What is an Internship?

The National Association of Colleges and Employers defines an internship as "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. 

What is the value of an Internship?

  • Try out a career on a short term basis
  • Develop marketable skills
  • Gain hands-on experience
  • Develop relationships with professional contacts for future networking
  • Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Be more employable since employers want to hire students who have had internship experience

Legal & Ethical Issues Regarding Internships

It can be challenging to understand whether there are any ethical or legal issues surrounding an internship. Consider using the resources below to better educate yourself on your rights and develop a stronger understanding of the complexity surrounding internships.

U.S. Department of Labor Criteria for UNPAID Internships 
NACE Position Statement on UNPAID Internships
Is an UNPAID internship legal? Tips & Guidelines for Assessing an Internship (pdf)