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Recruiting an Intern: Making the Most of Pratt Talent

Presentation created by Laura Keegan Internship Program Manager Pratt Institute

A collaboration between the Center for Career & Professional Development and the Office of Alumni Relations at Pratt Institute

Overview of Webinar: ‘Internship’ is a major buzzword in higher education, in the media and within the creative industries. The modern-day internship still remains rooted in experiential education but is poised to adapt to industry and student needs. Pratt alumni are some of the best educational partners, especially if they have been an intern and understand the difference between an educational experience as opposed to an intern being used for free/cheap labor. This webinar will discuss: • Definitions: What is an internship? • Internship program development • The Paid vs. Unpaid intern debate • Legal and ethical issues surrounding internships • Ways to connect to Pratt talent • Data reflecting current students and alumni • Upcoming events & opportunities • Valuable resources

Internship: a ‘loaded word’ We receive calls and e-mails every day, someone is seeking an intern or offering an internship. These requests come to our office, faculty and administration. This is an exciting time for students seeking industry insight and opportunity to apply their studio practice and theory to projects and assignments outside of Pratt. 

Internship Site Supervisor – The professional supervising interns at the internship site, completes assessments and evaluations. Key: needs to be a professional in the field relevant to the student’s study or professional pursuit.

Internship Faculty - Departmental internship faculty member. Faculty run departmental internship courses and guide students from the beginning of the term through the end of the term during their internship. 

Paid Internships These are internships that meet state requirements for minimum wage. In New York State, the minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Generally, if you are in a true paid intern, registering for academic credit is optional. At Pratt you can get paid at your internship and receive academic credit.

Unpaid Internships These internships are common in the art & design fields. It is a student's choice to take an unpaid internship. If you are interning at a for-profit company and are unpaid you will most likely be required to register for academic credit and show proof of enrollment or formal acknowledgement by Pratt. You can register for credit and obtain proof of enrollment through the Center for Career and Professional Development. Please call 718-636-3506 to set up an appointment. Compensation bearing internships are considered unpaid internships.

Compensation Bearing Internships These internships typically offer stipends for travel or meals, Metro cards for transportation or a daily pay rate. These are not paid internships; they do not offer any of the benefits or rights for interns in the workplace. If an internship is in the for-profit sector, these internships will typically require students to be registered for academic credit (like unpaid internships) under Federal Labor Laws.

Pratt Internships are… …a monitored and evaluated skill building or service learning experience with intentional learning goals and outcomes. Internships reflect actively on a student’s professional pursuits or specific areas of interest. 

We see an internship as a temporary position off campus, on-site, where the emphasis of the overall experiences is on education and training.

It is related to a major or career goal and designed to provide exposure to the workplace or industry. This form of experiential education is a triumvirate partnership between student, Pratt and employer.

Typical Characteristics of an Internship:  Set and agreed upon time limitations, goals, outcomes and expectations.  A typical experience is three months.  Students do seek out, secure, create and develop an internship experience individually outside of the educational sphere, Pratt Institute is not involved. An internship can be distinguished by what it is ‘not’. It is not a short-term job or volunteer work. For employers, internships are not a chance to hire part-time or full-time free labor to perform tasks that employees who do not have the time or desire to complete. Key elements   

A learning agenda with defined and agreed upon objectives at the earliest stage Observation, reflection, evaluation and assessment Promote academic, professional or personal development

…keep in mind…

Internship position descriptions are ‘coded’ within our online database of job and internship opportunities, PrattPro, which is hosted by the Center for Career & Professional Development. A true unpaid (and credit bearing) internship offers in-kind education and opportunity rather than cash: each intern walks away from the experience with training, exposure, credentials and We ask most potential internship site very often job offers. supervisors (or those hiring) to consider areas where compensation can be offered: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Daily stipends Cover cost of academic credit Gift cards Housing Completion bonus Transportation (metro card/relocation) Books Clothing Discount merchandise/tickets Training on specific software (in depth) Scholarships Studio/equipment use Software packages

**Be aware that academic credit is not compensation** **Requiring academic credit for an unpaid internship will lessen the pool of eligible candidates for every internship position** 

Economic disparity

Departmental and Institutional eligibility requirements

Cost and time to work unpaid while a full-time student

Creates the feel of a ‘low impact’ opportunity

Creating & Structuring the ideal internship program: Utilizing interns is not a hard sell, internship programs can assist an artist, company or an organization to: •

Add sheer energy to projects and to the work environment

Develop entry-level positions, a very low-risk recruiting method

Provide supervisory experience to employees needing this skill

Open the door to future applicants

Short term talent for special projects

Fresh ideas to the organization

Increase retention rates

Reinvigorate your work force

Low cost labor

Positive public relations and word of mouth marketing

Increase diversity

At Pratt, what is a credit-bearing intern? A student who has found and secured an internship and is enrolled for academic credit @ Pratt. At Pratt our students typically commit to a timeline of 10 weeks during the summer and 15 weeks during the fall and spring. A typical experience is three months. If a student is enrolled for academic credit they are asked to adhere to a these general guidelines: 

Zero Credit: 60-80 hours minimum; option only for summer term

1 credit: 120 hours minimum

2 credits: 180 hours minimum

3 credits: 240 hours minimum

Must connect with a faculty member throughout the experience, there is course registration, a syllabus, assignments and evaluations of student, site and internship supervisor. Participate in a wide range of internships including, paid, unpaid and compensation bearing in the NYC metro area, outside and internationally with faculty and departmental permission. The majority of Pratt interns are taking an internship as an elective, we only have three departments where an internship is required to graduate. This does not include student teaching, practicums, therapy field work or independent study experiences coordinated by faculty and students.

Set goals for the program: You need top down support and people in charge of the interns; a professional as ‘mentor.’ This is the person who gives work assignments to an intern, offers work-related feedback and evaluates an intern. This person will also be present for an intern orientation and exit interview (how an intern arrives and leaves the position).

Write a plan: What is the academic calendar like? What term do I want an intern? Summer term students have more time, but the out of pocket costs can be extreme. Fall and spring term will require flexible schedules.

Internship Program Highlights

What will be the learning outcomes (what you expect the intern to learn?) and learning tasks (what an intern will do in order to accomplish the learning outcome)?

Manage interns: Who will supervise interns and what kind of work will interns be doing (short-term vs. long term projects)?

Recruit interns: How are you reaching potential interns? How do you vet your candidates, what skills are you seeking? Evaluate interns and the internship program: If you hire academically credited interns, at Pratt the evaluation components are built into their internship courses and evaluations are collected by faculty in the beginning, middle and at the end of the experience through a Learning Contract or Intern Agreement, a Mid-Term Evaluation and a Final Evaluation (for both student and employer). In some cases, faculty will conduct a site visit in addition to these evaluations. If these evaluations are not in place, you need to incorporate evaluative mechanisms, how will you as a supervisor measure the benefits of an internship program?

Internship Position Descriptions, the key to attracting an intern… Here is what interns are seeking out of an internship: Writing an internship description can be tricky, think about how the intern description can attract the student groups you are seeking:

Real work experience (Pratt theory in practice) New skills Ways to strengthen their resume and portfolio

Key aspects

To build a network Screen potential employers or industries

The internship experience timeline 

Your calendar vs. the academic calendar

Position descriptions 

What will a student learn when working at your company/organization?

Time commitment 

Flexibility with students taking full course loads, or working a job to support their unpaid internship.

Compensation/incentive 

If you can’t offer minimum wage, what can you offer to defray out of pocket cost to students?

Opportunity to transition into full-time employees Challenging assignments Compensation Fulfill a degree requirement (Critical & Visual

Studies, Fashion Design and Creative Writing at Pratt) Obtain academic credit (international students) Incorporate service and give back to the community Chance to live in a new area

This is a fully comprehensive internship position description from a Portland marketing firm, Fish-Marketing. “Want to be an intern at Fish Marketing? The Fish Internship is an educational experience, intended to provide an overview of how an advertising agency operates, and to give participants practical experience in an area of interest. Interns have the opportunity to work 15-16 hours per week and receive 4 credit hours, or to work 12 hours per week and receive 3 credit hours. The schedule is flexible, but must be completed during regular agency hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:30). Interns are paid a stipend at the end of the term $1,000 for the 15-hour work week schedule, or $750 for the 12-hour work week schedule. Work responsibilities will be split between regular office tasks we assign each week and the educational coursework requirements outlined below.

Entice creative interns

The agency Controller acts as the internship supervisor. The supervisor has the responsibility and authority to ensure that the internship provides opportunity for the following learning objectives and activities to be accomplished. LEARNING OBJECTIVES To gain a complete overview understanding of what functions are performed in an advertising agency To understand the working relationship between the various functions in an agency To understand the working relationship that the agency has with its clients To understand the working relationship the agency has with the advertising media and suppliers To perform specific tasks in at least one area of interest that will significantly enhance the understanding of that function The position goes on to detail specific intern focus areas at their firm and who the intern would directly report to with an outline of their application process. (e-mail letter of introduction and resume)� Description taken from:

Landscape of legal issues surrounding internships. The Pratt community needs to be more aware of the modern internship landscape and of the potential risks surrounding internship hiring. Education is the most powerful word within the realm of the modern day internship.

• • •

Educate self Educate staff Educate interns

The goal: to develop a healthy environment for all stakeholders.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Not a new set of guidelines, has been in effect since 1938, outlines minimum wage and child labor laws.

April 2010 update to actually include the word ‘intern’ in relation to ‘trainee’. (Fact Sheet #71)

Does not state that academic credit absolves payment, does state that educational components

How the Fair Labor Standards Act will affect your internship opportunity and your organization:

The FLSA applies primarily to for-profit, private sector internships and training programs which are unpaid. Companies and organizations that fit this description must either pay interns or the student must be receiving academic credit for the unpaid internship for it to be legal under labor laws. 

Students at Pratt can both be paid and receive academic credit. Credit for internships is elective at Pratt Institute, meaning that registration is an individual students choice.

The internship cannot require or depend on the use of an intern's personal equipment or software (i.e. sewing machines, adobe creative suite, laptops, Pratt Institute facilities, etc.). To be considered a paid internship, a stipend or scholarship in lieu of payment must be the equivalent of minimum hourly wage ($7.25/hour in New York). If the scholarship award does not meet this minimum requirement the internship is considered unpaid.

Interns must be supervised by an industry professional at the internship site. (i.e. If you are hiring a graphic design intern, then a professional designer on staff must oversee and guide the intern's learning process.)

Other concerns to keep in mind… In addition to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and understanding what that means for your internship program, at Pratt we also wish employers to know more about:  Virtual internships; may not be a great method to host an intern; equipment

use  Intellectual Property & copyright issues  Workers' Compensation

Internship sites are advised to enroll all interns, regardless of pay, on their Workers' Compensation coverage. Employers are required by New York State to provide Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage for interns, both paid and unpaid. Resources are available at the end of this presentation for those interested in learning more about whether or not workers’ comp coverage is a requirement of your place of business or organization.  Access to resources; awareness is key to avoiding pitfalls

Pratt Intern Feedback (current students and alumni) 2011 Survey

Barriers to an internship experience… Why didn’t you participate in an internship while at Pratt? • • • • • • • • •

Had to work full time Is/are ethically opposed to internships which are unpaid/low paid in art & design Had not been offered one yet Felt internships were not made readily available and accessible Is/are currently in the search process Had too much work or too many hours of homework to participate in an internship Couldn’t participate because internships were not an option in their department Couldn’t participate due to visa status Did not know how to get an internship

**Other conditions in which students were offered paid  employment from their internship include: •Created a proposal outlining why they should hire student and  why, created position for intern •Limited contract work period only •Was offered a full time position but turned it down •Through networks available at the internship, found paid work  elsewhere •Offered to extend/continue internship experience

Opportunities to Connect to current Pratt students:

Annual Internship Fair

Each fall we host the Annual Internship Fair for companies within the New York City area who are seeking interns from all of our majors. This event introduces students to company representatives who are offering internship opportunities in the following spring and summer semesters. 


We offer recruiting during the academic year to employers looking to fill paid positions. Recruiting dates must be set up a minimum of one month in advance to leave time for us to administer promotion to the targeted audience.


Pratt Talent

Become a Mentor

Host a ‘field trip’ during orientation or Each year our office works with the Fashion Society, a student organization during fall or spring term in collaboration serving our fashion design students and fashion enthusiasts, to create an event with our Peer Counselors that brings cutting edge fashion professionals into conversation with our

• •

Fashion Round Table

Offer a job shadow program: 3 days on- students. The roundtable format ranges from casual chatting to professional networking and always results in engrossing dialogue. site or 1 full week vs. a 3 month internship commitment Career Day This event is a collaboration between the School of Architecture, student Offer educational opportunities, what are organizations (Pratt AIAS and CMAA/AGC) and Center for Career and Professional Development to serve students studying Architecture, City and you an ‘expert’ in that you feel Pratt students would be interested in hearing Regional Planning, Construction Management, Environmental Systems Management, Facilities Management, Historic Preservation, Interior Design, about? and Urban Design. The event is typically held in February and draws over 200

Participate in panel discussions

students to meet with employers. Registration is required.

Resources Top places Pratt students go-to to seek an internship (surveyed responses): 1. Independent research and connections 2. Faculty member 3. A friend or fellow student 4. PrattPro (internship & job database with the Center for Career & Professional Development) 5. Pratt’s Annual Internship Fair/Career Day 6. A company or organization website 7. Pratt Department e-mail list-serv announcements 8. Craig’s List 9. Job Boards: • • • • • • Urban Interns • Creative hotlist • •

Fact Sheet #71 (Updated April 2010 by Department of Labor: Fair Labor Standards Act)

Intern Bridge website; employers section

Total Intern Management: Employers guide to building the ultimate Internship Program by Richard Bottner and Intern Bridge, Inc. Penny Loretto is reaching a huge student population. Keep up to date on issues surrounding internships through her page.

Workers' Compensation laws vary from state to state. Contact your local Worker's Compensation Office to find out how to enroll for coverage. Once you have enrolled for coverage, it is a simple task to add interns as they are hired.  New York Manhattan Office: 800.877.1373  Brooklyn Office: 800.877.1373  Pennsylvania Office: 717.783.5421  New Jersey Office: 609.292.2515  Connecticut Office: 860.566.4154

Laura M. Keegan, Internship Program Manager at Pratt Institute

Alex Fisher, Career Development and Customer Relations Coordinator

NY Magazine April 2012 Infographic

Recruiting an Intern: Making the Most of Pratt Talent  

April 12, 2012 Presented by Laura Keegan, Assistant Director for Experiential Education

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