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Important Considerations Before Accepting a Job or Internship


The Wasserman Center encourages students to pursue experiential learning opportunities throughout their time at NYU. We work diligently to ensure that students engage in productive, meaningful work, and require that employers abide by certain standards set by both the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the Department of Labor. However, It is also important that you consider the following before you accept a position with an employer:

Is This An Internship?

An internship combines what you are learning in the classroom in a real world setting. Through this experience, you should gain practical knowledge and build professional connections while receiving feedback from your supervisor. NACE provides additional detail in their internship guidelines.

ARE YOU ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?

Before you accept an offer it is important to get a realistic idea of what the position has to offer. At the interview stage, make sure you ask questions such as:

  • What is a typical day like in this role?
  • Who will my supervisor be?
  • What type of evaluation and review process takes place to evaluate performance?
  • Am I gaining transferable skills that will prepare me for the next step in my career?

IS THE EMPLOYER PROVIDING COMPENSATION?

The Wasserman Center believes that all students should receive compensation for their work. However, we acknowledge that some industries do not typically pay their interns, yet they still provide a meaningful learning experience.

IS THE INTERNSHIP ELIGIBLE FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT?

If an employer states that you can intern for academic credit, you must consider the following and seek approval from your academic advisor:

  • Will your academic advisor agree to the terms of the internship?
  • Will the employer agree to the terms of the academic course requirements?
  • Do you have the appropriate work authorization to intern as outlined by the employer?

ARE THEY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

The Wasserman Center makes every effort to screen employers and job postings on NYU CareerNet. However, if you receive a suspicious email or phone message from an employer, it is extremely important to exercise caution.

Contact the Wasserman Center immediately if the answer is "yes" to any of the following questions:

  • Does this job promise a large salary for almost no work? Especially if I have little or none of the required experience?
  • Does this position offer me a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of my bank account?
  • Does the contact's email address match the company's website domain? (i.e. JohnSmith@gmail.com rather than JohnSmith@companyname.com)?
  • Are there multiple misspellings in the job posting or email?
  • Does the posting focus more on the money I will make rather than the responsibilities of the job?
  • Does this opportunity sound too good to be true?
  • Read more about fraudulent job postings

Common Employer Types

  • Third-Party Recruiters: Third-party recruiters are agencies or individuals recruiting candidates for temporary, part-time, or full-time employment on behalf of other companies or organizations. This includes entities that refer or recruit for free or for a fee, and it includes agencies that collect student information to be disclosed to employers for purposes of recruitment and employment.
  • Temporary Agencies/Staffing Services: Temp agencies or staffing services are employers, not third-party recruiters. These organizations are contracted by clients and asked to provide qualified candidates for specific roles. Individuals perform work at the client organization, but are employed and paid by the agency.
  • Headhunters: A company or person hired to find/locate candidates for specific positions. Headhunters may have a network of candidates to pull from, or they can find candidates appropriate for the position through other means, such as reaching out to employees of competitor organizations.

Internships and Academic Credit

New York University offers the following guidance to schools on the issue of student internships:  

A student internship can be defined 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” (National Association of Colleges and Employers). Credit towards the NYU degree, however, should be awarded for courses, not for internship placements.  Although an internship placement (either paid or unpaid) may be a co-requisite for a course, students should receive credit only for academic work that is assessed by an instructor as part of a course—not for the professional development that they receive through their placement. In such cases, students are expected to select appropriate placements in collaboration with the course instructor. For advice on this matter, students and faculty should review the “Important Considerations before Accepting a Job or Internship” available on this page.


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