Guide for Internship Supervisors
Creating a Meaningful Internship Experience
In order for an internship to be a meaningful experience, students should be given adequate supervision and be included in doing real, substantive work. There are plenty of great internship opportunities in the world, but the intention behind the Creative Media Internship Program is that students will make meaningful connections with Hampshire alumni and friends who are invested in their growth and development. As much as possible, try to find opportunities for your intern to learn new skills, meet people in the industry, and observe professionals at work. Give constructive feedback when necessary, and positive feedback when earned. If you have any issues or challenges with your intern, please contact our office immediately. We will do our best to help you sort out the situation and find a positive resolution.
- Keeping an open mind. Over the years, the Hampshire community has grappled with issues of identity and how to work towards a society that values and respects all people. To that end, the use of inclusive language has developed in ways that may be unfamiliar to you. As a Hampshire alum or friend, we hope that you will keep an open mind and, when appropriate, be willing to engage in respectful dialogue with your intern should issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. come up.
- Being aware of language and assumptions. Whether or not you are aware of it, it is possible that your interns may experience subtle forms of racial bias (or even more blatant discrimination based on race or other identities) at some point during their internship, either in your office or with other people with whom they are working. Racial microaggressions are brief and everyday slights, insults, indignities, and denigrating messages sent to people of color by well-intentioned white people who are unaware of the hidden messages being communicated. If you'd like to learn more about microaggressions and how they affect students, this video by Dr. Derald Wing Sue, professor of psychology at Columbia University, gives some great examples.
- Using preferred gender pronouns. It is possible that your intern may use a gender pronoun that surprises you. For example, students who present in a way that might lead you to assume you should use "she/her" pronouns, may in fact use "he/him" or "they/them." It's a good idea to ask! Please follow their lead and use the gender pronouns they specify. Learn more about navigating gender pronouns.
- Making mistakes. If an intern approaches you about these issues, we hope you will take the intern seriously and view it as a learning opportunity. Try to listen with an open mind and work with your intern to take the necessary steps to create an atmosphere of inclusion. It's okay to make mistakes! You can show your support by addressing the issue quickly without it becoming a central focus or distracting from the work. If you need assistance in navigating these issues, please contact our office; we're here to help you!
Supervising a Hampshire Intern
Hampshire interns are required to conduct a mid-internship check-in, as well as request a final evaluation. Below are links to the forms you will need. Please read below for more detail on how to structure an internship and how these requirements fit into the experience.
Before the Internship
- Contact your intern to clarify start date, hours, and compensation (if applicable).
- Check your calendar to make sure you will be available to meet and welcome your interns on their first day.
- Think about what you would like your intern to do this summer and make a list of tasks/projects. Inform co-workers about the intern's duties so they can help supervise the intern, if appropriate.
- Determine the intern's work space and coordinate space/equipment with co-workers.
When your Intern Arrives
- Introduce the interns to co-workers and show them the space in which they will work.
- Explain office procedures and/or traditions.
- Give your intern a project to start on right away. Interns want to be busy and feel needed. This also helps to ease the awkwardness of the first few days.
During the Course of the Internship
- Communicate! If there is something the intern should be doing differently, please let the intern know. Your constructive criticism as well as your positive feedback helps your intern learn.
- If your intern is telecommuting, try to check in with the intern via phone at least once a week.
- Schedule a time, usually halfway through the internship, to do a mid-internship check-in. Use the Mid-Internship Check-In form to tell the interns what they are doing well, as well as how they can improve. This is also the time to set goals for the remainder of the summer.
- Be on the lookout for learning experiences for your interns, and try to get them involved as much as possible.
- Feel free to call us if you have any questions or need support dealing with an unusual intern situation. We are here to help!
Evaluating your Intern
In order to complete the internship experience, please write a final evaluation for your intern. This will give them valuable information about their performance as well as allow them to include the internship on their transcripts. Please print your evaluation on company letterhead if available, and make sure to include the following information:
- Dates of the internship
- Approximate number of hours worked per week
- Duties of the intern
- Your comments about the intern's performance
- Your signature
- Interns must receive a signed, hard copy of the evaluation or a scanned email version that includes your signature.
Evaluating the Internship Program
- Give us your feedback! We want to know how this program is working for you, and if there is anything we can do to improve.
Thank you for providing an internship for a Hampshire student this summer. We are here to support you through the internship process. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you encounter a challenging situation with your intern, please contact us right away.
We are looking forward to working with you!