Internships: Employers

Pepperdine is committed to preparing students for lives of service, purpose and leadership.  To that end, we seek to provide our students with real-world experience in settings where they can develop a commitment to service, a life of purpose and a vision for leadership.

Our students are eager to take advantage of the real-world workplace opportunities afforded by an internship experience.  Pepperdine University encourages students to pursue internships throughout the academic year and grants academic credit based on established criteria.  Internships may be paid or unpaid.  Our calendar is divided into three terms:

  • Fall--late August through early December
  • Spring--January through April
  • Summer--May through mid-August
       (Most students seek paid positions full or part time) 

Roles and Responsibilities

Each party has responsibilities to and expectations for each of the other parties.  At Pepperdine University, we strive to facilitate appropriately balanced internships, where each party is aware of and capable of fulfilling their responsibilities.  In this setting, internships can be rewarding and mutually beneficial.

Balance Learning and Labor: Perhaps the most unique aspect of an internship is its dual nature: it is both an exercise in learning and in labor.  For an internship to be optimally successful, a balance between learning and labor must be maintained.  Employers need to actively participate in providing learning opportunities for their interns.  This can be facilitated through training sessions, job shadowing, attending strategy meetings, and other such activities.

Job Description: Developing a job description provides both the employer and the intern with a clear vision of the internship requirements and responsibilities and serves as the tool to help clarify expectations.

Learning Agreement: This document explains and develops the job description.  Students identify specific and measurable learning objectives that meet both the job description and their academic requirements.

Instruction and Assessment: Hosting an intern requires making an organizational commitment to invest time and energy in educating the intern about the organization's culture, procedures, goals, and priorities.  Initial and ongoing training as well as regularly scheduled assessments are integral to good internship management.

Physical Resources: For an intern to be a productive learner and worker, the space and tools necessary for a professional job must also be available.  Typically, interns have public office space, including furniture, supplies, and access to a telephone and a computer.  They may of course share these resources with other interns and staff.

Benefits

Internships are a beneficial relationship between three parties: the University, the Employer, and the Student.  Each party benefits from the relationship.

Benefits for the Student Intern:

  • gain experience in the marketplace
  • engage in career exploration and preparation
  • apply academic learning in a professional environment
  • contribute to an organization in a meaningful way

Benefits for you the Employer:

  • gain innovative staff assistance at low cost
  • opportunity to impact the lives of students
  • flexible method for helping meet short and long term goals
  • projects a favorable image in the community
  • provides a vehicle to screen potential employees

Benefits for Pepperdine University:

  • facilitates student learning in a non-traditional atmosphere
  • allows the University to establish partnerships within the business community
  • integrates academic and professional spheres

Academic Internships

  • Academic internships for Seaver students must be with employers who provide work space in professional settings as well as the tools to complete the assigned internship learning projects. Students requesting registration in internship courses must intern at sites that are deemed public (not associated with private residences or attached to private dwellings).
  • Authentic, structured and meaningful work experience with increasing responsibility
  • Participation in a planned learning environment
  • Well-defined learning objectives, which are measurable and can be completed over the course of the internship.  Learning may be creative in nature, project-oriented, facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge, and/or personal development.
  • Students hired as academic interns must be enrolled in a Seaver College internship course. Employers may not require interns to work during class times.
  • Employers must meet the standards required by the internship faculty.
  • IMPORTANT DEADLINES!

    Academic internships must coincide with the semester schedule. Employers must meet academic hiring deadlines.

    • FALL TERM: Last week of August
    • SPRING TERM: First week of January
    • SUMMER TERMS: First week of May

Strategies for Successful Internship

  • Determine the functional areas within the organization that would best be served by interns
  • Designate, train, and reward intern supervisors
  • Provide specific and meaningful responsibilities for the intern that increase over time
  • Conduct an evaluation of student performance at regular intervals and hold an exit interview
  • File mid-term and final evaluations with the University

Posting an Internship

ATTN Employers:  To post an unpaid internship, please review the following:

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division: The Test for Unpaid Interns

There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation. The Supreme Court has held that the term "suffer or permit to work" cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid or instruction. This may apply to interns who receive training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria. The determination of whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program.

The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:

1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and

6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern. This exclusion from the definition of employment is necessarily quite narrow because the FLSA’s definition of “employ” is very broad.

If you have a valuable internship opportunity, please register or log into Handshake to Post the Position.

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