Applying Learning to Professional Experience
Internships are part of Furman's academic program, so we encourage our students to search for opportunities that allow them to assist organizations through meaningful, professional internship projects. By setting learning objectives and applying the knowledge gained in their courses, activities, and experiences, internships allow students to obtain relevant experience and skills for their future.
The internship supervisor, who will mentor and give feedback to our students through regular meetings, is an essential and valuable part of the internship experience. Thank you for your interest in Furman University's Internship Program.
Furman seeks internships that include problem solving, communication, research, teamwork, and professional projects. To ensure our students get this experience, we have outlined some basic requirements for any internship:
- Provide orientation and training that includes an agreement with the supervisor on the learning objectives of the internship. Include how the intern will be asked to apply, integrate and synthesize knowledge and utilize skills in the context of the internship.
- Assign a project where the intern can have ownership of the process and results and address a specific issue/problem, if possible.
- Provide periodic feedback on performance and meetings to answer the intern's questions (at least weekly)
- Provide a work space with necessary access to phone, computer, and other necessary resources.
- Introduce the intern to the co-workers/clients and explain how the intern will collaborate with them during the internship; including periodic interaction, attending office meetings and other opportunities to learn about different perspectives and build on-going and meaningful relationships.
- Explain how the department fits into the organization as a whole and how decisions are made within the department and the organization.
- Give the intern opportunities to provide input and ask questions about the processes and decisions.
- Discuss future opportunities in the field and provide contacts for networking.
- If there is a problem, speak directly to the intern. If the supervisor is unsure how to deal with a particular situation, please call the Internship Program Director.
- At the end of the internship, complete an evaluation form to provide formal feedback about the intern's performance. Provide the intern with a letter of recommendation, if appropriate.
When to hire an intern
Our students are available throughout the year. They work full-time in the summer, and part-time (12-15 hours a week) during the academic year. Be sure to contact our office at the appropriate time to request an intern:
- Fall part-time internships: Contact us in May or June.
- Spring part-time internships: Contact us in September or October.
- Summer full-time internships: Contact us between October and February. You'll be able to offer our students a position by March so that they can start the internship in May or June.