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 host, 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 usually 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. Students often enroll in a related class for academic credit.

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

As a host 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 Do Students Earn Academic Credit 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 or regulated by the university. However, with financial demands of tuition, housing, travel, and other personal expenses, many students necessitate some form of remuneration in order to take an internship opportunity and cannot afford to work for free. Taking these realities into account, we strongly recommend that employers compensate interns for their work.

Compared to unpaid internship opportunities, paid internships generate:

  • 2.5 times the number of applicants
  • A more diverse applicant pool
  • Happier and more engaged interns
  • A steadier flow of talented interns who may become your future employees

If you are considering hosting unpaid interns, please note that the standards for unpaid internships are dictated by the US Department of Labor, and are outlined in the document entitled Fact Sheet #71. Interns must be paid minimum wage unless the intern is determined to be the “primary beneficiary” of the intern-employer relationship. Updated in January 2018, the Department of Labor currently uses a seven-factor test to determine who is the primary beneficiary:

  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

  8. —From the Department of Labor's Fact Sheet #71

The Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet 71 also states that “courts have described the ‘primary beneficiary test’ as a flexible test, and no single factor is determinative. Accordingly, whether an intern or student is an employee under the FLSA necessarily depends on the unique circumstances of each case. If analysis of these circumstances reveals that an intern or student is actually an employee, then he or she is entitled to both minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA. On the other hand, if the analysis confirms that the intern or student is not an employee, then he or she is not entitled to either minimum wage or overtime pay under the FLSA.”

If you have questions about the Department of Labor’s guidance, we recommend that you consult with your attorney.

If you have an unpaid internship program, you might consider offering other incentives to increase your applicant pool and provide support, such as a stipend (a fixed sum of money paid periodically to defray costs of housing, food, and transportation), specific skill training, networking or mentorship opportunities, or other vouchers/benefits (e.g. meals in the company cafeteria, bus passes, company gym memberships, etc.).

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 November 09 2018 02:56 PM