Finding and Paying Interns

Where’s the best place to find interns?
Actually, they’ll probably find you, but is here to help connect employers in the Columbus Region with college students seeking internships. It’s a one-stop-shop for your company to post internships. Or, if you’re already well into internships, it’s another venue for you to promote the availability of internships at your company. Students apply for positions through your regular application process, and you select, evaluate and hire candidates as you normally would.

Today's savvy college students understand that internships are critical to their education. Even if not part of their formal academic program, they seek out internship opportunities to experience what it’s like in a “real” corporate environment, they test-drive different occupations and work environments, and they begin to build their future network of business contacts. They understand that an internship—on a résumé and in an interview—sets them apart from other candidates without internship experience. Indeed, former interns often receive higher entry-level salaries and continue to earn more—even after five years of employment.

Here is a list of the colleges and universities in the Columbus Region and the contact information for the career service offices at each.

What if I can’t pay an intern?
Though not all internships offer a wage, the best opportunities allow the intern to accomplish real work, participate as a "regular" employee and begin to develop a professional network that the student can leverage after graduation. If wages are not paid, the internship should be aligned with the student's academic program and offered for credit. Employers (especially start-ups and non-profits) can seek out grant funding sources to help offset wages paid to students.

Here are some grants and financial resources to help offset wages paid to interns:

  • The Ohio Third Frontier Internship Program offers 50 percent wages subsidies to employers who offer internships in specific industry areas, including advanced manufacturing; advanced materials; bioscience; IT; instruments, controls and electronics; and power and propulsion.
  • Many public and private colleges and universities offer wage subsidies through the federal work-study program to non-profit organizations that hire eligible students. For information about specific programs, Google search “federal work study,” and include in the search the name of the particular college.
  • Check out the Wheeler Entrepreneurship Enterprise Program which, through the Entrepreneurship Enterprise Program at the Fisher College of Business, provides qualified Ohio State University students unique summer internship opportunities to train directly with entrepreneurs and senior leaders of entrepreneurial support organizations.

Want to learn more?
Check out the Columbus Chamber’s events page (search “Interns”) for upcoming informational workshops and webinars to help you get the most from your internship program. One of the most popular workshops, titled, “How to Host an Intern,” features a panel of employers (now internship experts) who answer questions, share best practices and outline the process of achieving outstanding internship experiences that benefit both them (the employer) and the student intern. Workshops and webinars are free for members of the Columbus Chamber and cost $25 for non-members.