Internship Toolkit for Employers Webster University I Career Planning & Development Center


  • Introduction
  • Defining Internships
  • Developing Internship Programs
  • Top Ten Concerns of Student Interns
  • Principles for Professional Practice
  • Contact the Career Planning & Development Center

This guide was edited by Trezette Dixon, Director, Internship Program, Webster University School of Communications & John Link, Director, Webster University Career Planning & Development Center


Why Hire Interns?

How can you meet the needs of your organization while helping prepare students for the future? One way is to develop a quality internship or internship program. Organizations and students both gain tremendous benefits from these types of experiences.

Benefits for Students

  • Students gain an understanding of different careers and evaluate their career path.
  • Students develop professional skills that increase employability for post-graduation.
  • Students with internship experience are viewed as more attractive candidates by recruiters.
  • Internships are correlated to increases in academic achievement and guide student connections between coursework and career path.
  • Students gain meaningful, hands-on experience and the opportunity to network with professionals in their field of study.
  • Interns hired as permanent employees after graduation experience greater job satisfaction which increases retention.

Benefits for Employers

  • Internships provide a continuous pool of highly-qualied students to recruit.
  • Internships serve as a low-cost training and development program.
  • Internship programs strengthen relationships between employers and schools.
  • Interns are public relations ambassadors and convey positive messages about organizations.
  • Interns tend to increase regular employer productivity and motivation, and improve work climate.
  • Interns free up employees from minor/routine tasks and allow them to focus on more complex projects.
  • Interns are enthusiastic, provide new ideas, and fresh perspectives.

Employer Best Practices

  1. Give interns responsibilities and ensure they understand that people are counting on them.
  2. Interns should feel integrated into their departments, be part of the team, and develop a sense of community.
  3. Allow and encourage interns to participate in professional development sessions, community engagement projects, or recruitment efforts.
  4. Communicate the importance of feedback by being open and approachable. Have the same feedback protocol for interns as full-time employees and ensure interns know that their feedback is valued.
  5. Interns should receive consistent feedback, originated in goal-setting and completed by outcome evaluation.
  6. Assign interns a mentor - someone they can go to who is more accessible than a director or supervisor.

Defining Internships

At Webster University, internship information is “Centrally Coordinated, Decentrally Delivered,” and internships/internship programs are housed in associated colleges, departments, and/or led by specific faculty. For employers, this means requirements for internships may differ depending on what school/college a student intern is attending. However, there are some ways to define internships that can guide employers in understanding them.

What Constitutes an Internship?

An internship is an official program offered by an employer to potential employees. Interns work either part-time or full-time at a company for a certain period of time. Internships are most popular with undergraduates or graduate students who work between one to four months and have a goal to gain practical work or research related experience.

Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Programs

Co-ops, or Cooperative Education, combine education with practical work for the ultimate student learning experience. Co-ops, students spend extended time away from campus exploring their chosen career fields while receiving academic credit.

How Are Internships & Co-Ops Different?

Internships are typically a semester-only or summer experience. Co-ops require a semester or a semester and a summer away from campus on the job. Students maintain full-time student status while on co-op and resume their studies when they return to campus. Intern and co-op students may also be able to receive academic credit through their department.

Attributes of Internships

  • DURATION: Internships have designated “begin” and “end” dates and are generally a one-time experience. They can last from a month to a year but most typically last one semester. Employers have the option of extending duration as well.
  • MENTORSHIP: Interns have dedicated mentors (outside of those who hire them for work or manage them on a daily basis) committed to the intern’s learning and growth.
  • ORGANIZATION: Internships have predetermined, well rounded experience plans.
  • FEEDBACK: Internships have regular assessment and feedback for the employer, student, and academic supervisor.

Paying Interns

It is up to the employer to decide if and how much interns will be paid. Most determine pay based on student class level and types of responsibilities.

Per the U.S. Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires “for-profit” employers to pay employees for their work. Interns and students, however, may not be “employees” — in which case compensation is not required.

Courts have used the “primary beneciary test” to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA. In short, this test allows courts to examine the “economic reality” of the intern/employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneciary” of the relationship.

When considering intern pay rates, it is recommended that employers consider carefully what the “average wage” for interns from a particular university or geographic area is, the cost of living, the opportunities for pay students give up when accepting internships instead of part-time jobs, and what kinds of candidates the employer would like to attract.

The Test for Unpaid Interns & Students

  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 benecial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing signicant 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.

Credit-Bearing & Non-Credit Bearing Internships

Students may seek both credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing internships. Some colleges, departments, and/or faculty might require students to participate in internships. In the case of credit-bearing internships, employers are encouraged to connect with resources on campus to ensure all requirements are being met for the student. All credit-bearing internships should be reported by the student to the university. For non-credit-bearing, resources are still available for both students and employers to ensure students are getting the most from experiences. Contact the Career Planning & Development Center for more information.

International Students

F-1 and J-1 visas are the most common types of visas that international undergraduate and graduate

students hold, and that employers will see when recruiting them.

An F-1 visa is granted to a person coming to the United States to attend a college, university, seminary,

conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or language training program approved by the U.S. Attorney General for study by foreign students. The visa holder plans to return home after completing studies. This is the most common non-immigrant visa for an international student attending undergraduate and graduate school. Students are granted F-1 status until the completion of the academic program and 12 months of post-program practical training.

The purpose of the F-1 visa is to provide an opportunity for study in the United States. Anything outside of study, including employment, is an exception to the visa.

Authorization for employment is strictly limited to certain situations:

  • The student holding F-1 status for a full academic year and in good academic standing may work off campus. Such work authorization is granted when the student has sustained unforeseen economic hardship. Also, the student may not work for more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, but may work full time during holidays and vacations, including breaks between terms, provided the student intends to register for the next school term.
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT): An F-1 student may perform curricular practical training prior to the completion of the educational program as part of his or her educational experience. The INS defines this type of training as “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through agreements with the school.”

The J-1 visa is often used by faculty and researchers but can be used by international students if there is a special sponsorship relationship with an American or foreign governmental agency, private institute, or university. This visa is normally used for students only when there is a very specific academic objective involved and when there are fairly definite plans for the student’s applying their US education in their home country. Students on the J-1 may be subject to a two year “foreign residence requirement.”

Optional Practical Training (OPT): is is temporary employment directly related to the student’s major area of study that takes place after the student completes a full course of study. Authorization for this training may be granted for a maximum of 12 months of full-time or part-time work. Those on a student visa can only gain authorization once for this type of training.

Developing Internship Programs

Steps & Best Practices

  1. Set goals and policies
  2. Write a plan
  3. Recruit a qualified intern
  4. Manage the intern
  5. Conduct exit interviews and follow-up

Step 1: Set Goals & Policies

Before hiring an intern, it is imperative to give careful thought to the internship or internship program. Start by answering the following questions:

What is the main goal for the internship or program?

Organizations hire interns for a myriad of reasons. Using the reasoning behind creating the internship itself may speak to activities, ongoing work and/or projects that interns will work on. For example, goals and policies will be different for small organizations than for large ones – one may want help, while the other wishes to create a talent-pipeline with the university. Consider these carefully!

Who will supervise and mentor the intern?

Mentorship and supervision are crucial to optimize experiences for interns and program success. Before establishing an internship or program, consider who these key employees will be and how they will manage including this new responsibility into their workday.

How will the intern be compensated?

Internships may be paid or unpaid. Determine ahead of time if you will be able to compensate your intern and how/how much. Career Planning & Development Center can help navigate the U.S. Department of Labor standards on whether an intern must be paid and provide additional information on typical compensation.

How long will the internship last?

Internships have predetermined beginning and end dates. Most commonly these align to the academic calendar. Determine the time line and plan out various activities or milestones within these dates to ensure interns have a thorough understanding of your expectations.

Step 2: Write a Plan

Developing an internship program takes careful planning and discussion. Coming to a consensus on program goals that are understood by all involved is critical. Formalizing an internship or internship program with written goals, expectations, and outcomes pro-actively addresses the concerns and needs of management, staff, and students.

Carefully write out the internship program with a plan and goals. Internship goal completion should be measured by the organization. Structuring the internship ahead of time provides tangible goals and objectives that will enable providing proof to organization decision-makers regarding the importance and value of a well-developed internship program. In creating the plan, include specific ideas, proposals and logistical information.

The questions that follow may assist in formulating a plan:

  1. What are the tasks and objectives of the project or activities?
  2. Is the internship based on learning about all parts of the organization or focused on completing a single project?
  3. What are the deadlines?
  4. How often/what hours will the intern work?
  5. Where will the intern work?
  6. How will the intern be trained?
  7. Will the intern be cross-trained?
  8. What sort of academic background and experience should the intern possess?
  9. Who will have primary responsibility for hiring and supervising the intern?
  10. Who will mentor the intern?
  11. What after-work activities will be included?

Step 3: Recruit an Intern

The following are intended to help employers create a program that serves students in the best way possible, and to help employers hire interns that are a good fit for their organization:

  • Conduct a Needs Assessment
  • Draft an Internship Job Description
  • Recruit Your Intern
  • Learn About Legal Issues
  • Evaluate Your Intern

Conduct a Needs Assessment

Every organization should consider their needs when developing an internship program. Employers should ensure there is enough “real” work for interns to do. Good reasons to consider building an internship program:

  1. Are you a small business looking for help on a special project?
  2. Are you a growing organization that needs to find well-rounded, motivated employees?
  3. Are you a non-profit that has low administrative costs, but that could provide an excellent experience for a student?

Internship programs can be designed to meet organizational needs and expectations while meeting intern goals. The number one requirement for success is employer commitment. Commitment means creating a space, establishing a supervisor for interns, and identifying a mentor for the student - someone who enjoys training and has the time to commit to the intern.

Draft an Internship Position Description

After determining what is needed from an intern, it is time to create a description similar to a job description. It is important to include required and preferred qualifications, such as the following:

Descriptions Should Include:

  • Brief description of the organization
  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Preferred class level, major, and/or background
  • Required GPA or course prerequisites
  • If the internship is paid/unpaid and the wage
  • Internship plan outline, including duration and expected hours

Descriptions May Include:

  • If international students are welcome to apply
  • What documents and procedures are required for the application process
  • Benefits and incentives included
  • Connection to coursework or agenda for training and/or education

Recruit Your Intern

Once you have finalized your internship description, it is time to find a qualified student! Begin by posting the opportunity to Handshake, Webster University’s online recruiting system, where students and alumni look for internships and jobs.

Begin recruiting the semester before you need an intern. This will give you time to write the description, post it, receive applications, set up and conduct interviews, and hire an intern.

Handshake provides:

  • An easy to use, intuitive interface, with a clean, modern, and simple design -- making it easy to navigate and use
  • Powerful search tools that offer the ability to pinpoint and build candidate pools easily
  • Built-in communication tools that allow messaging students directly
  • Added data points that allow employers to send communication to the right students at the right time in their academic careers

In addition to using Handshake to post your position, you can use the Career Planning & Development Center to conduct interviews and work with the Employer Relations team to set up events to recruit. When asked, employers with established programs emphasized developing a personal connection and getting face time with students is a great recruitment tool. Let students know how their strengths and abilities can fit in with your organization.

Another way to create brand awareness and develop a connection with students is to attend the Career Planning & Development Center’s Career Fairs.

Every year Webster University’s Career Fairs attract hundreds of students looking for shadowing, internship, and job opportunities.

In addition to Career Fairs, the Career Planning & Development Center plans professional development opportunities for students such as Career Fair Prep, Employer Tours, Information Sessions and Tables, and Career Panels.

Volunteering at these events is another way to connect with students. If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities or have questions about the Career Fairs, please contact the Employer Relations team at 314-246-7967.

Learn about Legal matters

Like all employees, interns have rights and are protected under the law. If you have any questions, you can view The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or contact your organization’s human resources department.

For information regarding student visas and recruiting international students, contact International Recruitment and Services by phone at 314-246-7860.

Find your Intern!

Once resumes have been reviewed and candidates have been selected, it is time to interview. Interviews can be conducted by phone, Skype, or in person.

Once you have interviewed all of your candidates and chosen your intern, it is time to make an offer! Make sure you include a description of duties, number hours they are expected to work and their final salary.

Congratulations! You’ve hired an intern! But the work is not done yet. While it is the responsibility of each student to manage their work and internship requirements, a best practice would be to get involved. This can be done by starting out the intern experience with objective setting and training.

Step 4: Manage the Intern

Set Interns Up For Success!

The beginning days of an internship are often its defining days. When interns are given their first tasks, they are being signaled what can be expected in the future. If they are given nothing or very little to do, it sends a message that this job will be easy — and boring. Interns don’t want that, and of course, neither do employers.

The organization of an internship program will likely be the single most important influence on an intern’s impression of their employer, and thus the chances that he or she will come back or choose to work with them post-graduation.

The sooner interns understand what an organization does and how it operates, the sooner they can assume assigned responsibilities and become productive.

Some things to consider doing during a student’s internship experience:

  • Work with the intern to create objectives or SMART goals, helping to set expectations and give points for future feedback
  • Take interns on a tour of the facilities and introduce them to other employees
  • Give interns company materials to read such as newsletters, annual reports, organization charts, or memos from the CEO
  • Encourage interns to spend breaks and lunches in places where employees gather
  • Schedule regular one-on-one meetings or “check-ins” to give and receive feedback
  • Give interns opportunities to observe or participate in professional meetings
  • Allow and encourage interns to interview company personnel
  • Encourage interns to walk around and observe others at work

Review your program goals. The nature of the program and the activities should directly relate to these goals and will assist you in creating and maintaining a structured meaningful internship experience.

Monitor Intern Progress!

  1. Supervise: Interns need a designated supervisor for their internship term. Intern supervisors use all the skills necessary in any effective supervisory relationship: leadership, motivation, delegation, communication, development, training, and evaluation.
  2. Mentor: Students need a mentor who will assist their transition from the classroom to the work environment. Since the internship is an extension of the learning process, having a mentor provides opportunities to bridge the two experiences.
  3. Meet: Meeting with interns regularly provides an opportunity to receive as well as provide feedback. During these meetings, students can report on the status of projects, ask questions, learn how work contributes to the organization, participate in an evaluation of their strengths, discuss areas needing growth/development, and get a sense of what kind of work lies ahead.
  4. Evaluate: Take time to give constructive feedback to interns. Evaluation provides an opportunity to coach, counsel, and reinforce positive attitudes and performance.
  5. Encourage: Help interns keep a portfolio of work accomplished during the experience. This helps fulfill students’ academic requirements and provides a sense of accomplishment. In addition, it gives a basis to discuss intern professional growth.

Specific work documents to include in a portfolio might be any of the following:

  • Job Description
  • Company Newsletters
  • Financial Reports
  • Performance Appraisals
  • Displays and Exhibits
  • Proposals
  • Press Releases
  • Cost Analyses
  • Contracts
  • Charts/Graphs
  • References
  • Manuals
  • Correspondence
  • Survey Reports
  • Citations and Awards
  • Certificates
  • Program Outlines
  • Research Reports

Evaluating Intern Progress

Review organization goals as well as intern goals/requirements on a regular basis. In the beginning of an internship, more frequent meetings may be helpful to both employer and intern. Evaluation processes may differ and may be formal or informal depending on organization culture and structure.

Here are similarities that both interns and internship supervisors have in the evaluation process:

  • Review the internship position description and ensure goals are being met
  • Review objectives and/or goals set by the intern and revisit any that have changed or which need adjustment to ensure completion during the experience
  • Review tasks and assignments and clarify expectations
  • Determine if additional assistance or training is needed to help the intern be successful
  • Ask the intern to evaluate their experience and accept feedback on concerns and successes
  • Regular written evaluations are helpful if your organization would like to consider hiring interns
  • Written evaluations by both intern and employer can also provide the opportunity to publicize the success of your internship program to management and to potential interns.

Evaluating the Internship and/or Internship Program

Maintaining program popularity requires hard evidence that the organization is getting a return on its investment. Some organizations have adopted a process of formal exit interviews. This process can determine if interns have positive experiences, and provides valuable feedback to managers for program planning in future.

In addition to qualitative measures, a number of quantitative measures may be adopted. Some common measures include the number of interns that become full-time employees, repeat requests for interns from managers, and growing numbers of intern applicants. Tracking these types of qualitative data can be made easier utilizing the Handshake system. In order to successfully measure program outcome, return to the stated program goals, and address those outcomes.

Step 5: Conduct Exit Interviews & Follow-Up

As internships wind down and the workload and tasks lessen, the last few weeks are crucial for organizations to take action and conduct exit interviews. Exit interviews are a great resource for revealing strong insights into a company it would not be able to uncover otherwise.

Decide what type of interview to conduct. One might be a face-to-face interview, if time permits. However, exit interviews can also be offered in the form of a worksheet or template the intern can fill out on their own time. Both options collect important feedback for the company.

To make the most of an exit interview, organizations should make sure to ask critical questions, such as the following:

  1. How would you describe our company culture?
  2. If you could make a change to your internship/internship program, what would you change? What, if anything, about the company as a whole?
  3. How did the job match your expectations? How did it help you achieve your goals?
  4. What do you believe is the next step in your profession, and how can we help you get there?

Outside of the exit interview, it is important to make time for a proper “goodbye”. The interview and an opportunity to tie up loose ends not only gives insight, but allows everyone involved to leave with good feelings about the experience.

Ensuring a Quality Internship Program

  • The experience must provide for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives related to the student’s professional goals.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Top 10 Concerns of Student Interns

1: Give us Real Work

It cannot be said too many times that interns want to work and learn. An internship can help you with projects and assignments that may not get accomplished otherwise. If you have brought on an intern as a recruitment tool, the work produced allows you to assess their abilities. It just makes sense to utilize your interns well.

2: Do What you Say, Say What you Do

Be honest with your interns about what they can expect during their internships. If the job will require stuffing some envelopes, then make that clear. But if you tell the intern they will be researching a project, and they spend 90% of their time doing “grunt work,” then bad feelings may develop. Honesty does not cost you anything, and it will make the interns feel that much more prepared and productive.

3: We Like Feedback

Remember that interns are students, and they may not have the business skills, experiences and workplace behaviors that you take for granted. If your intern makes a mistake, use this as a “teaching moment” and pull him or her aside and explain how the situation should be handled in the future.

4: We Want to be Included

Is there a staff meeting that they can attend? Can they quietly tag along to that next project meeting? Head to lunch with a couple of people in the office? Please include them in the daily life of your workplace. After all, if you provide a little more perspective on the intern’s work, the product will be much better.

5: Please Explain

When you assign work, make sure you give a detailed explanation. While the work may seem trivial and obvious to you, it may not be obvious to someone who has never done it before. Patience and a few extra minutes at the beginning will pay off later when your intern can produce good work independently.

6: I Want a Mentor

Make sure that interns have mentors or supervisors to provide guidance. Identify those who truly like to teach and train, and the experience will be even better.

7: A Minute of Your Time, Please

The best mentor in the world is useless if he or she cannot or will not spend the necessary time mentoring. As newcomers, interns may not speak up if they are feeling ignored, so the burden of making sure they are okay is on the mentor. If the busiest person in the office wants to be the designated mentor, he or she should schedule regular times to meet with the intern.

8: Be Prepared

That wonderful day has arrived and the intern begins his/her internship only to learn that no one knew they were coming, and there is no place for them to work.

9: I Need a Chair

It is amazing how many employers hire an intern and do not think about the fact that they will need a desk, chair, phone and computer to perform assigned tasks. It is no fun, and inefficient to move an intern from desk to desk as people are out one day to the next. If you want to get a job done, you need to supply the tools to do the job.

10: Show me the Money

While each internship is different, and each industry has its own personality, remember that interns have expenses. Your organization may not be in a position to pay much, but anything can help. Maybe you can help pay for their parking, take them to lunch every so often, or develop some other creative way to assist them.

Principles for Professional Practice

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles for Ethical Professional Practice are designed to provide everyone involved in the career development and employment process with two basic precepts on which to base their efforts: maintain a recruitment process that is fair and equitable; support informed and responsible decision making by candidates.

The environment in which we all work is subject to continuous and rapid change, with advances in technology, increased competition, diversifying constituencies, and differences among generations. Therefore, the Principles are intended to serve as an enduring framework within which those involved in the career development and employment processes operate and as a foundation upon which professionalism and ethical behavior are promoted.


1. Practice reasonable, responsible, and transparent behavior...

… that consciously avoids harmful actions by embodying high ethical standards.

… by clearly articulating and widely disseminating your organization’s policies and guidelines.

… that guarantees equitable services for all constituencies.

… that is commensurate with professional association standards and principles.

… when resolving differences and addressing concerns.

… by nurturing sustainable relationships that are respectful and transcend transactions.

2. Act Without Bias...

… when advising, servicing, interviewing, or making employment decisions.

… when defining what constitutes employment.

3. Ensure equitable access...

… without stipulation or exception relative to contributions of financial support, gifts, affiliation, or in-kind services.

… in the provision of services and opportunities without discriminating

… by proactively addressing inclusivity and diversity.

4. Comply with Laws...

… associated with local, state, and federal entities, including but not limited to EEO compliance, immigration, and affirmative action.

… in a timely and appropriate way if complaints of non-compliance occur.

… and respond to complaints of non-compliance in a timely and prudent manner.

5. Protect Confidentiality Of...

… all personal information related to candidates and their interviews, and their engagement with services, programs, and resources.

… student information related to professional plans.

Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation in Missouri is designed to provide certain benefits to employees who sustain injury by accident or occupational disease arising out of and in the course of their employment, and who are not willfully negligent at the time of the injury.

It should not be confused with unemployment compensation, Social Security disability benets, health and accident insurance, or other disability benefit plans provided by the employer.

The Division of Labor provides services to those who have been injured on the job or exposed to occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment. The Division also makes sure that an injured worker receives benefits that they are entitled to under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law. The Division’s Administrative Law Judges have the authority to approve settlements or issue awards after a hearing relating to an injured worker’s entitlement to permanent benefits allowed by Missouri law.

Policies for Use

NACE and Equal Employment Opportunity

In order to provide fair and equitable services to our students and employers, the Career Planning & Development Center and its partners adhere to the following policies:

Employers must subscribe to the National Association of Colleges and Employer (NACE) Principles for Professional Practice, the Department of Labor laws and regulations, and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recruitment and employment guidelines and laws established by the Federal and Missouri governments. We do not knowingly furnish assistance and facilities for interviewing or other career services functions to employers who discriminate in their selection of employees on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation.

Right to Refuse Service

The Career Planning & Development Center reserves the right to refuse service to employers for factors such as the following:

  • Misrepresentation by dishonesty or lack of information
  • Fraud
  • Complaints by students
  • Harassment of Webster University students, alumni, or staff
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Requiring, at the time of application, personal information such as bank and social security numbers
  • Positions not likely of interest to college students or alumni
  • Excessive outlay of personal funding required to obtain the position
  • Failure to adhere to Career Planning & Development Centers’ policies and/or any violation of Webster University rules and regulations, and local, state, or federal laws.

Internship Offer Guidelines

Webster University recognizes that the recruiting process involves important decisions for both students and employers. We encourage students and employers to use fair and reasonable practices when in the job and internship search and appreciate employers who extend opportunities to students. In order to support those employers’ needs and to provide students adequate time to evaluate and respond to job and internship offers, we request employers consider these guidelines.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) notes, “Experience shows the best employment decisions for both students and employers are those that are made without pressure and with the greatest amount of information. Students given sufficient time to attend career fairs, participate in on-campus interviews, and/or complete the interviewing in which they are currently engaged are more likely to make good long-term employment decisions and may be less likely to renege on job acceptances”.

Expectations for Students

  • Make requests for reasonable accommodations promptly
  • Immediately release offers they do not plan to accept
  • Not accept an offer for employment while continuing to pursue other opportunities
  • Not renege or turn down an accepted job offer

Expectations for Employers

  • Demonstrate flexibility in working with students to consider reasonable requests
  • Communicate hiring timelines clearly
  • Not place undue pressure on students to make offer decisions
  • Uphold job offers

Internship Offer Timelines

Internship to Full-Time Offers: For students receiving a full-time offer after a summer internship, the offer should remain open for a minimum of 3 weeks from the date of the written offer, or until November 1, whichever comes later.

Fall Recruiting: For students receiving offers for internships or full-time positions during the fall recruiting season, the offer should remain open for a minimum of 3 weeks from the date of the written offer, or until November 1, whichever comes later.

Spring Recruiting: For students who receive offers during the spring recruiting season, the offers should remain open for a minimum of 2 weeks from the date of the written offer.

Internship Offer Challenges

Rescinded Offers: Most positions are offered on an “at will” basis. However, if conditions change and require the employing organization to revoke its commitment, we advise employers to notify students of a rescinded offer immediately. The employer should consider a course of action for the affected candidate that is fair and equitable. This is in accordance with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Position Statement on Rescinded and Deferred Employment Offers. This document provides additional recommendations, legal considerations, and ethical considerations for employers.

Student Reneges: Webster University strongly discourages students from reneging on internship/job offers, and makes efforts to educate students about the implications of taking this step. If a student reneges on an offer with your organization, please contact us immediately.

Additional Policy Information

Work Authorization: In compliance with a Department of Justice Determination, the Career Planning & Development Center does not permit the use of work authorization, visa status, or citizenship data in Handshake job postings. More information can be found at the Department of Justice.

Legal Compliance Notice Regarding Internships: The Career Planning & Development Center expects employers to be aware of the legal issues governing internships and co-op programs. More information can be found in the Fair Labor Standards Act and the NACE position statement on U.S. internships.


The Career Planning & Development Center is Proudly Affiliated with Professional Associations, Including:

  • Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers (MWACE)
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
  • Gateway Career Services Association (GCSA)

Contact Us

The Career Planning & Development Center is located at 568 Garden Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 (Garden Park Plaza)

  • John Link, Director, Career Planning & Development Center / johnlink42@webster.edu / 314-246-6981


Created with images by Seventyfour - "Attractive Asian entrepreneur discussing details of mutually beneficial cooperation with her female business partner while having negotiations at cozy cafe" • Brooke Cagle - "Sponsored by Google Chromebooks" • Colin Watts - "Money"