Advantage Center at Aquinas College

Internship FAQ's for Employers

For more information, please call (616) 632-2126 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday- Friday. Please note the office is closed when the College is officially closed. 

Q: What if I have never had an intern before or want to improve my internship program?
A: The West Michigan Internship Initiative is a great resource. More information can be found at Hello West Michigan

Additionally, NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers offers best practice guidelines, reports, and other resources. Click here to view “How to Hire, Retain, and Grow Top Millennial Talent”, a 52 minute course offered from LinkedIn.

Q: When can a student start an internship?
A: Ideally, the internship would align with the traditional academic calendar:

  • Spring Semester - January - May (16 weeks)
  • Summer Term - May - August (10 weeks)
  • Fall Semester - August - December (16 weeks)

Q: What is the difference between for credit and certification?
A: Students who receiving academic credit for their internship register for an academic course, which includes written assignments, evaluations, and an on-site visit. Students will either receive a grade or a credit/fail and must successfully complete the internship in order to receive credit.  

Certification, on the other hand, allows the College to track the experience and requires minimal paperwork.  

Q: What are the minimum hours required?
A: In order to receive a robust experience, we recommend interns work on-site no less than 10 hours per week, over a 16 week period or 150 hours total (accounting for a mid-semester break). 

For credit-bearing internships, the breakdown is as follows:
3 credits = 150 hours total
6 credits = 300 hours total
9 credits = 450 hours total
12 credits = 600 hours total

We encourage our students to clear their schedules so that a minimum 4-5 hour block is available 2-3 times per week. 

Q: What is required of me as the supervisor?
A: First and foremost, an internship is a learning experience and we expect that the supervisor takes time to mentor the student, provide learning opportunities, and give valuable input and feedback on performance and professionalism. Additionally, the supervisor is required:

  • To complete the supervisor’s portion of the Internship Learning Contract
  • To complete a mid-point and final evaluation
  • To participate in an on-site evaluation with the intern and Aquinas representatives
  • To alert Aquinas if there are issues or concerns

Q: How will I evaluate my intern? 
A: Supervisor/mentors complete a mid-point and final evaluation online 

Q: Do interns have to be paid? 
A: Good question! The U.S. Department of Labor has created a 6-point test for unpaid internships; you should review this information with your legal team if you still have questions. This 2016 Report on unpaid internships is available from NACE. 

Q: What professional organizations are available to me?
Aquinas College is a member of MCEEA, the Michigan Career Educator and Employer Alliance and NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Both offer online resources, conferences, and workshops. 

Q: What majors or academic areas of study do Aquinas offer?
A: Aquinas is a liberal arts college with an emphasis on career-orientation. Click here to view our undergraduate areas of study

 Q: Can I recruit on campus?
A: Yes and we would love to have you! Please contact Dana Hebreard at 616-632-1121.