Internship FAQs for Employers

Knowledge is Power!


It’s common to have questions about internships and recruitment. Below you will find answers to common questions employers ask.


 

  1.  Can my company offer an unpaid internship?

  2.  How does a student receive credit for obtaining an internship?

  3.  How should I market my internship opportunities?

  4.  When is the best time to post my internship to SpartaJobs?

  5.  Can the Career Center refer or recommend a student for an internship?

  6.  Can the Career Center introduce me to student club leaders?

  7.  I posted my job to SpartaJobs, but I would like to receive more applicants, how do I do that?

  8.  I don’t know how much of a salary to offer my intern, what would the Career Center recommend?

  9.  How are internships different from regular employment?

 

 1. Can my company offer an unpaid internship?

This is a common question. The federal law requires that all unpaid internships in the private for-profit sector meet criteria established by the Department of Labor (DOL). The criteria consist of six factors commonly referred to as “The Six Prong Test.” The internship must meet all six factors to be lawfully considered an unpaid internship. The Six Prong Test can be found at the DOL website. 

 

 2. How does a student receive credit for obtaining an internship?

Each department operates independently. There may be some variation in the process depending on the student’s major. Typically, a student should speak with their department first and learn the expectations and logistics of obtaining credit for an internship. Most departments give the students a packet for the employer to sign that outlines the expectation of the experience.

Professors often ask the employer to evaluate the student at the end of the experience. It’s important to note that the institution provides the credit to the intern, not the employer. The employer provides the training, experience, evaluation, and compensation (when applicable).

 

 3. How should I market my internship opportunities?

Marketing your internship or job opportunity is an active and engaging process. SJSU talent is in high demand and thousands of employers compete for SJSU students. Here are some ideas to consider to gaining greater visibility:

  • Post your job on SpartaJobs
  • Attend a Job Fair
  • Host an Information Session through the Career Center
  • Become a Career Center or Job Fair Sponsor
  • Ask the Career Center about our social media marketing sponsorship package
  • Connect to student groups and organizations on campus
  • Connect with student groups and organizations on Facebook
  • Drop off fliers of your opportunity to the Career Center
  • Join SJSU related Yahoo! and Google groups that consist of students
  • ALWAYS mention that your posting is in SpartaJobs and provide the ID # so students can easily access it
  • Ask the Career Center if they have any personal referrals from our job placement program called WorkAbility
  • Consider publishing an ad in the Spartan Daily and list the SpartaJobs ID #
  • Opt-in to our recruitment and partnership opportunities by logging into your SpartaJobs account, clicking “Account” and selecting all additional services of interest

 

 4. When is the best time to post my internship to SpartaJobs?

This will be determined by when you want your intern to begin working. Many employers recruit in the fall to gain a head-start for summer interns. Recruiting in spring is equally as popular. Give yourself a couple months to market, screen, and recruit. The most active months for internship posting are between February and May.

 

 5. Can the Career Center refer or recommend a student for an internship?

The Career Center does not provide job placement services on a large scale; we are not able to make individual referrals. However, we do have a small job placement program called WorkAbility IV that allows us to recommend candidates from the program for job and internship opportunities.  Ask a Career Center representative to connect you to the WorkAbility IV program.

  

6. Can the Career Center introduce me to student club leaders?

The Career Center has various relationships with student clubs, organizations, fraternities, and sororities. We provide consultation to employers on the best ways to connect with student groups and can offer best practices to help you build your brand on campus.

 

7. I posted my job on SpartaJobs, but I would like to receive more applicants, how do I do that?

First, follow the suggestions from the “How should I market my internship opportunities?” question above.

There are several reasons why students choose to apply for a job or internship. One of the reasons is because the internship has an interesting job description. Develop an attractive job description that outlines the role, company, work environment, skills, duties, and learning outcomes. Silicon Valley is a very competitive environment for both job seekers and employers. Make your job description stand out. Identify your competitive edge and entice the job seeker.

It’s important to note that creating a brand on campus takes time. You may notice that after a few cycles of internship recruitment, your internship postings may receive more applicants. This is because students talk. They share their work experiences with classmates, professors, and staff. Over time, your internship program may gather traction and popularity, resulting in a larger talent pool for your organization.

 

 8. I don’t know how much of a salary to offer my intern, what would the Career Center recommend?

An intern’s wage will vary depending on several factors. Some aspects to take into consideration include experience, level of education, major, work location, responsibilities, and of course your company’s budget. Many companies offer interns approximately 75% of the wage they would offer a permanent employee in a similar role. To receive the most recent salary data, log-in to your SpartaJobs account, click the “Account” tab and select “Economic/salary/workforce trends/updates & reports.” You will receive related information as it becomes available. If you are interested in recent graduate salaries, you can view our employment and salary reports here.

 

 9. How are internships different from regular employment?

Internship experiences differ from regular employment primarily in the emphasis on learning and professional development. Regular employment is a paid work experience that may be unrelated to your major and may lack specific learning goals. All work experiences can have their share of routine tasks (data entry, clerical work, telephone calling), however, internships should be offered with the intent to foster real-world experience, learning and professional training at least 80% of the time.