Student Success Centre

Internship FAQ

What is Internship Employment?

An internship is an extended period of work, typically 12 to 16 months continuous duration. Students are employed in settings which provide work experience directly related to their academic programs and career objectives. The setting may be the private, public, or not-for-profit sector.

Students typically leave school for a year to work for an employer who is offering a 12 to 16 month work term, which will provide education-related work experience. In certain cases, 8 month terms can be arranged. Average salaries range from $35,000 to $50,000 annually (depending on academic program, location of employer, and other factors).

What are the Benefits of Internship Employment to Recruiters and Students?

Recruiters definitely see the benefits of hiring and training students with several years of academic education to take on major projects and responsibilities. Both students and employers may find that there is a good match of interests leading to a full time job offer after graduation. Internship students are regarded as regular employees taking on responsibilities far beyond the typical duties assigned to 4 month co-op or summer students.

What type of Students Participate in Western's Internship Program?

Internship programs are available to students in the Management and Organizational Studies program, and the faculties of Engineering and Science. Students applying for an internship program must have a minimum average of 65% (Engineering) or 70% (MOS and Science) with strong communication and interpersonal skills.  Please contact your faculty or department for additional qualifications.

What is expected from a Student participating in an Internship program?

It is expected that the student will:

  • provide accurate and appropriate information on their qualifications and interests when applying for positions
  • notify the Interview Coordinator well in advance if interviews must be rescheduled or cancelled
  • respond to a job offer within 48 hours
  • honour the acceptance of a job offer, since it is a contractual agreement with both the employer and the university

On the job the student will:

  • be responsible and accountable
  • respect safety and the environment
  • demonstrate ethical and professional judgment
  • be punctual, resourceful, adaptable, and productive
  • recognize and respect the employer/employee relationship: communicate progress and areas of concern with the employer first, then the Internship Coordinator

What is expected from an employer hiring an Internship student?

It is expected that employers will:

  • extend all job offers through the Internship Coordinator
  • confirm acceptance of job offers and terms of employment in writing to students
  • honour all offers of employment
  • provide a job that relates to the position posted
  • provide accurate and complete information on job responsibilities, compensation, and benefits
  • assign a mentor or advisor, to assist the student to identify goals and clarify role and responsibilities
  • treat the student as an employee
  • provide the student with relevant training and development opportunities
  • monitor student's progress, and provide formal/informal feedback on a timely basis to both the student and to the institution