Hiring an Intern

Hosting a CalArts Intern is a great way to create a mutually beneficial partnership with emerging talent. With students studying Music, Art, Theater, Film/TV, Dance and Critical Studies, we are confident that our students will be a strong fit for your company's needs.


What do we consider an internship?

An internship is a monitored work or service experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what they are learning throughout the experience. 

The internship must be a learning experience and must  provide opportunities  for the intern to apply 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. 

Internship Quick Facts
  • Internships can be paid or unpaid
  • Internships can receive academic credit or be taken for no credit note: only internships for academic credit are overseen by The Patty Disney Center for Life and Work
  • Internship format can be in-person, online or hybrid
  • Internships for academic credit must be held during the Fall (September - December), Spring (January-May), or Summer (May-August).


Host Company Qualifications

Companies hosting a CalArts intern receiving academic credit must:

  • Be a legally registered business or professional
  • Provide an on-site supervisor who is  a full-time professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience. 
  • Have the capacity to provide a formal orientation and onboarding 
  • Provide routine feedback by the experienced supervisor. 
  • Make available resources, equipment, and facilities that support learning objectives of the internship


Host Company Responsibilities

The intern supervisor is required to meet with the intern individually to set goals, expectations and responsibilities by completing an internship contract. This document will define the intern's role within your organization. Throughout the internship, we ask that you meet with your intern on a regular basis to review progress, projects and expectations.

At the end of the semester, or when the internship concludes, we ask that you provide us with an internship evaluation. For questions about internships, email clw@calarts.edu.


Writing an Effective Internship Position Description

If you need support developing an internship program or position description, take note of the tips below and review our Employer Guide & Sample Job Description.

  • Clearly outline all internship tasks, duties, responsibilities and potential projects.
  • Describe the training and mentorship that will be offered and what skills/experience will be gained.
  • Describe how the skills/experience will be valuable across your industry and what career it will prepare the intern for.
  • Describe the professional background of the supervisor/mentor and what they have to offer.
  • List the types of staff member/clients/people the intern will come into contact with and the potential for building relationships/networking.
  • Describe the specific skills/qualifications/abilities you are seeking. Keep in mind qualifications should be in the realm of the student's year level. Interns typically would not have much prior professional experience.
  • Limit the hours to 10-20 during the academic year and offer flexibility if possible.
  • Additional ideas: Offer an internship orientation at your company, offer job shadowing opportunities in various in-house departments, offer opportunities to conduct informational interviews with other staff members, offer guidance on professional development within your industry.