Host an Intern

Build Your Internship Program

Clearly defining expectations, responsibilities, and goals for your internship program from the start will lead to a more productive experience for both you and your intern.

Consider whether you are able to provide a structured environment in which an intern can complete meaningful tasks. Interns will require supervision and benefit from you sharing your professional knowledge with them.

Establish Learning Objectives

  • Identify the skills, knowledge, and personal development the student will walk away with after the internship 

Job Description, Responsibilities & Qualifications

  • Job title

  • Brief description of the organization

  • Responsibilities - think of meaningful, substantive, and balanced work that supports the organization while fostering the intern’s learning objectives and goals

  • Consider the time commitment - part-time or full-time, adjust responsibilities based on the time commitment

  • Qualifications - desired skills and background of potential candidates

  • Provide application instructions - resume, cover letter, website, PDF portfolio, a specific company application

  • Set application deadlines and interview format


  • Paid or unpaid

  • Unpaid internships should adhere to the US Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act

  • Unpaid internships are often out of reach financially for many students. Offering compensation will lead to a more competitive opportunity. 

  • If an hourly wage is not possible, consider other benefits you can offer: pay for travel, lunch, studio access, organization event tickets, product discounts, etc.

  • Keep in mind school credit is awarded by MICA, not the employer

  • Students pay tuition dollars for their internship credits and should not be considered compensation. Students can both earn college credit and receive financial compensation


  • Establish start and end dates and weekly work schedule before the internship begins

  • Typically last 4-6 months, though some programs can be year-long

  • Part-time (10-20 hours) or full-time (40 hours)

    • Fall/Spring: part time during school year

    • Summer: full time or part time, most popular time to intern

  • For-credit internships require students to fulfill a minimum of 120 hours

  • Students look for experiences that follow MICA’s Academic Calendar:

    • Fall: September - December

    • Spring: January - May

    • Summer: May-August


  • If working on site, where is the company located? Is it accessible by public transportation?

  • Students can work remotely or in a hybrid format, though on-site work leads to a more positive experience and allows interns and supervisors more opportunities to engage and connect

Workspace & Equipment

  • Safe, positive, and professional setting for the student to work 

  • Intern host should provide any necessary equipment or tools to support intern’s work: workstation, software, computers, tools, safety equipment

  • The intern should not have to incur personal expenses to complete their assigned work 

Supervisor's Responsibilities

The assigned internship supervisor’s role is to train, educate, and provide regular feedback to the intern throughout the experience. This supervisor should be more skilled in the specific type of work being completed by the intern. Remember, they are taking this internship to receive specific industry training they would not receive in the classroom. Supervisors should be present and available when the intern is scheduled to work, including regular check-in times if working remotely.

Keys to Success

  • Create an orientation to welcome your intern and introduce them to key staff members, the position, the department, and your organization

  • Develop a framework for the experience, but allow flexibility to assign tasks based on the intern’s strengths and interests 

  • Clearly articulate expectations and goals from the beginning, and ensure the supervisor and intern are on the same page (ex. what to bring, what to wear, work schedules, communication preferences)

  • Schedule regular times to meet with the intern, especially when working remotely

  • Successful remote internships require additional communication and structure, Remote Internship Tips for Employers

  • Maintain the same standards of professional behavior as expected from all employees

  • Provide industry insights for the intern to consider if they pursue a career in this industry

  • Regularly provide constructive and honest feedback of the student’s performance

  • Invite the intern to observe meetings that can further expose them to the company and industry culture

  • Celebrate the intern’s hard work as the experience comes to a close (ex. showcase or expo)