Internship Toolkit

A well-structured and engaging internship program can energize your organization. Here are just some of the “value points” to having an intern:
  • Pipeline for recruiting new talent, especially in competitive industries or low unemployment states like Nebraska.
  • Excellent way to build a potential pool of candidates you may consider for later employment when vacancies occur or potential coverage purposes.
  • Fresh field experiences. You get to hear what’s going on with others’ work/knowledge in the community as well as emerging/fresh perspectives from the academic world.
  • Resource for special projects.
Once you have determined that an internship would be a valuable asset to your organization,
reviewing these guidelines will help ensure a successful outcome for both you and your intern.
Must your interns be paid?  Use extreme caution here!  Unpaid internships raise legal risks for employers.  Typically, an intern in the for-profit private sector qualifies as an employee unless the intern’s work status meets certain criteria that defines him/her as an intern.  For-profit employers that offer unpaid internships must meet the U.S. Department’s Wage and Hour Division’s six-prong test.  Click here to view the criteria:

Is your organization eligible for financial assistance to help pay for an intern?  The Intern Nebraska Program may be able to help. Click here for more information: For the quick fact sheet, click here:

Ensure that all of your internship program forms and practices are in place before the intern starts.  It’s never a good idea to “make it up” as you go along. This sends the wrong message to your interns in that you are not prepared for them to have a meaningful internship experience.  Ultimately, you want interns to have such a great experience that they leave and tell their friends and family that your organization is a great place to work.  

Other Resources:

Employer’s Guidebook to Developing a Successful Internship Program (

Nebraska College Career Services Association (NCCSA) – Find internship candidates in the Nebraska colleges and university Career Services departments.  The NCCSA represents most Nebraska colleges and universities and provides opportunities to contact specific schools or advertise job vacancies through its listerv.

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) – Provides compensation guide for interns, current benchmarks, best practice tips, legal issues, and other helpful information for employers getting started with their internship program.