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  • UNL Toolkit Helps New, Existing Internship Programs

    March 18, 2019 | By NACE Staff

    Special Populations
    Mallory Wallace builds an employer internship toolkit at University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

    TAGS: best practices, internships, nace insights, career development

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    When Mallory Wallace was hired as the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s (UNL) first internship coordinator in 2017, the career services office had resources regarding internships, but mostly for students and for data capture.

    Wallace developed UNL’s Employer Internship Toolkit to provide information for employers with existing internship programs and for those looking to establish one.

    “I created this resource because some of the employers were not meeting our requirements and expectations for internships,” Wallace says.

    “I thought we needed to develop something to help those employers train and grow, and to help other employers create quality internship programs. It’s a training tool and something that I use to market the idea of creating internships at companies that don’t have them.”

    It took Wallace a full semester to complete the toolkit. She used information from UNL, the NACE position statement on U.S. internships, and from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    “I also looked in the NACE Community Library for samples and used several, including ones from Sacramento State and Notre Dame,” Wallace says.

    “In addition, I reached out to our state government, our international students office, and our campus partners because we have decentralized career services and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Several employers and students provided quotes about their internship experiences.”

    The toolkit provides key information, such as that defining internships, offering internship program best practices, identifying top concerns of interns, and more.

    “It also includes information for employers about how to write their descriptions to make sure they get posted to our career services platform,” Wallace says.

    “Previously, some employers with internships were posting descriptions that didn’t have enough evidence that they were actual internships instead of a part-time jobs.”

    Wallace has several suggestions for schools looking to create their own employer internship toolkit, including:

    • Make it available online only—Doing so will allow you to make changes to the toolkit quickly and as needed, such as when contacts, policies, and/or information are updated.
    • Use available resources—Look to the work of others—such as that available in the NACE Community Library—for guidance.
    • Enlist design help—Wallace says she designed UNL’s Employer Internship Toolkit herself and it took a great deal of time.

    Says Wallace: “The goal is to provide valuable information to employers so that their internship programs can operate more effectively or to help them establish internship programs the right way.”

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