At Career and Professional Development, we strongly believe that internships provide invaluable opportunities for skill development and career discernment. Over 95% of incoming first-year students each year indicate that they intend to complete at least one internship as part of their LMU educational experience. An internship is a transformative educational experience in which students take on meaningful responsibilities within an organization and contribute to its.
While structures and functions vary between internship positions and between organizations, CPD and LMU promote a commitment from all parties to a student’s growth and development. All internships – paid and unpaid, for-credit and not-for-credit – are expected to promote the following skills and abilities on the part of the student:
- Student will be able to articulate the purpose and definition of an internship as outlined by NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers).
- Student will be able to explain the difference between internships, part-time work and volunteerism.
- Student will be able to articulate at least one benefit of performing an internship.
- Student will be able to collect at least one professional contact through networking.
- Student will be able to recite LMU workplace sexual harassment and discrimination policies.
- Student will be able to apply classroom theory to workplace situations.
- Student will be able to document their internship experience via the online process.
- Student will be able to reflect on and evaluate their internship experience via evaluations.
Department of Labor Criteria
According to the Department of Labor [pdf], the Courts have used the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Courts have identified the following seven factors as part of the test:
- The intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of
compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee — and vice versa.
- The internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
- The internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
- The internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
- The internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
- The intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
- The intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship
- Prepare a resume and cover letter
- Drop into career coaching with a Peer Advisor or Graduate Assistant, or schedule an appointment via Handshake to meet with a Career Coach
- Explore Handshake for internship positions at companies hoping to host LMU interns
- Visit CPD’s list of Internships by Interest Area, and consult a CPD Career Coach on how to apply strategically
- Check out Micro-Internships, short-term paid projects and assignments from employers
Q: Do I need to earn academic credit in order to do an internship?
A: No. Some employers do require that you be enrolled in an internship course in order for the employer to hire you as an intern. However, this is not a legal or LMU requirement.
Q: How do I register for an internship course?
A: All course registrations are done via PROWL during regular course registration periods. If you have missed the deadline to add a course, you must complete a [pdf] to add the course.
Q: What if my academic department does not offer an internship course?
A: Consult with your academic advisor. All students have the option of enrolling in a 0- to 3-credit LIBA course, which are offered each semester. Consult PROWL to find out which courses are being offered and when.
Q: My internship supervisor wants proof that I am enrolled in an internship course. How can I provide this?
A: To provide an internship supervisor with proof of course enrollment, use the Internship Credit Confirmation Form.
Q: Which internship course do I choose?
A: To ensure that you are making the best choices in working toward your academic goals, be sure to consult your academic advisor.
Q: How can I expect to be compensated for my internship?
A: Compensation for internships is at the discretion of the employer, but generally, internships can be unpaid, paid via an hourly wage, or paid via a stipend. Unpaid and stipend-paid internships must meet the Department of Labor guidelines for unpaid internships.
- To register for an internship course and earn credit for your internship, use PROWL
- To provide an internship supervisor with proof of course enrollment (if requested), use the Internship Credit Confirmation Form
- Once you have confirmed your internship placement and received instructions from your course instructor, complete the Request an Experience Form