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Guide for Employers

  1. Why hire a Parsons intern?
  2. How do I hire a Parsons intern?
    1. Step 1: Find an intern
    2. Step 2: Register your internship using the Internship Work Contract
      1. Employer internship registration process
        1. Letter of eligibility and credit
      2. The Internship Work Contract and process for completing it
        1. Sample internship timeline (spring)
      3. Internship Criteria
        1. Internship start and end dates
        2. Hours and credits
        3. Zero-credit internship option
        4. Intern payment
    3. Step 3: Mentor and evaluate your intern
      1. Mentorship
      2. Learning objectives
      3. Mid-Point Check
      4. Student Evaluations
  3. Internship issues
  4. Employer ethics and responsibilities

WHY HIRE A PARSONS INTERN?

Work with the best and brightest. In an increasingly designed world, art and design reflect and shape all kinds of experiences. Through rigorous practice and critical scholarship, Parsons students prepare to become leaders in their professions and society. Project-based learning experiences inside and outside the classroom familiarize Parsons students with the pace, required skills, and culture of workplaces, allowing them to adapt quickly to internship sites and contribute right away.

Find new talent. Internships let you observe students' skill sets, work habits, and personalities to determine if they might be a good fit for your company in the future. Interns can also bring fresh perspectives and methods to projects and teams.

Help Parsons students develop professionally. By hiring Parsons students as interns, you help them learn to apply the skills acquired at Parsons to real-life work settings. You have opportunities to share resources—your wisdom, networks of contacts, and tools—with the next generation of artists and designers.

HOW DO I HIRE A PARSONS INTERN?

You Can Hire a Parsons Intern in Two Easy Steps:

Step 1. Find an intern and make an offer
Step 2. Register your internship using the Internship Work Contract

Step 1: Find an Intern

Advertising an Internship
To hire a Parsons intern, post the position on the Parsons Online Job Board (collegecentral.com/parsons). Parsons degree-seeking students use the Parsons Online Job Board to find jobs and internships. You can post jobs, internships, and volunteer and freelance opportunities or browse résumés and portfolios and contact students and alumni directly. The following steps outline the process of listing an internship on the Parsons Online Job Board.

Posting an Internship
1. Go to www.collegecentral.com/Parsons.
2. Select the "Employers" section.
3. Select the "Register Now" link.
4. Enter your contact information in the "Employer Registration" fields. Be sure to include your email address and create an Access ID. Career Services will email you a password by the next business day.
5. Once you have your password, return to the website www.collegecentral.com/Parsons.
6. Select "Online Services." Enter the Access ID you chose and the password Parsons Career Services emailed you.
7. Create your online posting for an internship.

When you've selected an intern to hire, extend an offer. After your offer is accepted, the internship registration process begins.

Step 2: Register Your Internship Using the Internship Work Contract

Employer Internship Registration Process
All hired interns and employers participating in the Parsons Internship Program must complete an Internship Work Contract, which is reviewed by Parsons staff to determine student eligibility. If an internship is approved, Parsons will email you and your student intern a copy of the completed Internship Work Contract; the student can then register for credit* and begin the internship. Students may not begin internships until they, their employers, and a representative of Parsons have signed their Internship Work Contracts.

* The deadline for students to register for internship credit is October 5, 2012, for fall 2012 and March 15, 2013, for spring 2013.

Letters of Eligibility and Credit
Parsons does not issue letters of eligibility and credit registration. The Internship Work Contract filled out in its entirety and signed by all parties is sufficient proof of both eligibility and credit registration. The contract indicates whether the student has registered for the internship for credit or on a zero-credit basis. (A zero-credit internship is recognized as a credit course.) The university recognizes the digital signature on this contract as legally binding.

The Internship Work Contract and Process for Completing It
The Internship Work Contract is an electronic form that includes the intern's duties, learning objectives, work hours, and start and end dates. It is completed first by the student, then by the employer, and finally by Parsons. The student is responsible for downloading the Internship Work Contract from our site, filling out the student section (including "Learning Objectives," "Credits," "Major," and "Degree"), signing the contract, and then sending it to you.

Once you have received the contract from the student, please fill out the employer section using Adobe Reader. We encourage you to work with the student when completing the Learning Objectives field so that both parties can take part in determining the pedagogical goals of the internship.

View instructions for completing the Internship Work Contract.

Sample Internship Timeline (spring)

Jan. 21 (day 1): Your internship offer to a student is accepted.
Jan 22 (day 2): Student completes and signs relevant section of the Internship Work Contract and emails it to you.
Jan 23 (day 3): You complete the relevant section of the Internship Work Contract and submit it to Parsons.
Jan 24-28 (days 4–6): The student's faculty of record and/or academic advisor review the Internship Work Contract. If information is not approved (for example, if the start and end dates do not fall within the current semester or the student schedules more than 15 hours per week), the Faculty of Record and/or Academic Advisor edits the Internship Work Contract or has the student submit a revised one.
Jan 25-Jan 29 (days 7–10): Student's Academic Advisor emails the student instructions to register for the internship. Student successfully registers.
Jan 30 (day 11): Internship Work Contract is returned to you, and the student may begin internship.
Mid-March: You perform a Mid-Point Check with the student to track progress and review learning objectives.
Apr 15: A Student Evaluation is sent to you.
April 22: A Student Evaluation is re-sent to you if it was not received the first time.
April 29: A Student Evaluation is re-sent to you if it was not received the second time.
April 30: Students who have not been evaluated are sent an email asking them to follow up with their employer.
May 3: Evaluations are due.
May 10: Evaluations are sent to the appropriate faculty member to guide the assessment of the student. Grades appear on student's transcript.

Internship Criteria
All internships approved for the Parsons Internship Program must

  • Involve useful work related to the student's field of study and support his or her professional goals. (Please see our "Learning Objectives" section to develop internship learning guidelines.)
  • Be performed under the direct supervision of a professional. Continuous mentorship throughout the semester is crucial to the success of the internship program. You must conduct a Mid-Point Check to ensure that Learning Objectives are on their way to being achieved by the end of the internship. You are also required to submit a Student Evaluation at the end of the internship.
  • Meet requirements stipulated on the Internship Work Contract, such as those outlining work hours, dates, and credits.

Internship Start and End Dates
Internship work must be completed in the same academic semester in which the student expects to receive academic credit. The internship must begin on or after the start of the semester and end before or on the last day of the semester.

  Internship Start Date Internship End Date
Fall 2012 August 27 December 18
Spring 2013 January 28 May 20
Summer 2013 May 20 August 12

Hours and Credits
In order to maintain a balance between coursework and the internship experience, Parsons students cannot work more than 15 hours per week.

Number of Credits Minimum Hours Maximum Hours
0 60 No more than 15 hours/week through internship term dates
1 60 No more than 15 hours/week through internship term dates
2 120 No more than 15 hours/week through internship term dates

Note: Summer zero-credit internships have a minimum of 60 hours as a requirement. Any hours exceeding 60 hours must be approved.

A student cannot work more hours than those specified on the Internship Work Contract. If you have questions about internship hours or need more interns (i.e., you have more than 15 hours per week of work), please contact Parsons Career Services at 212.229.8940 or parsonscareers@newschool.edu for assistance.

Zero-Credit Internship Option
With Parsons' approval, a student can elect a zero-credit internship option in order to document registration for an internship without paying full tuition for credits. Zero-credit internship registration is the same as one- and two-credit internship registration and is sufficient to guarantee an internship's official recognition by the university.

Intern Payment
Students must pay tuition for one- and two-credit internships. The cost sometimes deters highly qualified students from accepting internships. If you cannot pay an hourly wage for a Parsons intern, consider offering another form of compensation, such as a stipend or travel reimbursement. Note: International students (F-1 or J-1 visas) must be approved for Curricular Practical Training to be eligible for payment of any kind. This means that they must have an Internship Work Contract before starting their internship.

HOW DO I MENTOR AND EVALUATE AN INTERN?

Mentorship
Mentoring interns lets you guide students to use their growing skills on real-world projects and in actual work settings. The Parsons Internship Program formalizes this process by outlining Learning Objectives and documenting your student's progress toward them in a Mid-Point Check and a final Student Evaluation.

Learning Objectives
The Parsons Career Services office strongly recommends that you work with your student to set useful, reasonable internship Learning Objectives on the Internship Work Contract.

Learning Objectives are goals and objectives that students hope to achieve through internships. Use the following guidelines to establish Learning Objectives with the student:

Professional Skills  

Interns acquire professional skills by participating in a professional work environment. They gain an understanding of office hierarchies and learn to define effective and efficient work practices; develop mentor relationships and a professional network; accomplish tasks or participate in projects that showcase their skills and build résumés and portfolios; and observe professional etiquette, including dress codes and proper forms of communication.

Industry Awareness

Interns learn how an industry works and how various companies and consumer markets differ from one another.

Career Goals and Relating Internships to Classroom Experience

Internships should relate to coursework. For example, an intern might apply information learned in a design course to create a tech pack for a fashion company, gain experience using Adobe InDesign or Photoshop by designing a publication, or be exposed to photography studio practices as preparation for establishing a business.

Communication Skills  

Interns exercise written and verbal communication skills, become comfortable talking to clients and co-workers and confident expressing ideas, and practice listening and accepting both criticism and positive feedback.

Mid-Point Check

In addition to mentoring your student throughout the internship, you are expected to hold a mid-point review to assess his or her experience and performance. The Mid-Point Check, required of all employers hiring Parsons interns, should be completed halfway through the internship. Mid-Point Checks involve the following activities:

  • Engaging in open dialogue with your intern about how he or she thinks the internship is progressing
  • Assessing your intern's work
  • Reviewing your intern's Learning Objectives and progress toward achieving them
  • Establishing corrective measures to enable the intern to accomplish his or her goals

Students review the information in their Mid-Point Check with their Faculty of Record and Parsons Career Services staff to fully benefit from their internship experience.

Student Evaluations
You are expected to evaluate your intern's performance at the end of the semester on the basis of the aims outlined in the Internship Work Contract. All internships are graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis, and Student Evaluations are intended to provide qualitative feedback on the intern's

  • General level of preparedness
  • Ability to achieve goals set out in the Learning Objectives
  • Contribution to the work environment
  • Relevant skill set
  • Overall professionalism
  • Attendance
  • Areas that need development and specific suggestions for improvement

The Student Evaluation is emailed to the internship supervisor listed on the Internship Work Contract three weeks before the end of the semester. Please see the semester start and end dates and timeline above.

The Student Evaluation must be completed and returned by the deadline specified in order for the student to receive a grade for his or her work. View a sample Student Evaluation Form (Adobe PDF).

INTERNSHIP ISSUES

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Parsons Career Services office at 212.229.8940. We are happy to help you resolve any problems you might have.

EMPLOYER ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The New School prohibits employers of interns from discriminating on the basis of age, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, religious practices, mental or physical disability, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, or veteran or marital status.

The university also expects employers not to expose our students to anything that would be reasonably considered sexually explicit, obscene, libelous, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, or hateful—in other words, any behavior or material that is personally embarrassing or is offensive to another person or group.

By offering a Parsons student an internship opportunity, you agree to the terms, conditions, and limitations outlined on this page.


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