Recruit at Fort Lewis College
Welcome Employers! Fort Lewis College Career Services offers a full range of services to meet your organization’s current and future staffing needs. We encourage you to learn more about these programs and contact our employer relations team directly with questions about hiring Fort Lewis College students and how we can help.
How to begin
Start early by planning to begin your search at least two to four months before you need an intern. Become visible on campus by building a relationship with Fort Lewis College. Engage with student organizations, connect with faculty, and attend Job Fairs or other employer events. Develop a Job Description that provides detailed duties, skills, and potential for learning that will inspire enthusiastic candidates to apply. Review a sample job description here. Register with the Fort Lewis College Career Services by going to https://app.joinhandshake.com/register and select ‘Employer’
- Click on the Handshake Employers button to begin.
- Fill out the information requested and verify your email
- Join your company (if it already exists) or create a new company profile
- Connect with Fort Lewis College
Post your internship description on Handshake. Accept Applications directly through the Handshake system which allows one designated person within your organization to receive applications/resumes via email. The Handshake system uses the email address you submit in your original “contact profile (invisible to students as they apply). Employers are invited to recruit at Fort Lewis College through a variety of methods including career fairs, interviews, coffee chats, as well as developing events such as workshops to reach our student population.
- If your organization would like to schedule virtual interviews or informal coffee chats, please contact Elizabeth Bussian, Employer Relations.
- If your organization would like to arrange a workshop or discuss another engagement activity, please contact Elizabeth Bussian.
- Visit this page for a list of current student organizations at Fort Lewis College.
InterviewsEmployers may schedule one-on-one interviews with students throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. These can be conducted via the tool that the employer is most comfortable using and that is accessible to our students (at no cost). These may include Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and others.
- Not posted yet – please check back.
- Not posted yet – please check back.
To sign up for interview dates, log in to Handshake, our web-based recruiting system, and request a new interview schedule. The system will collect student applications for you, send notifications and reminders to you and your applicants, and allow your pre-selected students to sign up for interviews on your schedule. You may also contact our Career Engagement Specialist to register your organization for a specific date. The Career Engagement Specialist at Fort Lewis College will work with you to set up the interview date and publicize your career opportunity to students. There are not fees for conducting interviews in partnership with Career Services at Fort Lewis College.
Career ProgrammingFort Lewis College partners with employers to offer engaging programming that highlights a content area such as virtual interviewing, developing your personal brand, highlighting an industry or sector, etc. We recommend that you schedule a time to speak with Elizabeth Bussian, Employer Relations Director, to discuss your recruitment goals and programming ideas for the best way to engage with Fort Lewis College students. We are committed to partnering with your organization to develop content-driven events with our student population such as coffee chats, tech talks, and other creative ideas you might want to discuss with an employer relations team member. When requesting an event in Handshake, please specify the event along with the format that you plan to use for your upcoming event. Our team will also make recommendations on preferred dates and times for events and workshops based on the availability of a certain date or competition with other events and activities happening at Fort Lewis College.
Coffee ChatsFort Lewis College also works with employers to schedule one-on-one or small group conversations called “coffee chats” to discuss your organization, opportunities available, as well as sharing insights into the application process. We recommend offering these opportunities around other events such as before and/or after a career fair as a chance to engage with your selected candidates. Coffee chats can be requested and scheduled through Handshake similar to the interviews above. Fort Lewis College partners with employers to offer engaging programming that highlights a content area such as virtual interviewing, developing your personal brand, highlighting an industry or sector, etc. We recommend that you schedule a time to speak with Elizabeth Bussian, Employer Relations Director, to discuss your recruitment goals and programming ideas for the best way to engage with Fort Lewis College students. We are committed to partnering with your organization to develop content-driven events with our student population such as coffee chats, tech talks, and other creative ideas you might want to discuss with an employer relations team member. When requesting an event in Handshake, please specify the event along with the format that you plan to use for your upcoming event. Our team will also make recommendations on preferred dates and times for events and workshops based on the availability of a certain date or competition with other events and activities happening at Fort Lewis College.
Career FairsCheck back for Career Fair dates and information.
Build Your Internship Program
Starting a new internship program for your organization? Looking for ways to improve upon your existing program? We encourage you to use the Employer's Internship Guidelines provided below.
Definition of an InternshipInternships are defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) as: “a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths, while simultaneously giving employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.” Internships range in duration from a month or two to an entire semester or more. They may or may not carry credit and may be paid or unpaid based on the Department of Labor criteria.
Internships must meet the following criteria
- The position must be a learning experience directly related to an academic field of study available at Fort Lewis College.
- The company/organization must be a legitimate established business located in commercial space.
- An experienced professional with expertise in the content area of the internship must be assigned to supervise/mentor the intern student. This person trains the student as needed, monitors, and evaluates student’s work performance.
- Interns must be given an orientation to the organization, safety procedures, training, ongoing supervision, and evaluation.
- Interns should not be considered “consultants,” contractors, or be expected to provide a function that your professional staff does not have the skills to perform.
- Interns must have an appropriate workspace and tools with which to perform their duties (e.g. access to a computer, software, etc.).
- If a confidentiality agreement is required, it must be stated in the job description upon posting.
- Interns should not be required to sign indemnity, hold harmless, or any binding agreement which limits their employment in the future.
- There are no requirements for the student to pay the employer in any form for any part of the experience.
- A performance evaluation is required at the end of the internship experience.
What an Internship is
- A one-semester work experience that coincides with the academic calendar for credit internships.
- Fall: August – December
- Spring: January – May
- Summer: May – August
- Paid or unpaid.
- Students work approximately 150 hours to earn 3 credit hours. *50 hours of work= 1 college credit
- Students work for a minimum of 10 weeks Fall/Spring and 6 weeks Summer. *The intern’s supervisor should have expertise in the field with which the intern is working
- Students have a site supervisor who monitors and evaluates work performance. *There is a course attached to this experience which is conducted online and guided by a syllabus
- Internships include an academic component supervised by a Fort Lewis College faculty member (known as a faculty sponsor) who monitors and evaluates the academic learning and assigns grades.
- Requires a performance evaluation at the end of the internship.
What an Internship is not
- Free administrative labor.
- Free or inexpensive solution to a full-time position vacancy.
- A “gopher,” data entry clerk or any other menial work unrelated to a collegiate program.
Benefits for Employers
One of the more significant advantages to providing internships is the opportunity to select and develop your future talent. You have the opportunity to evaluate and screen potential employees prior to making a full‐time position offer, which leads to financial savings. Employers have reported converting more than half of eligible interns into full‐time hires. If hired in a permanent position, previous interns assimilate faster to their new roles and have shorter learning curves than external hires. Interns can:
- Provide freedom for professional staff to pursue creative or more advanced projects.
- Increase staff retention rate.
- Assist an organization in application of the latest strategies and techniques in the field.
- Maintain connections with colleges and increase visibility on campus.
- Recruit other students and generate enthusiasm for the organization.
- Create awareness of the field for future hires and give back to the community by teaching the prospective workforce.
Benefits for Interns
Students are seeking opportunities that allow them to explore their interests and provide real‐world experiences. A meaningful, purposeful internship program will:
- Ensure the assignment of challenging projects and tasks.
- Provide projects that complement academic programs and/or career interests.
- Give broad exposure to the organization (remember: this is a chance for them to develop personally and explore career possibilities).
- Provide adequate, reliable, and regular supervision and mentoring.
- Ensure interns are keeping pace and accomplishing goals.
- Enable the intern to establish a professional network.
- Provide practical experience that the intern can apply to future endeavors.
Define needs and establish goals
Successful internship programs have the commitment of your entire organization. As an employer, you play a significant role in shaping an internship program to produce the best outcomes for your organization. Define needs & establish goals that you hope to gain from an internship program.
- What are your organization’s needs?
- Do you need specific project support or ongoing assistance?
- What day-to-day tasks could be improved with the help of an intern?
- Are any projects currently on hold due to lack of personnel?
- Is it to your advantage to use your internship program as a recruitment strategy to hire new employees?
Create Your Program Plan and designate a staff member who will serve as your Site Supervisor who has the time, motivation and leadership skills to manage your program. Factors to consider: Is your staff committed to having an intern?
- Discuss with your staff the importance of treating the intern as a pre-professional and part of your team.
- Include the student in meetings, trainings, etc.
- Apply the “80-20” rule” of 80% meaningful pre-professional work and no more than 20% tasks such as copying, data-entry, or “go-for” activities.
As you construct your program, keep in mind:
- Wages for most internship opportunities are usually determined before the intern is hired and are not typically negotiated.
- Consider paying consistent wages to all interns within each department.
- Students in technical fields are generally paid more than those in non technical fields.
- Pay for interns often varies by location, type of industry, size of organization, etc.
If you are deciding between paid and unpaid internships, it is important to know if the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act applies to your organization. The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act restricts an employer’s use of unpaid interns. This Act applies to businesses with two or more employees directly engaged in interstate commerce as well as annual sales of $500,000 or more. Interns who qualify as trainees do not have to be paid. If you find you cannot pay your intern, you must meet these six criteria for determining trainee status (as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor):
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment;
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
Other forms of compensation
Offering benefits may provide incentives for talented students to accept one internship position over another and/or increase the interns’ commitment during the experience. These could include:
- Opportunity for academic credit from school
- Housing assistance for those who relocate
- Professional development
- Networking events
- Accumulated internship time resulting in benefits for those who convert to full‐time employees after graduation
- Paid holidays (if already receiving compensation)
- Tuition reimbursement
Employers, interns, parents and colleges/universities should be aware of insurance considerations:
- Accident/liability insurance: provided by the intern/parent/guardian (some organizations may require the school to provide liability insurance).
- Automobile accident insurance: provided by the intern/parent/guardian.
- Health/life insurance: provided by the intern/parent/guardian.
- Worker’s compensation: does not apply for interns participating in unpaid internship experiences, but if injured at the internship site, should be covered by the intern/parent/guardian personal insurance. (Paid internships require that students be covered by worker’s compensation.)
Thoughts on Careers
T.O.C is a video series that we put together to interview our outstanding Employer Partners. Our students want to learn all about your organization, job offerings, internships, and your work culture. Stay tuned as we have more “Thoughts on Career” episodes coming very soon. Click here to see all of our episodes.
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