How To Get Started

Assess Your Needs and Resources

  • Can you provide a meaningful work/learning opportunity?
  • Is this an ongoing opportunity or a special project of limited duration?
  • Are you prepared and able to invest time in training the student?
  • Is there a staff person to supervise the student?
  • Do you have adequate office space and equipment for the student to work effectively?

 

Plan a Challenging Work Experience

  • Develop specific projects or assignments that allow the student to gain work experience related to their academic studies. Authentic tasks and projects that contribute to real organizational challenges are the most desirable and meaningful experiences and beneficial to employers.
  • Students may perform some routine office work, but these duties should not be more than 20% of the experience.

 

Develop a Detailed Position Description

  • Outline expectations, assignments and the student’s learning objectives. (See sample Learning Agreement Guidelines).

 

Orient and Supervise the Student

  • Provide the student with a tour of the facilities and information on policies and procedures, formal and informal.
  • Provide the student with information about the organization’s mission, goals, structure and decision-making process. Indicate how the internship tasks fit in with the rest of the office.
  • Introduce the student to all staff they will be working with.
  • Arrange for training, as necessary, with computer programs, telephone systems, copy and facsimile machines or other equipment the student will be using.
  • Offer directions on the specifics of work assignments.
  • Give broad exposure to the organization, including participation in staff meetings, staff training and informational interviews with key staff members.

 

Meet with the Student on a Regular Basis

  • Meet regularly, especially in the beginning.
  • Give the student feedback about his or her performance. Discuss new and past projects.
  • If students are treated with respect, trusted with responsibilities, and given proper training and supervision, they will work harder and achieve more.

 

Create a Safe, Respectful Environment

A student should be treated as a regular employee by his or her co-workers. It is important that other staff members are aware of the expectations and responsibilities assigned to the student.  

Keep the UA Connection

Meet with or keep the university advisor/Career Services informed about the student’s progress as necessary. 

Complete a Performance Evaluation

Halfway through the assignment, discuss the student’s experience with your organization and give the student information he or she can put into practice during the experience. Be honest. If the student is not meeting expectations, offer suggestions for improvement. 

Complete and Return Surveys

Fill out and return all data collection tools requested by Career Services or the University of Arizona. Send copies of evaluations to University advisors/supervisors as appropriate.