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Key to Internships: Ruling It In or Ruling It Out

January 4, 2018 5:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts


Internships can be a win-win for the student AND the employer. During an internship, the student has an opportunity to become immersed in the work and culture of the organization. Over the months of working at a particular job, the student will be able to formulate an opinion about the work and the organization. After completing the internship, if the student decides to pursue or not to pursue employment in this field or with this employer, it is a win – I refer to this as “ruling it in/ruling it out.” This experience helps to clarify for the student what it means to work at this type of job and at this organization. If the student pursues employment with this employer, it will be with a fuller understanding of the job and work culture. This can potentially reduce employee turnover during the early career phase, which could mean an improvement in Return on Investment (ROI) for employers.

Employers invest significant resources into preboarding and onboarding new employees. When there is early career employee turnover (employees leaving the job within the first year), it can impact the employers’ bottom line. Internships provide employers with opportunity to see how a student (potential employee) adapts to the culture and accomplishes the assigned work. At the end of the internship, if the employer does not invite the student back for a second internship or does not hire the student upon graduation based on performance during the internship – this is a definite win for the employer. If the employer does offer employment to the student based on an internship, the employer benefits since recruiting costs (advertising, resume reviews, interviewing, other related recruiting activities) are reduced since the student was most likely identified during regularly scheduled college recruitment efforts.

 Suggestion: When you are discussing the value of internships with your employer partners, you may want to highlight the potential to improve their early career recruiting ROI.

AUTHOR: Dr. Kate Darcy Hohenthal is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Experiential Education at University of Hartford. She can be reached at



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