Frequently Asked Questions

What is an internship?
An internship is a pre-professional experience providing students exposure to careers. Internships offer students a chance to identify and build skills needed in a career field of interest and gain real world work experience to further their job-searching efforts after graduation.

I am hiring my first intern. Any tips?

  • Think outside the box, students in the Bemidji area have a variety of skills in many disciplines.
  • Set clear expectations before the beginning of the internship.
  • Clarify what learning objectives the intern wants to accomplish by the end of the internship.
  • Provide consistent positive and constructive feedback.
  • Offer to write a letter of recommendation or serve as a future reference.

What level of compensation is typical for an internship?
A student intern's hourly wage is ultimately up to your organization, but varies depending upon experience, industry, and major; typically interns in the Bemidji area receive an hourly wage from $8.00 to $20.00 per hour. If you are unable to budget an hourly wage, consider offering a monthly or semester based stipend to the student. (Note: The issue of pay is dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act. To provide guidance regarding whether interns should be paid the minimum wage.)

Do interns work 40 hour work weeks? Do they typically work five days a week?
One of the great things about Internships is the flexibility; most students often plan their internship schedules around their class schedules on campus or when school is out is the summer. In most cases an internship can involve anywhere between 10 and 30 hours per week. Once you identify an intern candidate you will need to discuss his/her availability and agree on a schedule that will work for both parties.

When do internships typically begin? How long do they last?
Internships usually follow the starting and ending dates of the academic semester. They can take place during summer breaks (typically May-August), during the fall (September -December) or the spring (January-April). An internship is generally between three to nine months and can begin in summer, fall or spring.

How does a student obtain academic credit for internship experience?
Credit requirements for internships vary by school and department. In most cases it is the responsibility of the student intern to seek credit by working with his/her academic advisors and/or professors either a) during the internship search, b) shortly after an internship offer has been made or c) before the assignment has started.

What if my intern does not work out? Are there rules for terminating interns the same way as there are for full or part time positions?
In most cases, interns are treated as employees and therefore the same laws apply. It is advised that you consult with your Human Resources department and/or seek legal counsel for further information and specific Department of Labor requirements.

Can full-time employment be offered after the internship program has been completed?
Yes, if your organization and the intern can come to an agreement about full-time employment that is the ultimate win for Bemidji and your organization!

What if I just have a short term project? Can I find a student worker through InternBemidji?
Yes, all of our partner schools will be glad to  help your organization find a student to help you complete your short term project. Fill out our contact form and select “Short Term Project” under “Internship or Job Type” and we can get the process started.