We have identified six best practices for setting up an internship program and encourage employers to review and follow them:

1) Paid Internships vs. Unpaid Internships: Understanding state and federal labor laws

In June 2013, a U.S. District Court federal judge came down with a landmark ruling that two unpaid interns working on the movie “Black Swan” were entitled to wages and were wrongly unpaid.  Since this ruling, a national discussion has been occurring over the practice of employers hiring unpaid interns.

Westchester Putnam Internship Connex encourages participating employers to offer paid internship opportunities.  However, when electing to offer an unpaid internship be certain you carefully review and seek counsel to ensure your business is in compliance with state and federal labor laws.  For more information visit:

U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet on Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

New York State Department of Labor Wage Requirements for Interns in For-Profit Businesses

2) Work with local colleges and universities

Westchester County is home to terrific colleges and universities with established career services departments. The Westchester Putnam Internship Connex portal is your direct link to career counselors at fifteen of the local schools, who are ready to connect you with a student eager to break into your industry.

3) Create a detailed job description

When drafting an internship job description, include your businesses’ mission statement, departmental information and specific job tasks that will be required from your intern. The more information presented upfront, the more likely you will be matched with a student prepared for the job and vested in your company’s mission.

4) Interview your interns

Spend time with the candidates applying for you internship position. Take the time to understand their field of study, interests, skill set and motivations. This will ultimately lead to a valuable work experience for the student, and a productive work environment for the employer.

5) Hold orientations and assign an internship supervisor

Provide your intern with the support needed to be successful. Hold an intern orientation and explain your expectations, office producers and office policies. Assign a staff person to act as an intern supervisor, should they need any guidance or advice along the way.

6) Offer real career experience and training opportunities

Offer your paid intern real career experience by assigning them meaningful and challenge work.  Allow your intern to participate in training sessions and educational seminars during their time at your company.

college studentsCollege Counselors Click Here To JoinEmployers Click Here to Post Internships

Welcome to our comprehensive College Internship Portal for Westchester and Putnam Counties.

"The Westchester Putnam Internship Connex is a dynamic, one-stop portal designed to connect locally enrolled college and university students with local internship opportunities at area employers in Westchester and Putnam Counties.The Internship Connex Web site helps students break into their field of study and prepares them to enter the workforce post graduation, while providing local employers with immediate support and a long-term recruitment pool of educated and talented workers. We hope this tool serves our students and businesses well."

County Executives