• How Interns and Co-ops Spend Their Time

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    June 12, 2013

    Since employers report that the main focus of both their experiential education programs is to recruit entry-level college hires, it’s not surprising they say that their interns and co-ops spend most of their work time on meaningful tasks. (See Figure 1.)

    Overall, employers responding to NACE’s 2013 Internship & Co-op Survey say that their interns/co-ops spend just 1.9 percent of their time working on non-essential business functions. In addition, 57.9 percent of their work time is spent on a combination of analytical/problem solving (35.9 percent) and/or project management (22 percent) tasks.

    The rest of the time is spent on communications (19.1 percent), logistics (12.2 percent), and administrative/clerical tasks (8.9 percent).

    Figure 1: Distribution of Intern/Co-op Time 

    Type of Tasks 

    Percentage of Time
    Spent on Them

    Administrative/clerical 8.9%


    Logistics 12.2%
    Analytical/problem solving 35.9%

    Project management

    Non-essential functions 1.9%

    Source: 2013 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    NACE’s 2013 Internship & Co-op Survey was conducted from November 15, 2012, to February 1, 2013. A total of 306 NACE-member organizations from more than 20 industries took part. The survey report will be available later this month.

How Interns and Co-ops Spend Their Time