IWU Internship Program – Experience the Possibilities!

“Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.” - John Keats

Internships for IWU students help to make their education “real.” Students in all academic programs at the university can participate in internships - giving them the chance to gain experience related to their major or career goals, and providing an opportunity to test their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. While a great option for students, internships are also quite beneficial to sponsoring organizations.

Benefits for Employers

  • Access to highly motivated and talented students who are eager to learn.
  • Assistance with special initiatives or projects.
  • Fresh perspectives, insights, and ideas for your organization.
  • Reduced workload for your professional staff.
  • A cost-effective way to preview potential employees.
  • An opportunity to share your expertise by serving as a professional mentor.

View our brochure

Frequently asked questions about the IWU Internship Program:

 How does the internship program work?

  • If you are new to Internships, check out this great resource to get started: Starting and Maintaining A Quality Internship Program.
  • Once we receive internship announcements, our staff will publicize the internship position through our online opportunity database, Handshake.
  • Interested students will submit resumes, which will be forwarded to organizations electronically for screening, interviews, and candidate selection.
  • If an IWU student is hired as an intern, please let us know. The Hart Career Center will then work with you to support and evaluate the student’s experience.

What is expected of Intern Supervisors?

  • Provide a clear job description and meaningful opportunities for work experience.
  • Conduct interviews and make hiring decisions in a timely fashion.
  • Orient the intern to your organization and provide consistent supervision and feedback.
  • Assist the student in developing and completing learning objectives for the experience.
  • Complete an evaluation of the intern’s performance and return it to the Hart Career Center at the end of the semester.

When are internships offered?

  • Part-time internships occur in the fall (Sept.-Dec.) and spring (Jan.-April) semesters, typically for 12-15 weeks.
  • During May Term and summer, students can intern full-time or part-time.

What if a student wants to earn academic credit for an internship?

  • Academic internships must be approved by an academic department and supervised by a faculty member.  Interns, employers and faculty supervisors work together to complete a learning contract for the academic internship experience.
  • An academic internship requires a minimum of 160 hours at the site, working 12-15 hours/week during the semester or full-time hours during May Term.

Do I need to pay an intern?

  • Compensation is not required for an internship in the IWU Internship Program; it is up to the discretion of the employer.
  • However, with the expense of education, an internship salary is an attractive factor for many students when selecting an internship.
  • We encourage all employers to review the U.S. Department of Labor's policy on internships when determining intern compensation.The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) considers an unpaid internship in a for-profit company legitimate if it meets all of the following six criteria. (May 2010). The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment. 2. The internship is for the benefit of the intern. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under the close supervision of existing staff. 4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded. 5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship. 6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship. For more details, see U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71 (www.dol.gov)

Can I meet IWU students at Internship or Career Fairs?


  • IWU holds an annual Career Fair on campus in the fall. All employers are invited to attend.
  • IWU also cosponsors Job and Internship Fairs with Illinois State University on the ISU campus and with the College Career Consortium of Illinois (CCCI) in the Chicago area.
  • For more details, contact Brian Richardson, Assistant Director for Career Engagement/Internship Coordinator, at (309) 556-3326 or brichar1@iwu.edu.

May I interview students on campus?

Of course!

  • We welcome having employers interview on campus.
  • Contact Patrick Zajac, our Recruitment Coordinator, to reserve a room and set up the interview schedule. Email Patrick at pzajac@iwu.edu or call (309) 556-3095.

How do I get started?

Contact the Hart Career Center at (309)-556-3071 or ccenter@iwu.edu.

We look forward to working with you!