Internships and co-ops are carefully monitored work experiences in a student's prospective field. An internship is typically a single semester work experience (paid or unpaid) that offers students an opportunity to engage in further career exploration, supplementing academic and classroom learning. Typically, students must be in a position at least 80% related to their area of study and must work at least 10 hours per week. A co-op is similar in that it provides hands-on experience in the student’s major field, but co-ops are paid positions lasting at least 2 semesters.
Internships and co-ops are managed through our Handshake platform.
Creating an Internship Position at Your Organization
So, you’d like to hire an intern or co-op student? Wonderful! Students need opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge they are gaining in the classroom within a “real world” setting. Use the guiding information below to ensure you are ready to advertise and offer your position.
If you don’t currently have an internship or co-op program in place, no problem! Contact a member of our Employer Relations Teams at 470-578-2724, to get started and meet the specific needs of your company.
Guiding Information to Hire an Intern or Co-op Student
- Register as an employer in Handshake (free) and, after approval, post your internship. There are currently over 17,000 students using Handshake.
- Create a brief description of your organization
- Identify the qualifications you seek in an intern – year in school, major(s), skills, and qualities. Helpful tip: keep your requirements for the position modest to attract more diverse applicants. Instead, outline “preferred” or “desired” qualifications.
- Create an outline of what your ideal intern/co-op student would be responsible for, would learn, or would be tasked with doing on a day-to-day basis. You may want to use O*NET Online to develop basic duties for your internship/co-op description. You can key in a job title or key word in the "search" section (at the top right of the page) to view common tasks and work activities associated with various job titles. View O*NET training videos and other resources for additional guidance on using the site.
- Determine if you want/need a student to seek academic credit for the internship. Academic department approval and requirements may apply (see Individual Program Requirements by Major below). Internships should be planned to coincide with an academic semester (August – December, January – April, or May – July).
- Select the hours per week and semester you want the student to work. For part-time positions, consider 10-15 hours per week.
- Decide if you will pay the intern and how much. Helpful tip: many of our students must work while attending college. To attract quality applicants, paying the intern is recommended, and some academic programs require their students to be paid. If you are unable to offer a wage, please see the “Fact Sheet on Unpaid Internships” to determine your eligibility. For paid internships, minimum wage may be offered (currently $7.25/hour), but $10-$15 per hour is recommended, depending upon the industry. As a reminder, all co-op positions must be paid.
- Identify a supervisor who will be able to provide guidance and feedback to the intern or co-op student.