“Internships Offer a Win-Win for Students and Businesses” – Liz Hirst, Florida State University

Florida State University is fortunate to be part of a community that values its three higher education institutions, campuses that are teeming with talented students who are preparing for future careers. Strong partnerships between the business community and our college campuses are undoubtedly, mutually beneficial.

By working closely with the Tallahassee Chamber, Florida State can better achieve its goal to improve student success through participation in high-impact internships and other forms of experiential learning. In return, local businesses tap into a young and motivated pool of prospective employees. The Governor and Florida legislature also recognize the value of these programs, calling for a renewed focus on helping students prepare for and secure jobs after graduation, promoting social and economic mobility.

Through internships, college students are able to realize the breadth of career opportunities Leon County has to offer outside of their college student bubble. Last year, the FSU Career Center connected hiring employers, who advertised more than 11,000 internships, with students. Yet only 13% of these opportunities were located in the greater Tallahassee area.

Every Fall, Spring and Summer semester, we have many students seeking experiential learning right here in Tallahassee. Their fields of interest are wide-ranging and include finance, risk management, marketing criminology, political science, communications, sales, education and the arts. Let’s demonstrate how more of our college students can become the talent that lives here.

You, the employer, will reap rewards as well by:

  • Increasing your organization’s brand awareness and visibility on campus
  • Test-driving future full-time employees or long-term part-time employees (build employment pipeline)
  • Attracting high-achieving students to your organization (student interns who have a positive experience tell other students)
  • Increasing productivity surrounding a specific project
  • Hearing new ideas and fresh perspectives (especially around social media and technology)
  • Boosting enthusiasm and energy into your organization (student interns often motivate employees to project their best selves when serving as role models)
  • Giving back to your profession and community by supporting student interns
  • Providing employees who have no full-time direct reports the opportunity for leadership, mentorship and supervision duties
  • Allowing your full-time employees time to focus on bigger scale ideas and initiatives by sharing workload with interns

Florida State’s Career Center is ready to assist your business, non-profit or organization in learning more about hosting college student interns. We provide:

  • Internship Programs 101, a presentation by request at HireANole@fsu.edu
  • Employer Internship Guide, a supporting toolkit to help you craft compelling position descriptions, academic credit guidelines and internship success strategies
  • FSU Internship Salary Data by Job Function Chart, provides insight into intern compensation
  • FSU staff site visits to area non-profits, small businesses, startups and state agencies to consult on launching or growing an internship program

We also recognize that not every organization is able to host an intern. An alternative is FSUshadow, a one-day externship program connecting students with professionals across industries and career fields. FSUshadow provides student participants with short-term, high-impact experiential learning and employer hosts with no-cost student engagement and campus-branding opportunity during academic class breaks.