We aim to create opportunities for students to enhance their understanding of, and experience in, a variety of occupations and industries. This organization internship manual page aims to assist in the creation, implementation, and facilitation of comprehensive internships for our students. For the purpose of the manual, “organization” is defined as an entity that hosts students as interns.
The term "internship" is commonly used to describe a part- or full-time temporary position that has the dual purpose of educating while providing work experience.
In order for a position to qualify as an internship, the following criteria must be met:
The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the organization or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
Students must be at least 18 years old to participate in an internship. If a student is under 18 years of age, the NYU Abu Dhabi dean of students must authorize this exception.
Students participating in internships are required to:
If a student intern leaves her or his position for a break of more than 30 consecutive days at any time, the internship will be terminated. Student interns must reapply for any available positions and, if hired or re-hired, they will be treated as new hires.
For off-campus internships, students must submit a copy of their offer letter or letter of appointment to us at least three business days prior to commencing internship service.
Once the letter is received, we will create a No Objection Letter for the student to present to the organization prior to commencing internship service. The organization is responsible for submitting documentation to the UAE Ministry of Labor.
A set internship service schedule, subject to approval by the supervisor, will be chosen based on the position's required hours and the student intern’s availability. The following regulations should be considered:
Students may resign from their position by submitting their resignation, in writing, no less than two weeks prior to the indicated date of termination.
It is required that departments give a two-week warning notice prior to involuntary termination. The written warning will give student interns an opportunity to be aware of and correct specific job deficiencies. A copy of the warning notice should also be sent to the Career Development Center for student internship records. The student's failure to correct the deficiencies outlined in the warning notice will result in termination of internship service.
Students may be involuntarily dismissed from an internship position if:
NYUAD does not currently offer credit for internships, and our students are not required to undertake internships. However, over 90 percent of our students complete at least one internship or similar work experience during their four years. During study away, NYUAD students may engage in internships for credit at one of our global sites.
Internships typically operate on the semester schedule (i.e., fall, spring, and summer). During the academic year, first year students can intern for up to 10 hours per week, second year students can intern for up to 15 hours per week, and third and fourth year students can intern up to 20 hours a week. During the summer, students can intern in a full-time capacity (up to 40 hours per week).
Internships can be paid or unpaid. Predictably, paid opportunities receive more applicant traffic. We strongly recommend that you provide your intern with a stipend to cover food and transportation costs if possible. Our employer relations team can work with you to suggest a suitable monthly food and transportation stipend for your internship opportunity.
On-campus interviews and information sessions program designed to simplify the recruitment process for organizations are referred to as On-campus Recruitment (OCR).
After a position is posted, organizations can opt to interview applicants on our campus. Our team organizes the interviews and hosts them in our interview suites on campus as per your schedule. This way you can simply arrive and interview the selected candidates rather than arranging them all individually.
NYUAD exercises a non-discrimination policy and therefore cannot post a position that preferences one nationality, ethnic background, or gender. The only exception to this would be in the case of recruiting Emirati national talent.
While we appreciate the interest, we do not allow third-party recruiters or recruiting agencies to hire our students.
If you do not have an internship program in place, our employer relations team is happy to discuss your recruiting needs and help you create an internship program that will meet your needs as well as benefit our students.
The use of effective recruitment strategy is an important step in developing a strong internship program. Despite a very detailed and well-organized internship, without a qualified applicant pool to recruit from, an organization's internship program will not be successful. Here are some key recruitment components to consider when developing an internship program.
Organizations should contact us before completing an internship program marketing plan. Our staff can provide organizations with helpful tips about the best ways to recruit NYUAD students.
Organizations are encouraged to consider the following when developing an internship recruitment plan:
Organizations should plan ahead when developing a recruitment schedule targeted to university students. Many organizations start recruiting three to four months in advance of the internship start date in order to secure the best interns and to have a larger applicant pool to choose from. Some organizations even start recruiting nine months in advance if they have a higher volume of intern positions to fill. As mentioned before, all organizations should be aware of the NYUAD Academic Calendar when making decisions on recruitment timelines.
Where and how an organization markets their program will determine what their applicant pool will look like, so it is advisable to market internship openings in effective locations. The best places to start at NYUAD are:
Career Development Center
There are many opportunities to promote an internship program through us. Post your job or internship online through NYUAD CareerNet. Attend career fairs and industry events. Do a company presentation to educate students about internship programs.
Campus Department and Programs
Organizations may be connected with major-specific departments and programs to recruit students that fall within the academic areas they want to target. Faculty members sometimes provide excellent referrals.
Organizations may be connected with the staff in student activities or a student advisor in career-specific student academic clubs, pre-professional organizations, and/or cultural organizations to let students know about internship programs.
While developing a marketing strategy, organizations should also think about how and with what materials they would like students to apply for their internship programs. A list of application materials may include:
Large organizations that have very competitive programs tend to require more application materials than smaller organizations. The type of position will also determine what application materials are necessary. For example, business internships may only require a CV and cover letter, while public relations internships may also require a writing sample because of the position's editorial duties.
How students will apply for an organization's internship program is something else to consider.
Prior to deciding what type of application materials to require, we encourage organizations to consider the following:
The interview process for an internship program should be similar to any other full-time, regular employee recruitment process because selecting the right interns is just as important as selecting the right career employees.
Assuming that organizations have taken advantage of all possible marketing strategies to promote their internship program, they should have a large enough applicant pool to start the interview process. After receiving the application materials, organizations will start reviewing all applications to find the student(s) who have the skills and experience that fit with the organization’s needs. If the goal of the internship program is to develop potential career employees, then selecting students to interview that have similar skills and experience to new grad hires will be most effective. At no time should any organization rely solely on students’ application materials without interviewing.
Keep in mind that all principles regarding employment interviewing for career employees also apply to internship interviews. All organizations should develop a set of interview questions so that the interview process has a structure and a focus. Interviews that are free flowing and lacking in structure can discourage a student from wanting to serve in an internship at any organization.
When developing a list of interview questions, remember that questions normally asked to a career-level applicant might not be appropriate for a student-level internship interview. Here are some samples of questions to ask in an internship interview:
Most students aren’t able to answer long-term career questions ("Where do you see yourself in five years?") or salary questions ("What are your salary requirements?"). Behavioral questions, such as the last two in the list above, can be very helpful in determining whether students have the desired skills and abilities. Organizations should ask the same questions of all applicants to ensure equity.
Many organizations have a two-step internship interview process — either a phone interview followed by an in-person interview, or a panel interview followed by a one-on-one interview with the internship supervisor. Organizations should decide what type of interview process will work best for their organization. No matter what process organizations select, it is important that NYUAD students leave an interview with a positive impression of the organization.
Once the interviewing of all applicants is complete, organizations are encouraged to take some time to review their notes and all application materials before they decide on the best candidate(s). Selecting the right intern(s) is just as important as selecting the right career employees. If an organization plans to convert interns to career employees, then this process is particularly critical. Even if an organization does not use its internship program as a long-term recruitment tool, choosing the right interns will still affect how smoothly and efficiently an internship program will run. As a word of caution, organizations should be aware that just because an intern candidate has been selected, doesn’t mean that the offer will be accepted.
Here are some tips to convert students in accepting internship offers:
Whether an organization is small or large, orienting new interns is essential when setting the tone within a new work environment. It will set up the interns' and the staff's expectations and goals of the program and alleviate confusion, and is a way for interns to bond with one another and their supervisors/mentors.
Some tips to having a successful internship orientation:
Orientations should be mandatory and scheduled for the first day of work, not after interns have already started working. However, an organization might want to provide its new interns with some orientation information before their first day.
This will get them up to speed more quickly. Information about the organization’s history, goals, and products can be read before the first-day orientation so that interns can more easily digest what they learn on day one.
Orientations shouldn’t be more than a couple of hours long. If possible, we encourage organizations to coordinate orientations so multiple interns have the chance to interact with one another — this will also ensure that interns hear the same expectations and important information.
Not all staff within an employing organization will be effective intern supervisors or mentors. Organizations are highly recommended to select staff members that have the interest, the time, and the ability to work with students who have a lot of potential, but perhaps not a lot of skills to offer right away. Allowing all managers to supervise interns just because they asked for one is not a good idea and can derail a good internship program.
Supervisors are the staff members directly responsible for the interns and will provide performance feedback and daily work direction. Mentors are the resource staff that help interns get up to speed on the company culture and provide insights into the organization.
We recommend that some mentors be no more than five years out of university and that they work in the same department as the intern, have the time and the interest in being a mentor, and have a good understanding of the work that the interns will be doing.
In some organizations interns only have a supervisor who also acts as their mentor, but we recommend that someone else in the organization act as the mentor. Sometimes interns will not approach their supervisor about something that they would approach a mentor about because of a fear of repercussions. If an organization does not have enough staff to provide a supervisor and a mentor, but needs one staff member to be both, be sure that the supervisor is able to be a strong mentor as well.
If possible, organizations should orient supervisors and mentors to their roles and responsibilities before interns arrive. Setting expectations ahead of time will ensure that everyone is aware of the goals and purpose of the internship program. A good internship program has consistency throughout, no matter which staff are supervising or mentoring interns. Inconsistency can create hard feelings and dissension in the program.
A supervisor and mentor orientation is an additional method to ensure consistency within an internship program. Always have experienced supervisors and mentors attend an orientation to share their insights with new supervisors and mentors.
Some tips to help organizations supervise interns, according to Robert Inkster and Roseanna Ross :
At the Beginning of the Internship
Throughout the Internship
At the End of the Internship
 Inkster, Robert P. and Ross, Roseanna G., The Internship as Partnership: A handbook for Businesses, Nonprofits, and Government Agencies. National Society for Experiential Education, 1998.
These are some great tips on how to be a good mentor, according to Julie Cunningham :
Recognizing intern contributions is customary. Recognition events typically happen at the end of the program and can help create a stronger staff commitment to the program. Recognition might take the form of a luncheon, a thank you card or gift, a plaque, or anything you think would be a nice gesture to internship staff.
 Cunningham, 2002
Few internship programs run so smoothly that no problems arise. Robert Inkster and Roseanna Ross  suggest that both intern and supervisor expectations can cause problems, as can a lack of organization in an internship program from the start. Some common assumptions made by interns are:
Supervisors need to educate interns on the realities of the internship program, both at the start and throughout. The realities are that interns are true employees and are not treated as guests, that it takes a lot of time and money to train an intern, that interns have the same responsibilities as all other employees to be on time and show up for work, and that there is a lot to learn in any internship. Just as interns may have some misguided expectations, so do supervisors. Some common expectations that supervisors have are that the intern:
To mediate these expectations, supervisors need to be educated about the realities of today’s intern population. Students today expect to get guidance from their supervisors as a matter of course, just like they get from professors. Students today may feel some level of intimidation to ask questions, so it is still important to utilize mentors when possible. If time allows, we encourage supervisors to have one-on-one meetings with interns to facilitate regular/ongoing feedback.
 Inkster and Ross, 1998
Activities that involve developing skills and social interaction can make a good internship program a great one. These activities may be an effective method to get to know interns on a more personal level and get a sense for what today’s interns are thinking and feeling.
Social events should start at the beginning of the work term to allow interns to mingle and get to know each other better. In-house events such as picnics are a good way to get the program started.
Other popular social events include trips to sporting activities, amusement parks, or restaurants. Professional development activities allow interns to gain additional skills they see as important to their career development plans. These kinds of events can include presentations by senior-level executives; specific training classes on subjects like computer applications, presentations, time management, leadership, etc.; attendance at important company meetings; career planning workshops; tours of the facility; and volunteer activities.
At the end of the internship program, whether the program operates once or four times per year, organizations should provide evaluations or surveys to interns to evaluate the program, and to the supervisors to evaluate the interns. Evaluations benefit the organization in a couple of ways: by supplying information on how an organization might improve its internship program for future interns, and providing the ability to assess which interns should be considered for full-time employment.
Interns should fill out an evaluation about their internship and the program in general. These forms are sometimes called surveys or feedback forms. They may include questions about the application and recruitment process, supervision and training, what they gained or didn’t gain from the experience, the things they liked and didn’t like, and how they would rate the overall program. Good internship programs use these evaluations to improve processes and the overall experience for the interns and supervisors. Evaluations can be used along with a more personal one-on-one exit interview, during which interns can also talk about their experiences, or they can be handed out on the final day and turned in to the supervisor after the internship ends.
Supervisor Evaluation of Intern
Supervisors should also be given an evaluation form for each intern they supervise to assess the intern's performance. If at the beginning of the program the intern and the supervisor wrote an effective learning agreement, an evaluation of performance at the end of the internship shouldn’t be difficult. Providing documented ongoing feedback throughout the internship will also help make the final evaluation process easier. Some supervisors may have to be convinced that an intern evaluation is just as important as a career employee’s evaluation. They need to be reminded that it may be used to help decide whether to bring an intern back for another internship or for a career position. These evaluations may include such areas as how well the intern related with others, an assessment of their personal attributes, and the skills and knowledge they demonstrated.
The best internship programs evaluate the performance of the program after each cycle to both measure success and to improve process and procedures for the next group of interns. The success of internship program depends on the needs of the organization. One organization might measure success by how many projects were completed, while another measures success by the number of interns that become career employees.
Organizations should ask themselves how well their interns performed in the assigned duties. When possible, organizations should review supervisors’ evaluations of interns and make note of areas where they didn’t perform well. It may be helpful to compare all supervisors’ evaluations in order to find a common thread that demonstrates a need to re-evaluate the selection process.
If organizations hire their interns as career employees, compare how well previous interns perform as career employees versus how well non-intern new employees perform. By doing this, organizations will get a sense for what areas of the internship program work best and what might need improvement.
Organizations may also evaluate an internship program around productivity. Did productivity increase due to an intern's contribution to certain projects? A good internship program should see a definite increase in productivity.
If not, organizations should re-evaluate the selection process and the duties that interns are performing.
Are the supervisors and mentors satisfied with the program? If not, the internship program will start to fall apart because no one will want to participate any longer. Do they like the quality and quantity of interns they are getting?
If not, organizations are encouraged to review the recruitment and selection process for ways to improve the intern applicant pool. If managers aren’t getting enough interns or are getting too many, review the intern job descriptions and assigned tasks or duties to make sure the amount of work fits the number of interns recruited.
It is critical to the continuous improvement of an internship program to consider all intern evaluations or exit surveys when making changes. Most students are very candid about their experiences at an organization, especially if they turn in their evaluations after leaving the organization. Though some students may have had a personal issue with their supervisor or just didn’t get along well with certain staff members, most can provide a critical look at the things that worked and didn’t work in the program.
Organizations that don’t change and improve their internship programs over time as interns come and go will inevitably find the value and status of their program decline in students’ minds. When students have a good experience at an organization they tell their friends, but when they have a bad experience they tell everyone. Organizations should take the time to improve their internship program so the next group of interns will have the best possible experience.
When internship programs fail, there are usually some common things that happen, or don’t happen, both on the intern’s side and the organization’s side. When students don’t enjoy their internship they usually:
Interns want to do work that means something; they want to be challenged and given the time and resources to do a good job. An internship program that supports them in these ways will be more successful. Supervisors have problems with interns who:
These problems may stem from a poor selection process, but more often they stem from the supervisors/mentors not participating fully in the internship process. Effective communication from the beginning and through the program, as well as being actively involved in the interns’ supervision, will solve most of these problems.