University of Vermont

Internship information for employers

Thank you for your interest in UVM students and alumni. We look forward to connecting you with outstanding candidates in a wide variety of fields. Known for their solid thinking skills and interest in learning, UVM students are also lauded for their strong teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Whether you are interested in hiring full-time, part-time, intern, or seasonal workers, the UVM Career Center has many ways to help you promote openings, build your brand, and access talent. We look forward to working with you regarding your hiring needs.

Internships And Experiential Education

As an employer sponsor, your key responsibility is to provide meaningful work to a student. As a supervisor you will provide professional leadership, daily supervision, and project coordination. As a mentor, your task is to assist the student in developing transferable skills, while creating a link from his or her classroom knowledge to real world applications. Work with the student to identify appropriate projects, clear expectations, and areas for further development.

It is the employer's responsibility to:

  • Develop a challenging, meaningful opportunity that will both fill a real need for the organization and provide an educational experience for the student.
  • Provide supervision and guidance for the student so they may put their knowledge and skills to work - developing skills, refining techniques and learning new processes.
  • Monitor the progress of the student throughout the placement to ensure that the student's learning objectives are being met.
  • Evaluate the student and provide positive suggestions for future professional growth.

Students choose to do internships for a variety of reasons and with different educational goals depending on their program of study and degree requirements. UVM students have the following options: internships related to their major for academic credit, service learning course-based internships, or career related internships to explore a field of interest. If you would like to discuss how to establish an internship program/position at your business, please don’t hesitate to call the Career Center at 802-656-3450.

What Is An Internship?

An academic internship integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. This work/learning arrangement is typically overseen by a faculty or staff member of the university and is typically the length of an academic term. It may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid. An integral component of the internship experience that distinguishes it from other types of work is structured and deliberate reflection related to learning objectives. Usually students enroll in a related class for academic credit.

What Should We Be Thinking About As We Design An Internship?

As a sponsoring organization, you can offer substantive work experiences that support students' academic and career goals. Some questions you might consider as you design a quality internship are:

  • What projects will we assign to the intern?
  • Who will provide good training and supervision?
  • Will we offer any opportunities for professional development,
    participation in meetings and trainings?
  • How will we provide orientations for the intern?
  • How will we provide feedback?
  • How will we pay the intern?
  • Where will we put the intern?
How Do I Get Started?

To get started, simply register and post your internship on Handshake. This is allows you to specify the majors you are looking for, work responsibilities, and the times of the year the internship is available. UVM students access these postings and contact you directly, allowing you to interview and select the student(s) who are the best fit for your position. If students have questions about obtaining credit, you can refer them to the UVM Career Center.

What Are The Time Requirements?

Internships generally last 12-15 weeks and can be anywhere from 6-40 hours per week, depending upon how many credits the student is enrolled for, and how much related academic work they will be completing.

How Are Students Awarded Credits For Internships?

Some students earn credits through their academic majors; others may enroll in the Service Learning Internship class or an elective class in another department. The Career Center serves as a resource to help students decide which option may work best for their particular circumstances. Most commonly, students work about 10 hours/week and complete associated class assignments for a three-credit internship class. Academic assignments must be completed concurrently with the work experience and students work with faculty on this part of the internships.

Can Interns Be Paid? Must They Be Paid?
What Are The U.S. Department Of Labor Standards Regarding Internships?

Compensation is not required regulated by the university. However, with the financial demands that are a reality for today's students, many are looking for some form of remuneration. Internship websites consistently report that paid postings receive many more views and applications than unpaid postings, and we tend to see similar results in our system. If possible, offering a wage or a stipend is a great incentive and may garner more student interest. Statistically, paid interns also tend to be more satisfied with their experiences and more engaged in their work. Other perks that companies may offer interns are specific skill training, networking or mentorship opportunities, or other vouchers/benefits (e.g. bus passes, company gym membership, etc.).

The Department of Labor has also identified standards for internships. Employers do not have to pay interns who qualify as learners/trainees, but may choose to do so. The U.S. Department of Labor has outlined six key criteria for determining trainee status:
  1. Interns cannot displace regular employees
  2. Interns are not guaranteed a job at the end of the internship (though you may decide to hire them at the conclusion of the experience)
  3. Interns are not entitled to wages during the internship (although they are allowed to earn wages)
  4. Interns must receive training from your organization, even if it somewhat impedes the work
  5. Interns must get hands-on experience with equipment and processes used in your industry
  6. Interns’ training must primarily benefit them, not the organization.
For additional information regarding these standards, see the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71

If you are unsure whether your internship meets these criteria, we recommend that you consult with your attorney.

Ready to post an opportunity? Log in to Handshake. If you are new to the system, simply register as a new employer and then you will be able to post job and internship opportunities. Questions? Contact The Career Center at 802-656-3450 or

Last modified July 12 2017 08:22 AM