Utah Tech University

Employer Resources

Building an Internship Program

The case for Starting an Internship Program

An internship program will be able to provide many great benefits to both your organization and the University. Below are some of the results of a solid consistent internship program:

  • Recruiting benefits– The ability to “test drive” the talent and find that next star employee. In this tight labor market, each department will be able to find great potential future hires. NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) found that 83.6% of interns accepted an offer from their internship site. In addition, these students are developed in your organization’s culture and values.
  • Community footprint– Hiring interns enhances the local workforce and prepares these students to become community leaders of the future. These students will be able to learn what makes Southern Utah great and will feel a desire to stay in the local economy
  • Helps close skills gap– Students are able to learn both technical knowledge and professionalism in a real-world scenario. This hard and soft skill knowledge prepares them to be better employees in the future. They can’t learn this from a textbook.
  • Benefits your current employees– Employees are able to act as mentors and supervisors, which will provide leadership training. This is often less intimidating than mentoring or supervising established employees. New managers will be able to leadership skills that benefit them and the organization for future opportunities. Interns are excited for feedback and make this an easy process.
  • Increase productivity- NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) reports that 92% of interns’ work focused on higher-level workloads, overrunning for coffee.  This frees up current employees to tackle high expertise challenges and minimized menial tasks. Interns love to learn the processes and our basic work is their brand-new concept. In addition, they also bring knowledge of new technologies that can save the bank and department time and money.
  • New excitement– Interns’ excitement and energy are infectious. Even the most menial task to an employee can seem like the greatest opportunity for a motivated intern. These interns want to learn and prove their value to receive future opportunities. This rubs off on employees and increases excitement in the organization

Paid Vs Unpaid

The Department of Labor regulates all paid vs. unpaid internship considerations.

Public sector and non-profit organizations are “generally” exempt from required paid internships. This being said paid internships bring in more, qualified applicants. At Dixie State 86% of students are working and going to school. The need to balance work, school, and an unpaid internship becomes restrictive.


When a student is hired for a paid internship, they are considered an employee and are regulated by all FLSA requirements (minimum wage and overtime pay)


The Department of Labor has laid out criteria for internships in what is titled Fact Sheet #71, also known as the primary beneficiary test. This test provides 7 factors to consider when hosting an unpaid intern. While public sector and Non-profit are “generally” exempt, its good practice to understand these factors and make sure documentation is in order to show unpaid status. The 7 factors are:

  1. The extent to which 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.
  2. The extent to which 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.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship


Best practices for unpaid internships are to make an offer in writing that states that the internship is unpaid and there isn’t a promise of employment upon completion.


Fall Semester

Internship Posted: May- Middle of August

Interview and Selection: 2nd to 3rd week of August

Start: End of August

Spring Semester

Internship Posted: October to 2nd week of December

Interview and Selection: December to 2nd week of January

Start of Internship:  2nd or 3rd week of January

Summer Semester

Internship Posted: February to End of April

Interview and Selection: End of April

Start: May-June

Types of Internships


Accounting, Human Resources, Youth Programming, Engineering, Counseling, Finance, etc.

  • Can’t Displace an employee, must have a mentor
  • Seeks to provide the student with technical knowledge


Volunteer Coordinator, Marketing, Social Media, Event Planning, and Recruiting.

  • Can’t displace an employee and must have a mentor
  • Seeks to help a student learn the world of networking and outside relationships


Data analytics, information gathering, and grant writing

  • Can’t displace an employee and must have a mentor
  • Seeks to help a student apply research and data analytics skills


Management Training and Leadership Development

  • Should take place with the leaders of your organization
  • Seeks to provide students leadership skills and direct leadership experience


Internship Champion

An employee or two that can be advocates for internships, run internship meetings, onboard, train, answer questions and lead the training of new mentors and supervisors. It is recommended that interns have time to get together and debrief. This can also be a great time to hold a meeting with a leader to develop these students into great future employees.

Project Based

The structure of an internship can make or break the experience for the organization and the student. Careful consideration should be taken to understand roles and responsibilities with a eye on project-based experiences. Projects allow a student to have ownership of their internship and helps avoid the dreaded question every morning of, “What is my intern going to do today?” Projects should focus on real world experience and seek to provide measurable outcomes.


Students need help connecting the dots between classroom knowledge and real-world solutions. The on-site mentor helps them connect these dots. If there are multiple interns, its recommended that they are brought together at least once a month to debrief together and gain more training (i.e. Lunch with a leader, present findings, etc.)

Meets All Academic Requirements

Learning objectives, evaluations and hour logs, provide the student with the needed documentation to show success.
Hours- each major has specific semester hour requirements. Most programs fit between 90-150 hours during the 16 weeks semester. Sports and Rec management seniors require 400 hour

Important Steps during the Semester: 

  • Sign off on learning objectives
  • Allow for 90-400 hours of work during 16 week semester
  • Mid-term evaluation
  • End of Semester reports
  • Final grading meeting

Recruiting Interns


How to Post an Internship

How to Post

Employer Quickstart Guide


Engaging With Talent Early

Engaging with Talent

User Settings

User Settings

Registering For a hiring Event

Hiring Fair

Applicant Management

Applicant Management

Internship Forms