writing an internship job description
Draft an internship/job description that clearly explains the intern’s duties. A job description will structure the experience for the intern and the employer and can be used to measure goals and accomplishments.
A large part of producing effective position descriptions involves the development of challenging work assignments that complement students’ academic programs. One way to do this is to design a preliminary list of work activities that will fit the needs of your department/organization. Later, when the interns you select join your team, you will have a chance to review the work activities and modify them according to the interns’ knowledge and personal work/learning goals.
In creating a job position, consider the following:
- The purpose of the internship—Document the particular contributions of the internship to the organization’s overall mission.
- The duties and essential activities/job functions that will be required of the intern.
- The name of the department/division where the internship will be performed.
- The expectations regarding outcomes of tasks/projects performed and completed.
- The physical and mental requirements of the internship—Also include the required major, minimum GPA (if applicable), class standing (freshman-senior), and any technical or job specific skills the intern would need to perform the internship successfully.
- The length of the internship and the required number of hours per week.
- The supervisor responsible for mentoring and evaluating the interns’ progress.
- Any training that will be provided.
- The application and selection processes and who will be responsible for making the final hiring decision.
As part of the educational process, internship work activities should focus on projects specifically related to the academic major and the degree the interns expect o receive. Students who perform mental tasks will become quickly demoralized and will learn nothing about applying their expertise to a business environment. While many students work (or have worked) at part-time jobs to finance their education, an internship does not fall into the category of a job. It is actually part of their academic program and should offer every opportunity to link classroom learning to workplace experience.
Undergraduate students expect and appreciate clear direction regarding what is expected of them and frequent feedback concerning what and how they have done. (In their academic environment, clear direction and periodic feedback is the way of life). It is also most important that the interns perceive their work is making a useful contribution to the sponsoring organization.
A particular concern at the undergraduate level is that the work assignments provide the interns with a variety of tasks, while accommodating the needs of the organization. Of course, some of the interns’ responsibilities will involve repetition, because all work involves some repeated activity.
Fill out job description form to best of your ability. The ERC staff will help you if you need it. Please email to Kay Schwob at firstname.lastname@example.org.