Internship Guide for Employers

At Canisius College, the Griff Center for Academic Engagement supports internships to help provide our students with professional learning experiences outside of the classroom.  As defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an internship is 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.  See more at NACE.

The Griff Center has developed guidelines for internships; all internships must have the following components:

  1. Guidance and Support – All Interns must have a direct supervisor, who is available to guide and mentor them. 
  2. Project Based Structure - An internship has clearly defined tasks, goals and outcomes. Interns are provided with opportunities to touch base with supervisors to determine appropriate progression and development. Internships should be primarily project based and not clerical. 
  3. Professional Development and Learning – Internships are learning experiences and must have learning goals and objectives. Interns should be provided with opportunities for professional development and career exploration.
  4. Productive Feedback and Evaluation – Interns should be provided with clear expectations and regular feedback. Internships are a coaching experience designed to provide opportunities for professional growth.

Internships can be paid or unpaid. If an internship is unpaid a student must receive academic credit and there are specific federal guidelines that must be followed.

Unpaid Internships/Internships for College Credit
Students have the option of completing an unpaid internship for college credit. Internships receiving academic credit are managed by the academic departments. 
Unpaid internships must comply with the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act on Internship Programs. Unpaid internships must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Paid Internships
Paid internships are an agreement between the intern and employer for a specified period of time; they are not a form of continuous employment. Paid internships should have the following four components:

  1. Guidance and Support 
  2. Project Based Structure 
  3. Professional Development and Learning
  4. Productive Feedback and Evaluation 

Compensation and length of paid internships vary. In general, most paid internships run 8-12 weeks and offer compensation in the range of $9.00-15.00 per hour. 

Suggested Internship Recruiting Calendar

Recruiting period: July 1 – September 1
Interns start early September

Recruiting period: October 1 – December 1
Interns start mid-January

Recruiting period: February 1 – June 1
Interns start late May/early June

Ready to post an internship? Log in to your Handshake account here or review this document to create an employer profile on Handshake.
Questions? Call 716.888.2170 to speak with a member of our team, or email and we will promptly follow up with you.