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Should I Offer Internships to Students?

by Shadra Bruce

I had a very positive experience as an intern when I was going to school at Alfred University. I worked in the student affairs office and helped them revise their student adjudication system and digitize all of the records. It was fascinating work that not only gave me experience I could build on but also connected me with people in the university with whom I still maintain a relationship.

As our business expands, we have often considered the need for another person to help us move things forward. According to Mark McFadden, Director of the Alfred University Career Development Center,

“Internships are always beneficial to students and can/should be for employers as well. If you are a non-profit or the federal government, you don’t have to pay interns. However, if you are a for profit company, you are required to pay interns as per the Fair Labor Standards Act. A lot of employers think they can get around payment by offering credit, but that is not the case. Internships vary in terms of hours and pay. For example, we offer a number of internships here at the CDC. All are in the five hour a week range and we pay minimum wage.”

Internships CAN be a great way to introduce new talent and innovative ideas, but if you are a for-profit business, you need to budget for the service these students provide.

We opted to postpone hiring interns until we’ve moved forward with securing legal entity status for our business so that we can avoid any tax headaches. But we are excited about the ability to offer this win-win opportunity to a fellow Saxon. If you’re ready to hire an intern, reach out to your alma mater or a local university’s career center to get started.