How to Craft an Effective Internship Position Description
How is an internship description different from a job description?
An internship is a learning opportunity in which a student is actively developing and refining skills, engaging in new experiences, and contributing to an organization for a discrete period of time. With this in mind, a student should be able to easily glean learning objectives and outcomes from a position’s description, in addition to an understanding of your organization and the role’s duties, requirements, compensation, and training/supervision.
Use precise, action-oriented, and enthusiastic language in your description so a student can understand the position as clearly as possible. Specific language, descriptions of projects, and context allow a student to self-assess their fit and see themselves within your organization. A high-quality internship description can help facilitate more thoughtfully-considered applications.
Questions? Contact Whitney Jorns Kuhnlenz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Components of the position description:
- You may choose to open with a short, narrative description of the opportunity, going into specifics under the “Responsibilities” section.
- Share the mission of the organization, as well as specifics about the team or department the student would be working in
- Include some details about the work environment and culture, as well as other relevant information that could give the student an understanding of what it would be like to work there
- Note who the student will be reporting to and any relevant supervisory or training information; what can they expect to learn on the job?
- Describe daily tasks, as well as longer-term projects or initiatives. Remember that students are looking for internship opportunities that give them assignments and projects that make meaningful contributions to organizations.
- Clerical duties should not constitute more than 20% of the student’s role
- Note what the student’s work will be contributing to
- List any tools, software, or other technologies the student will be using regularly
- Be explicit about what the student will gain if they successfully complete this internship (skills, understanding, exposure)
- Articulate a culminating experience the student will complete, such as a final presentation on research to leadership
- Describe any opportunities for professional development (i.e. free trainings, Lunch and Learn series, assigned mentor) or networking opportunities
Desired vs Required Qualifications
- An overly-ample number of required qualifications may dissuade qualified students from applying. Consider listing more “Desired” and less “Required” qualifications
- Students of all class years are seeking internships. How might this position change if a rising sophomore were to be your intern versus a rising senior? Is this feasible given the position you are offering?
- Sometimes, internship providers choose to specify:
- “Open to all class years” or class year restrictions, like “rising seniors only”
- Certain majors, like “social sciences majors only” or “economics and statistics students preferred.” Keep in mind that Amherst students do not declare their majors until sophomore year and can continue to add secondary majors
- Minimum GPA requirement
- Certain digital tools or software like R, Python, Adobe Photoshop, etc.
- Would having one semester of classroom experience with a program or technique suffice for this opportunity? If so, consider opening the opportunity to all class years
Position Details and Application Materials
- Specify if you would like the student to submit a cover letter or short answer questions in addition to their resume
- Some internship providers request additional materials, such as transcripts and writing samples, which should be clearly noted in the description
- Note the start and end dates, hours per week, and compensation
- Name the contact who will be managing the hiring process
- Indicate whether or not the internship is remote or in-person
Sample Internship Position Description
MARKETING AND OUTREACH FELLOW
Company XYZ is a community-driven, solar development company dedicated to expanding access to clean energy in underserved markets. We are the #1 solar provider for nonprofits in our region, and serve small-to-medium sized commercial clients. With our competitive bidding and custom financing solutions, we make clean energy simple, affordable, and accessible.
Find us on the web at www.companyxyz.com for more information.
City, State. # St, Suite 201, Neighborhood, Zip Code.
Ms. Supervisor, Community Program Manager
The Marketing & Outreach Fellow is a core part of our Outreach Team. The Fellow is creative, outgoing, and motivated to grow the visibility of Company XYZ. They are able to learn quickly and operate well in a fast-moving, team environment. The Fellow is intricately involved in our outreach and brand building eorts as we grow our team and expand our project base in State 1 and State 2. The Marketing & Outreach Fellow is responsible for assisting in the generation of materials used to attract non-profits, businesses, and residential clients as they explore their options for solar. They also provide support in lead generation and are involved in the company’s eorts to advance community partnerships and broaden our network.
Community Outreach (40% )
- Plan client engagement and installation celebration events
- Prepare materials, client documents, printed photos for installation wrap up
- Support workshops and targeted outreach to nonprofits
- Take photos of completed installations for company materials
- Support in the management of social media platforms
- Assist in the creation of materials for advertising and brand building
- Expand Company XYZ’s online and offline presence and reach
- Lead in collecting customer photos and stories for use in future marketing efforts
- Collaborate with the Outreach Team in generating documents, including press releases, newsletters, and reports
Lead Generation Support (30%)
- Assist in the organization of events to promote Company XYZ
- Identify events, networks, and potential partners that align with Company XYZ’s mission
- Attend events and provide support
- Conduct outreach, including targeted door-knocking, to potential residential, non-profit, and commercial clients
- Experience: background or interest in clean energy and community development
- Language: English (native/fluent required)
- Computer Skills: Must be proficient in Google Drive suites and Microsoft Office (especially Word and Excel); additional relevant experience with Photoshop and/or InDesign is a plus
- Availability: 9-6 pm M-F with 1 hour daily for lunch
$15/hr for 3 month term.
Company XYZ is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other factor protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. Individuals who require reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to participate in the search process should notify our Office of Human Resources. Send a brief cover letter and resume to First Name Last Name@companyxyz.com. Application deadline is April 15, 2030.