Cornell University

Office of Career Services

201 Ives Hall, 607-255-7816

Internships

A student speaks with a recruiter at an ILR Career FairInternships are a great learning experience for students, and they can be extremely beneficial for you, too. Interns from ILR will perform good work for you; you can identify top candidates for future employment; and you can build your reputation on campus as an employer of choice.

We offer a variety of internship opportunities for students, including two winter internship programs: the Freshman Externship Program (FEX) and the Winter Intersession Program (WISP). Semester-long internships are possible through ILR's Credit Internship Program.

Summer Internships

Many of our students do take advantage of one of these programs or a summer internship. In fact, a number of graduates entering the workforce from our bachelor's and master's programs report finding their jobs through their internship experience. For information on how to structure an internship, typical internship projects or job duties, as well as mean summer intern salaries, please contact Regina Duffey Moravek, Director, at 607-255-7816.

Many employers ask if they are legally required to pay students enrolled in an internship. The answer to that question depends on whether or not the student is considered an employee subject to the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to pay all employees at the rate of not less than current minimum wage. The Department of Labor (DOL) has developed criteria to assist employers in identifying when a student is not considered an employee within the meaning of the FLSA:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocation school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees or students.
  3. The trainees or students do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation.
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees or students, and on occasion the employer's operations may actually be impeded.
  5. The trainees or students are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
  6. The employer and the trainees or students understand that the trainees or students are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

A student not meeting all of the above criteria will in fact be considered an employee covered by the FLSA and therefore the employer is legally obligated to provide compensation for his or her services. As with all matters requiring legal interpretation, it is always wise for employers to work closely with their own legal department to ensure compliance with federal and applicable state laws.