Online Internship Fair FAQ
1. What exactly is an online internship fair?
Campus Philly’s Fall Online Internship Fair is an opportunity for employers to recruit local college talent for spring 2011 internships. Campus Philly has 26 partner colleges and universities that work with us to promote the online event to students. Last year, over 1600 students participated, vying for over 600 internship positions.
2. Why should I have an intern?
Internships are mutually beneficial – students gain valuable work experience and companies are able to work efficiently and infuse their workplace with vibrant talent and new ideas. Additionally, internships are a critical component in the success of our region. Employers need talent, and with over 366,000 local college students, Greater Philadelphia employers have easy access to some of the best, brightest and most innovative thinkers.
3. How does my company participate?
It’s easy. Employers need to follow a few simple steps:
• Go to www.campusphilly.org/careers
• Click on “I Need An Intern”
• Follow the prompts to either log-in or create an account
• Post the internship between now and February 17th
• Be sure to make your ‘Posting End Date’ February 24th or later to be included for the duration of the fair
• Log into your account regularly to review the submitted resumes
4. How much does it cost?
Nada. Zip. Zero. Our online internship fair is a fast and FREE way to connect with the talent you need to finish that nagging project, long put off research or all around office assistance.
5. How do we find and connect with potential interns?
Using Campus Philly Careers you can post your internship posting and easily monitor who’s applied to your position(s) simply by logging into your account. Campus Philly Careers allows students to send their resume directly to your account, or, you always have the option of providing specific application instructions in your posting that will have applicants send their applications directly to you. The choice is yours.
Employers are also able to search for potential student interns by conducting an application search. This can be done easily by logging into your account and clicking the ‘New Search’ button. You can search for students by major, job category, location, school or by key word. Searches can also be saved and run automatically.
6. Do I really need to provide an orientation?
To help an intern to hit the ground running, it is recommended that you orient your intern on their very first day. A typical orientation often includes:
• Expectations of the position
• Completion of any paperwork (W-4, IT forms, etc)
• Review office policies and procedures
• Learning goals and objectives
• Evaluation process
7. Do I have to pay my interns?
While Campus Philly always advocates for employers who are able, to pay their interns, how much is always up for debate.
Paying interns hourly will open up the widest pool possible in terms of the number of students who apply. Many college students are faced with the difficult decision of taking a part-time job (which in many cases doesn’t provide an experiential learning opportunity) verses an experience-only internship. By offering an hourly wage, employers will be able to recruit from the largest pool of college talent, not just those that can afford to take an unpaid position.
That said, if an hourly wage is simply not possible, employers are encouraged to think outside the box and offer other incentive options such as a completion stipend, travel stipend or other bonus. Academic credit is often another option employers can seek but the rules and process varies by school. The onus is on the student to inform the employer of their school’s particular process. Employers can also offer a variety of non-monetary benefits including specialized training, social events and networking opportunities.
For-profit employers should also make themselves aware of the Department of Labor’s guidelines for having interns. The complete guidelines are available here.
8. Are there any time requirements for internships?
Employers have the flexibility to decide how much time they will need an intern in the office weekly, however it may help to keep in mind that many students are also taking classes, so a 40 hour, 5 day a week internship may not work well. If a student is working for academic credit, they may have specific time requirements, but other than that it truly depends on the scope of the project and the work that needs to be done.
9. Is the online fair only for undergraduates?
Campus Philly mainly serves traditional undergraduate students, however we have deep relationships with 26 regional colleges and universities, most of which have graduate programs. If you’re looking for a graduate-level intern we can certainly help you promote your opportunity and connect you to specific programs when needed.
10. What kind of assistance does Campus Philly provide?
Campus Philly has connected students to regional employers for the past 5 years and in that time we’ve seen a variety of models that work (and some that don’t) and can work directly with employers to craft programming that meets their needs. We are here to help! Campus Philly’s Director of Corporate Relations & Career Programs, Ashlie Thornbury, is available to provide technical assistance when developing or modifying an internship program. Ashlie can be reached at 215.988.1707 or at Ashlie@campusphilly.org
11. I’ve never had an intern before, are there any best practices?
Absolutely! We’ve covered a good deal of them in the preceding questions, but to summarize:
• Use Campus Philly Careers to connect with thousands of college-level internship seekers
• Treat your intern like you would any new employee. Orient them to the office culture, internal policies and introduce them to applicable staff
• Think about your intern program as a talent pipeline resource, priming your next workforce
• Assign tasks that teach the skills you need
• Balance meaningful projects with work that simply needs to get done
• When recruiting an intern, be as thoughtful (and honest!) with the internship description as you would any other full-time position
• Even if it is not required by a specific school, always offer constructive and meaningful feedback and exit interviews to your interns.
• Pay your interns when you can or offer creative incentives