The Quinlan School of Business' Business Career Services office believes experiential learning through internship positions is a critical component in the training of today's business students. Internship experience can provide each student with "real world", pre-professional experience that may shape the rest of a career journey. The Business Career Services office provides guidance, support and resource to every Quinlan student who wishes to pursue an internship experience.
Internship Program Information:
- General Internship Guidelines
- The Internship Search Process
- Academic Credit Information
- Internship Opportunities in RamblerLink
General Internship Guidelines
All internships, including virtual internships, must clearly meet the criteria set forth by the National Association for Colleges and Employers (July 2011):
- The internship experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience applying the knowledge gained in the classroom.
- 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/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
- There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
For more resources on developing internship programs, we highly recommend reviewing the National Association of Colleges and Employers 15 Best Practices for Internship Programs as well as InternBridge's Organizational Audit for Internship Programs.
Some experiences do NOT qualify as an internship:
- Positions that displace a regular employee.
- Position that are 100 percent commission-based.
- Positions that require door-to-door canvassing, cold-calling, telemarketing, or petition gathering as the primary activity.
- “Independent contractor” relationships that require the intern to set up his/her own business to sell products, services and/or recruiting other individuals to set up their own business.
- Positions in which the student is required to pay the employer for any part of the experience (e.g., fees for training).
Please note: The list above is not exhaustive and Loyola University Chicago reserves the right to deny any internship that raises a concern with faculty or staff members.
Private sector employers need to be familiar with the United States Department of Labor guidelines for legally offering unpaid internships, as most opportunities are actually employment that requires payment. This fact sheet produced by the United States Department of Labor provides general information to help determine whether interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In order for a Loyola University Chicago student to receive academic credit for an internship, the student must receive approval of the internship site and position description by a university faculty instructor and/or administrator prior to the internship experience. Please note: Schools and programs within the University may have different requirements related to the number of internships work hours required.
Paid and Unpaid Internships
Loyola University Chicago supports the National Society for Experiential Education’s position regarding paid and unpaid internships:
... to favor paid work positions for students whenever pay can be arranged in work environments that have the potential for meeting the student's goals …Credit is for what students learn; pay is for what they provide to the field sponsor. The two are neither mutually exclusive nor conflicting … (National Society for Experiential Education, 2011)
The Internship Search Process
Many employers claim they will only hire business students who have at least one internship experience on his/her resume. Besides being a key to future employment opportunities, internships can be the first step in establishing a professional network, collegial relationships and a clearer career development path. If you are interested in internship experience, your next steps are like any other job search—a process:
1) Self-Assessment: Decide why you want an internship. Are you prepared to work without compensation if necessary? What would you like to gain from an internship experience?
2) Career Exploration: Research some companies or geographic areas where you might want to search for an internship. Use Hoovers Pro or RamblerLink to research some industries. Create a "wish list" of employers or position types that you want to work toward attaining.
3) Decision Making: Making the decisions about internship location, compensation, etc. will leave with launching your search.
4) Acting on your decision*: Prepare yourself for a job search! An internship search is almost identical to a job search. Business Career Services can provide advising, workshop, and on-line resources to assist you with this step.
5) Evaluation: Once your internship is complete, reflect on the experience before moving forward in your career development. This is the time to decide if you want to set up another internship before graduating and how that might be different from the first internship.
Internship Opportunities in RamblerLink
Quinlan students are encouraged to use RamblerLink to source their internship opportunities. Make sure to use the NACElink feature in RamblerLink to expand your search locally, nationally and internationally. While it is important to diversify any search strategy with networking, informational interviews, job shadowing and external postings, Loyola University Chicago provides this valuable resource to students.