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Internships

For Students

For Employers

An intern is a student or recent graduate undergoing supervised practical training. The following criteria separate an intern from an employee:

  • The work is an integral part of the student’s course of study.
  • The student will receive credit for the work or the work is required for graduation.
  • The student must prepare an evaluation of his/her experience and submit it to a faculty supervisor.
  • The employer has received a letter or some other form of written documentation from the school stating that it sponsors or approves the internship and that the internship is educationally relevant.
  • Learning objectives are clearly identified.
  • The student does not perform work that other employees perform.
  • The student is in a shadowing/learning mode.
  • The employer provides an opportunity for the student to learn a skill, process, or other business function or to learn how to operate equipment.
  • There is educational value to the work performed, i.e. is it related to the courses the student is taking in school.
  • A qualified staff member supervises the student.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

A common question asked by employers is whether the employer must
pay an intern for his/her work.  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid. The criteria are:

  • The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
  • The training is for the benefit of the student.
  • The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
  • The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the training may
    actually impede the operations.
  • The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
  • The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

All six factors do not have to be present for an individual to be considered a trainee, however the experience must ultimately look more like a training/learning experience than a job.  If the position does not meet trainee criteria, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay employees at least minimum wage for all hours of work performed.

Many employers pay a stipend to interns for their meals and travel costs or to assist with tuition.

How to Establish an Internship for Credit

Students are eligible to receive credit for internships that have been documented through the Office of Student Affairs.  Once selected the student must meet with the Career & Internship Advisor and pick up the internship contract and supporting papers.  The student will
bring the contract to the internship site before his/her first day at work.  The contract must be completed and signed, and then returned to the Career and Internship Advisor.  At the end of the internship, both the student and the host supervisor evaluate the experience on the supplied evaluation forms.  The forms are turned in to the Career and Internship Advisor before grades are issued.

A student interning for credit can also be paid by the host organization.  Again, the position must meet the criteria of an intern/trainee and not an employee.

What Does the CalArts Internship Contract Cover

The contract outlines the basic work agreement between the intern and the host.  That is, what duties the intern will have, what he/she
will learn, and the hours and days the intern will work.

If the Host requires a separate contract for the intern to sign, a blank copy must be given to the Career & Internship Advisor to keep on file.

In the event the intern submits original material to be considered for development by the Company, or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries, the Company must negotiate with the intern in good faith for the acquisition of rights in and to the original material.

The Host supervisor should contact the Career & Internship Advisor Amy Young at 661.253.7892 or by email with questions and concerns regarding CalArts interns.

Last edited by cmartinez on Jun 27, 2012
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