Student Internship Toolkit
Table of Contents
- Bucks Internships
- Internship Philosophy
- Definition of Internships
- Responsibilities of Interns
- Internship Requirements
- Video: How to Ace an Internship
- Finding an Internship
- Preparing for an Internship
- Video: Interviewing: First Impressions - Tips for a Successful Internship Experience
- Employers Hire Organized Students: Essential Tips to Consider
- How to Turn an Internship into a Job Offer
- Student Internship Interest Form
- Non-Discrimination Policy
Bucks County Community College recognizes that there are important elements of business and industry which cannot adequately be taught within the confines of the laboratory or classroom at the College. Bucks offers students an Internship Program opportunity through a partnership between the Center for Student Employment and Career Development and the Department of the student’s Program of Study. The goal of this Internship Program is to provide the student with on-the-job experiences supervised by successful, experienced professionals. This experience shall directly support the development of a student’s career path. The employer shall gain a reliable, flexible and enthusiastic potential employee while assisting in the student’s career preparation goals.
This toolkit provides the student with information regarding the Bucks County Community College Internship Program. Goals, procedures, forms, and evaluation criteria are provided for the mutual benefit of students, employers, worksite supervisors, and Deans of the students' program of study.
It is the goal of Bucks Internship Program to assist students with connections to business and industry for work- based learning opportunities. Internships supported by the Internship Program can be part-time (more common) or full-time, paid or unpaid, and are offered by a wide variety of businesses and organizations. The length of an internship can vary anywhere between 5-6 weeks, to a full semester (10 – 16 weeks) and/or summer (10 – 12 weeks), depending on the company On average interns generally work 10-20 hours per week, but this can vary based on company. Students participating in a for-credit opportunity at Bucks must register for the appropriate internship program.
Graduating with experience may allow you to:
- Select a career with confidence
- Create more contacts through networking
- Receive more job offers due to your experience
Definition of Internships
Student work and observation experiences go by a number of different names, including internships, co-ops, practicums, apprenticeships, clinicals and externships. Sometimes it's hard to tell what an experience should be called—definitions can vary among schools and employers. Following is the definition of internships at Bucks County Community College.
An internship is a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what she or he is learning through the experience (The National Society of Experiential Education). This is an on-site quality work experience directly related to career goals and/or field of interest. Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to a student’s major or career goal. An internship is often the "bridge" between your Bucks degree or certificate program and professional life, allowing you to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a professional setting.
Characteristics of Internships
- Evaluative, providing system for feedback and communications
- Supervised, emphasizing learning and professional development
- Can be paid or unpaid, for-credit or not-for-credit
- Available from businesses, government, or non-profit organizations
- Many companies hire their interns upon graduation (according to the National Association of College & Employers, 70% of employers say that they hire their interns for full-time positions after graduation before looking elsewhere)
Bucks offers students additional experiential learning opportunities including, externships, apprenticeships, service learning, practicums, and clinical. If you have questions about the differences please see your Department Dean for direction before applying.
Responsibilities of Interns
The Intern must:
- Satisfy the employer’s job requirements
- Abide by the employer’s rules and regulations
- Seek internship worksite, with assistance from the Department Dean and the Center for Student Employment and Career Development office
- Complete and submit the Student Internship Interest Form and Internship Agreement. Providing a resume to Center for Student Employment and Career Development is strongly recommended.
- Keep track of hours, provide employer with appropriate forms and submit all forms/reports to the Department Dean. Completing a mock interview with the Center for Student Employment and Career Development is strongly recommended.
- Notify, through proper channels, both the College and the company immediately of any illness or emergency which may prevent the performance of assigned duties
- Meet the goals and objectives as outlined in the Internship Training Plan
- Submit all reports and papers required by the Department Dean (this may vary depending on coordinator and number of credits). Grades are awarded by successful completion of Internship
Student Intern Goals are identified in the Master Course outline for both credit and non-credit courses of study.
In order to participate in an Internship experience the student must:
- Be a currently enrolled student at Bucks County Community College
- Meet all GPA requirements outlined by your program’s curriculum or non-credit program
- Receive approval for registration to an internship class from the Department Dean
- Register for an internship class or non-credit program
- Complete the appropriate paperwork (see below). All paperwork must be turned in and approved by the Department Dean before the start of the internship.
- Work the agreed number of hours in the internship.
Credit for Internship Experience
If a student would like to receive credit for an internship, he/she should contact the Department Dean for the department to check course pre-requisites and internship eligibility. Non-credit programs are not eligible for academic credit.
How to Ace an Internship
Finding an Internship
You can never start looking for an Internship early enough. Internships are competitive and have application deadlines. Spend time researching requirements for applying. Ideally you should start searching for an Internship about 6 months before you want the Internship to take place, especially if you are looking for an internship during the summer months. All Internships for credit must be pre-approved by the Dean of your academic department.
Remember, Internships can take place year round. The Internship Program has internships running throughout the year and starting at different times throughout the semester. Some are as short as six weeks while others can run up to two+ years.
The Center for Student Employment and Career Development can help you polish your resume and prepare you for an interview.
Check out these videos:
Preparing for an Internship
Preparing to interview for an internship is very important as it is often the first contact you may have with a business or organization. First impressions are everything! Interviewing is all about demonstrating your professionalism, experience and how you stand out from the crowd.
Consider these best practices:
- Cater your resume and cover letter to the specific company and position desired.
- Avoid trendy language.
- Have contacts ahead of time who can provide you with a letter of recommendation, if requested.
- Always ask your references to serve as a reference for you before you give out their name. Then let them know you gave their name to a specific company which may be calling about you.
- Follow up with a phone call to see where the organization is with the interview process.
- Even if you don’t get selected for an interview, send a thank-you note. You never know when the other candidates selected may not work out and the employer may have to return to the candidate pool.
- For more tips on creating a resume and cover letter, Job Search Handbook 2019.
First impressions say a lot about you. Be prepared to do your best by following some basic interview tips.
After the interview be sure to send the employer a “Thank you Note”
Employers Hire Organized Students: Essential Tips to Consider
How to Turn an Internship into a Job Offer
Before you finish your internship experience there are a few things you will need to do, including:
- Finish any evaluations and paperwork due to supervisor or Department Dean of your program of study.
- Return any company property
- Leave behind your contact information
- Gather business cards from contacts you have made.
- Keep up the momentum until the very last day of your internship.
- Express thanks to those who assisted you during your internship experience. Send a thank you note after the last day.
- Meet with your supervisor to discuss unfinished projects, overall performance, and any opportunities for future positions. Ask for a letter of recommendation. Complete all paperwork