Internship Guidelines for Employers and Students

For students, this Internship Guidelines for Employers and Students handout serves as an addition to the course syllabus. Students must adhere to all guidelines contained in this document and any subsequent revisions of this document.

Introduction

The internship is a work-study experience arranged between the university; a student; and an employer such as a business, government agency, organization, or association. The internship may be a formal, structured program offered by the employer, an informal program offered by the employer, or an experience that is self-directed by the student within the work environment. In addition, students may work in either part-time or full-time positions in order to complete internship requirements. The overall intention of the internship is to foster the transference of knowledge and skill learned in the classroom into abilities required for successful performance in a career. The internship should give the student a head start toward a career in fashion through practical experience. For the internship to be successful, all partners should work to create a climate conducive to the free exchange of ideas among the student, the employer, and the supervising faculty member. Finally, the student often finds that an internship turns into or paves the way to a full-time position upon graduation. During the internship period, the student intern will be required to complete academic assignments and reports required by the faculty supervisor. These assignments and reports are designed to help the student intern learn as much as possible during the internship period. Some of the assignments may require the student intern to discover information about the company or interview company personnel. The student should work with the employment supervisor to gather information in a manner that is not disruptive to the work environment. The employment supervisor should feel comfortable in restricting access to information if such information is proprietary to the company or is deemed too personal or irrelevant. Regardless of the work environment, several specific course objectives for the student exist as follows:

  1. Develop an awareness of the scope of jobs available within the field of merchandising, retailing, or design and explore and acquire competencies directly related to these jobs.
  2. Acquire actual experience by means of on-the-job training.
  3. Observe and participate in the application of principles and concepts learned in coursework.
  4. Develop a professional approach to work.
  5. Learn to manage personal time effectively and be self-directed in the completion of written assignments for the university and activities for the employer.

Responsibilities of Partners

Student Responsibilities

  1. Obtain employment with a reputable organization. Students may not work at a start-up company, may not work in their home, may not be self-employed, and may not work for a relative or a relative of a current student in the department. Students must work at a place of employment where they have constant supervision with an individual who will evaluate them.
  2. Enroll in the appropriate internship course.
  3. Begin work no later than the first day of the semester in which the student is enrolled in the internship course. Students not beginning the job on the first day will be required to withdraw from the internship course.
  4. Provide the faculty supervisor with a mailing address and telephone number where the faculty supervisor can reach the student during the internship period no later than the first day of the semester in which the student is enrolled in the internship course. During the internship period, the faculty supervisor will not correspond with the student through any address at which the student is not actually living.
  5. Complete the required assignments, reports, and forms for the faculty supervisor and the university. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the faculty supervisor if any problems occur surrounding the completion of assignments, reports, and forms. If the student does not have all paperwork (syllabus, forms, handouts, etc) provided by the university for the course by the first day of the semester, it is the student's responsibility to communicate with the faculty supervisor to obtain the paperwork. If the student cannot get forms signed by the employer supervisor due to the absence of the supervisor from the workplace, it is the student's responsibility to communicate the problem to the faculty supervisor prior to the due date of the forms.
  6. Work approximately 400 hours in the approved position at the same company through the entire semester for six (6) semester hours of credit or approximately 200 hours for three (3) semester hours of credit. If the hour requirement is not met, the instructor will adjust the final grade accordingly, regardless of grades received on written assignments and other activities. Adjustment will depend on how close the student is to the required hours, whether or not the student brings the situation to the attention of the instructor before the end of the term, and why the student was short in hours.
  7. Complete the required on-the-job activities for the employer.
  8. Attend work as scheduled, remain at work during scheduled hours, and be punctual at the beginning of the day and after meal and break times. Always be on time for work and call the direct supervisor immediately if unable to come to work. The employer needs to be able to depend on the student employee to be present and to do the job. Being on time means being ready to begin work at the scheduled time by arriving a few minutes earlier than the beginning of the scheduled work time. Be at work as scheduled except when a true emergency occurs. Needing to study or feeling "not good" is not an emergency.
  9. Not use personal cellular telephones or tablets while at work unless permission has been received from a supervisor.
  10. Not eat, drink, or chew gum in the workplace unless permission has been received from a supervisor.
  11. Dress appropriately for the workplace; consult a written dress code if available.
  12. Not disrupt the workplace for any reason.
  13. Work at the job through each week during the academic term.
  14. Follow the employment policies established by the employer. Never go against the employer’s policies, not even if other employees do. Also, do not ask for “special” treatment because of status as an intern. For example, do not assume that a school holiday is also a work holiday. Business does not take a vacation when the university does. The employer most likely will expect the student to work the day after Thanksgiving, during Spring Break week, and on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July.
  15. Not complain on the job about anything, particularly your job or your school work. If you have any complaints about your job or your internship assignments, bring them to the faculty supervisor, not to your employer. Your employer should always think that you enjoy your job and have a high opinion of the company.
  16. Show initiative on the job by looking to see what work needs to be done and doing it, if appropriate. Do not always wait to be told to do a task. Seek permission to learn how to do more.
  17. Receive a satisfactory evaluation from the employer upon the completion of the internship period.
  18. Assume responsibility for maintaining communication with the faculty supervisor and the employer. Remember that when working in an internship, the student is an employee first and a student second. If a conflict occurs between what the faculty supervisor requires and what the employer requires, the student should always do what the employer asks, however, such conflicts should be reported to the faculty supervisor immediately.

Employer Responsibilities

  1. Approve the student's internship position.
  2. Establish the work-related conditions and requirements for successful completion of the internship.
  3. Provide the student intern with information and direction for successful performance of work-related activities during the internship.
  4. Enable the student intern to participate in and/or observe as many different work-related activities as is reasonable during the internship.
  5. Assist the student intern in securing the necessary information needed for completion of academic reports and assignments, objectives, and appraisals during the internship.
  6. Be available to meet with the faculty supervisor a minimum of one time during the internship period, preferably halfway through the period, to provide feedback about the student.
  7. Provide feedback to the faculty supervisor and the student intern during the internship employment period, during a visit by the faculty supervisor to the intern's place of employment (if location is reasonable), and through a written evaluation form.
  8. Communicate with the faculty supervisor when necessary.
  9. Assess the student intern's on-the-job performance during the internship near the end of the conclusion of the internship employment period. A printed form will be provided to the employment supervisor for this purpose. The form will be mailed or faxed back to the faculty supervisor prior to the end of the internship period.

Faculty Supervisor/University Responsibilities

  1. Approve the student's internship position.
  2. Establish the requirements and deadlines for the student's academic reports and assignments.
  3. Provide the employment supervisor with information regarding the internship process.
  4. Assess the student's reports, assignments, and appraisals during the internship.
  5. Provide feedback to the student intern during the internship employment period, primarily through a visit to the intern's place of employment (if location is reasonable).
  6. Speak with the student about any aspect of the student's performance on the job or when seeking an internship position.
  7. Assess, record, and report the student intern's final course grade.

Internship Timeline

Summer Semester Internship - 10 weeks

Prior to Week 1

Student receives two copies of the Internship Handout for Employers and Students; student gives one copy to the employment supervisor. Student receives course syllabus and all forms.

Week 1

Student completes the Job Data Form. Student and employer complete the Job Related Objectives form. Student returns one copy of each form to the faculty
supervisor.

Weeks 3 through 6

Faculty supervisor visits intern and employment supervisor in place of employment, if possible. Faculty supervisor schedules meeting through student intern.

Week 9

Employment supervisor completes Employer's Final Evaluation form provided by the faculty supervisor and returns one copy to the faculty supervisor. Student
completes Final Report form and returns one copy to the faculty supervisor.

Weeks 1 through 10

Student completes written academic assignments and reports and forwards documents to the faculty supervisor.

Fall or Spring Semester Internship - 15 weeks

Prior to Week 1

Student receives two copies of the Internship Handout for Employers and Students; student gives one copy to the employment supervisor. Student receives
course syllabus and all forms.

Week 1

Student completes the Job Data Form. Student and employer complete the Job Related Objectives form. Student returns one copy of each form to the faculty
supervisor.

Weeks 5 through 8

Faculty supervisor visits intern and employment supervisor in place of employment, if possible. Faculty supervisor schedules meeting through student intern.

Week 14

Employment supervisor completes Employer's Final Evaluation form provided by the faculty supervisor and returns one copy to the faculty supervisor. Student
completes Final Report form and returns one copy to the faculty supervisor.

Weeks 1 through 15

Student completes written academic assignments and reports and forwards all documents to the faculty supervisor.