An internship is a course which is a supervised, professional experience, guided by learning outcomes, that builds on and enhances previous coursework, and allows students to make connections in the professional fields they are considering for career paths, and which provides employers with an opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
GRCC internships are capstone experiences and are generally a one-time, one semester, paid work experience. Who benefits from internships? The student intern, the employer, and the community all benefit.
Internships are posted through Student Employment Services. Look for the Internship Posting Form under the “Post a Job or Apply!” tab.
Employer benefits of internships
- Create and strengthen connections to GRCC to ensure that student skill sets are aligned with employer needs.
- Provide a pipeline of talent to an organization.
- Be an inexpensive recruiting tool.
- Allow employers the opportunity to evaluate the work of prospective employees.
- Help to be a source for the recruitment of a diverse work force.
- Give employers an opportunity to train future employees.
- Supply an easily accessible source of highly motivated pre-professionals.
- Bring current technology and ideas from the classroom into the workplace.
- Present a management and supervision experience to mid-level staff.
5 steps to develop an internship program
Step 1: Set goals and policies for your organization’s internship program
Some points to consider:
- What is the main goal of your company’s internship program?
- Who will supervise and mentor the intern?
- How will you compensate the intern?
Interns should be fairly compensated for their contributions to your business. The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which applies to all for-profit and non-profit companies that have at least two employees directly engaged in interstate commerce and annual sales of at least $500,000.00, severely restricts an employer’s ability to use unpaid interns or trainees. It does not limit an employer’s ability to hire paid interns.
Step 2: Write a plan and a job description for the internship opportunity
The internship plan should include goals, timelines and a general description of the project which will become the agreed upon work plan. Some internship experiences are specific to a department or position while others are considered a “floating” internship. The job description will outline the skill sets needed to fill the responsibilities of the position and will outline the general requirements for the ideal candidate.
Step 3: Recruit and hire qualified interns
Give yourself enough lead time for applicants to apply and for you to screen and interview candidates.
Step 4: Manage the internship experience
- Provide an orientation. Interns benefit from an orientation just as anyone new to your organization would.
- Give your intern the resources needed to do the job.
- Monitor the intern’s progress.
- Evaluate the intern’s progress periodically and give feedback.
Step 5: Conduct exit interviews and evaluations
Looking at the goals that were established in the first step how was the internship experience for the intern and for your organization?
You may be eligible for an internship if you:
- Are currently enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College.
- Have completed coursework in the discipline related to the internship.
- Receive approval from your department or instructor, depending on whether the internship is for academic credit.
- Complete and submit all the necessary paperwork to your department prior to the start of the internship.
There are two different ways that students at GRCC participate in internships. One way is to take a class for credit. The other way for students taking courses in a non-credit curriculum is an internship placement that is employer coordinated.
One way is to take a class for credit. This the method used by students in departments where internship courses are available; students in a non-credit curriculum may have this opportunity, too. In this instance, an internship is a course which is a supervised, professional experience, guided by learning outcomes. Internships build on and enhance previous coursework and allow students an opportunity to make connections in the professional fields they are considering for career paths.
Here are the contacts for each department:
|Business||Brent Spitlerfirstname.lastname@example.org||(616) 234-4897|
|IF/FM||Brent Spitleremail@example.com||(616) 234-4897|
|Child Development||Keri Davisfirstname.lastname@example.org||(616) 234-3417|
|Criminal Justice - Corrections||Nikki Banksemail@example.com||(616) 234-4109|
|Criminal Justice - Juvenile Services||Nikki Banksfirstname.lastname@example.org||(616) 234-4109|
|Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement||Gary Ebelsemail@example.com||(616) 234-4282|
|Culinary Arts||Bob Schultzfirstname.lastname@example.org||(616) 234-3706|
|HVAC||Donald Steebyemail@example.com||(616) 234-4837|
|HVAC||Ron Stevensonfirstname.lastname@example.org||(616) 234-3394|
|Journalism - Broadcasting||Dennis Suttonemail@example.com||(616) 234-4604|
|Journalism - Print||Jennifer Ackerman-Woodfirstname.lastname@example.org||(616) 234-4849|
|Technology||Scott Lampeemail@example.com||(616) 234-3652|
|Transportation||Chad Lodensteinfirstname.lastname@example.org||(616) 234-3006|
Employer Coordinated Internships
Students taking courses in a non-credit curriculum also have the opportunity to work with faculty to find an internship placement that is employer coordinated. Although not taken for credit, these internships are also a supervised, professional experience, guided by learning outcomes that give students an opportunity to make professional connections.
5 Steps to Obtain an Internship Experience
Just as you may need to do some searching for a job after you graduate you may need to do some searching for an internship. Job Fairs, Student Employment Services, your own networking, and instructor contacts are all helpful places to start your search.
You will want to complete a professional resume and practice interview skills. Need some advice? Check out the resources available at Student Employment Services. Check out their Interviewing Tips and Resume Workbook.
Students in non-credit courses will want to get faculty approval for an internship prior to interviewing with an employer so that learning outcomes will be mutually agreed upon.
Students in credit courses will want to interview and receive an internship offer and then seek departmental approval to enroll in the course.
Once an employer offers an internship and learning goals are approved by your faculty advisor, remember to sign and submit all necessary forms.
You are ready to go to work. This is an important step in the development of your professional career pathway. Remember to promptly complete and submit any required reports. Evaluation and feedback is an important part of your experience, too!