We have compiled these suggestions from students and employers to help make the internship experience valuable to both you and your interns.

Students are looking for internships where they:

  1. Gain experience and contribute to your goals
  2. Learn about the workplace culture the field or industry so they can evaluate whether this is the career path they will pursue after graduation
  3. Develop and refine transferable workplace skills in:
    • research, analysis
    • presenting information
    • problem solving
    • evaluating and summarizing complex data
    • planning, implementing ideas
    • thinking critical or making judgments
    • decision making
  4. Meet people throughout the organization during their internship including team members, management, and clients
  5. Have interesting and varying work projects that contribute to your organization and its clients
  6. Feel engaged and involved in the work and mission of the organization
  7. Receive feedback on their work and learn to improve their professionalism

Employers recommend the following strategies to get the most from CFS Interns:

  1. Welcome the intern to the organization by introducing them to the team and key players.
  2. Outline the specific goals and expectations that you have for the student.
  3. Tell the intern the unwritten rules of your organization – how people dress, what people do for lunch (go out, eat at desk), how to meet people or be involved in the social aspects after work, how and to whom to communicate when they need time off.
  4. Show them how to behave as a professional by modeling it for them.
  5. Meet regularly, at least weekly, with interns to help them understand what they are doing well and what areas they need to improve.
  6. Include the intern in meetings with associates or clients as you are able.
  7. Ask the intern to present to you and the team an idea to improve the internship or an idea for a new service.
  8. Review the student’s resume and give them feedback so that they accurately reflect the accomplishments of their experience with you.
  9. Continue a professional coaching or mentoring relationship with the intern using LinkedIn and or meet semi-annually with the student.

Additionally, we work with the National Association of Colleges and Employers to understand the best practices for internships.  NACE which is comprised of thousands of employers and colleges developed a position statement on U.S. Internships and we invite you to learn more at the NACE web site.