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Employer Partners

Internship Information and Requirements for Current and New Employer-Partners

Welcome to Columbia College Chicago’s Fashion Studies Internship Program.  Thank you for opening the doors of your business to our students.  Internship experience is an invaluable part of the Fashion Studies’ student’s curriculum.  We strive to partner with our employers to ensure maximum success for you and the student. 
An internship is an educational opportunity for the student in a real-world setting.  Toward that end, we ask that you keep in mind your interns are students and not employees.  For many of our students, an internship is their first experience in a professional environment. 
In order for an internship to be successful for both of you, you should have a structure in place by which students are assigned tasks that allow them to learn new skills or refine existing skills.  Hopefully, those assignments will progress in complexity and skills required as the internship progresses.  You should provide them with regular and consistent feedback identifying areas where they are performing well and areas where they need additional development.  Feedback should be written and verbal.  You will also be asked to complete a written evaluation of the student at the end of the semester or session.

Employers should be aware that students hired as interns should not be treated as paid employees or held to the same expectations.  The Department of Labor has issued Fact Sheet #71 with further guidelines on this issue.

Steps to register as an Employer-Partner with the Fashion Studies Department:

  1. Contact the department internship coordinator to identify yourself, your business and your needs.
  2. Please review the Internship Calendar!  Another important place for calendar information is our College’s Important Dates page.  This page provides the deadline to register internships for credit with the College.  Those same dates apply to our department.
  3. A site visit and in-person interview is required for all new employers.  We schedule these as quickly as possible, but please be patient.  We wear many hats in this department, and the needs of our students take precedence.
  4. If the site visit and in-person interview are successful, we will ask you to complete a job posting that includes basic information that a student needs to assess the opportunity.  You should include any additional information you feel is important, relevant or should be stressed for this opportunity.  Images and graphics help your posting stand out.
  5. Once the posting is received we will:  post it to ColumbiaWorks, the College’s internal jobs board; email blast it to students; and post it in the department’s main office and facilities.
  6. Students contact you directly with their resume and cover and to schedule interviews. 
  7. Once you make an offer to a student, if the internship is for credit, they should set up an appointment to see the Internship Coordinator as soon as possible to fill out the necessary paperwork. 
  8. Please be sure the student to whom you make the offer meets the prerequisites established by you and the department.  That includes, but is not limited to, the number of hours the student needs to commit to the internship, any specific days of the week you need them to work and any special skills they must have to complete the internship assignments.
  9. The student should return to you with the Letter of Agreement to be completed by both of you.  It is best if reviewed and completed together, but sometimes that is not possible so you may need to complete it separately and have the student submit the paperwork to me.
  10. Once the student has returned the paperwork to the internship coordinator and is registered, you can get started!

** Please note, employers requiring a letter of eligibility or confirmation of registration should request that specifically from the internship coordinator as those documents are not issued automatically.

Columbia College expects full compliance with all Equal Opportunity Laws.  Failure to comply with these laws can result in immediate termination of the internship.  Columbia College also reserves the right to terminate an internship if issues of sexual harassment, inappropriate or unprofessional conduct result in a hostile work environment.
Under the laws enforced by EEOC, it is illegal to discriminate against someone (applicant or employee) because of that person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to retaliate against a person because he or she complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The law forbids discrimination in every aspect of employment.

The laws enforced by EEOC prohibit an employer or other covered entity from using neutral employment policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative effect on applicants or employees of a particular race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), or national origin, or on an individual with a disability or class of individuals with disabilities, if the polices or practices at issue are not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business. The laws enforced by EEOC also   prohibit an employer from using neutral employment policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative impact on applicants or employees age 40 or older, if the policies or practices at issue are not based on a reasonable factor other than age.
            Source: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index.cfm