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Frequently Asked Questions For Staff

What kinds of positions can I hire an intern for?/What types of projects should interns work on?

Internships offered by your department or unit should provide students with real, applicable job experience that prepares them for their chosen field. Positions do not have to be specific to a particular major, and should offer a broad range of experiences in a professional setting.

Projects for interns should be related to marketing and communications, including but not limited to, writing, editing, design, web programming and maintenance, media or alumni relations, and related fields. Additional areas in which internships can meet departmental needs while offering students real-world experience may be offered as identified.

What are some of the benefits to my unit or department?

Units and departments benefit from having valuable assistance with ongoing projects, and the opportunity to welcome new ideas, concepts, and approaches from interns.

Is there any fee or charge associated with using the Marketing Communication Internship Cooperative Program?

The commitment that you make by participating in this program will require an investment of time, but there are no additional fees or charges associated with using the Marketing Communication Internship Cooperative program. The only costs are those normally associated with any departmental hire (equipment, office supplies, etc.) and wages (if a paid internship). Those expenses will be the responsibility of the hiring department or unit.

Do I choose the intern, or is one assigned to my department/unit?

Hiring an intern is much like hiring a part- or full-time staff member for your department. Your unit or department will be able to choose the intern that best matches your needs. The hiring process should consist of steps including an interview process, a proficiency test in writing (or another category if desired), and an offer made to the candidate who best matches the needs and goals of the position.

How should I solicit for interns?

You should write the job description for an internship as you would for an entry-level position. The more information about the specific job tasks and duties you can provide in the listing, the easier it will be for students to find an opportunity that will match their skills, education, and career goals. Public Affairs will assist in publicizing the Cooperative to staff and students through various channels.

How do I hire an intern? What is the process?

Departments should identify an internship opportunity, create a job description and details about tasks, post the position through the Marketing Communication Internship Cooperative, interview, and ultimately choose a candidate.

How do I dismiss or terminate an internship if it is not going well?

An internship can be terminated at any time by the department or by the student, should such a need arise. Dependent upon the circumstances, a supervisor or department head may deem it necessary to end a particular internship due to any number of reasons. Such a decision should be made after appropriate corrective measures have been taken, and after careful consideration. Supervisors should clearly communicate the reasons for ending an internship.

Is there a formal evaluation process that I should use?

Public Affairs will offer a standardized evalution process through which the students can appraise their experiences.

How many hours per week can I ask an intern to be available?

Internships should be structured so that the student’s academic work and studies remain the top priority. Schedules should be flexible and reasonable, asking no more than 8-12 hours of the student’s time per week (dependent upon student and department schedules).

What scheduling rules must I follow?

Scheduling needs, student availability, and other factors should be considered in arranging internships within any department. As a general rule, students should not be expected to work more than 12-15 hours in a given week (with special consideration given during midterms, finals, and other academic calendar periods).

What length of time can an unpaid intern work for my department or unit?

Typically, internships should encompass one (1) academic semester. This limit, though not rigidly defined, allows for flexibility in student scheduling, and ensures future openings for other students to gain valuable experience. You may consider hiring a valuable intern as a student employee for an additional length of time if there is ample departmental need.

Do you have a question you don't see here? Send an email to publicaffairs@illinois.edu