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Intern Supervisors

Internships are a critical tool for recruiting and retaining the next generation of state government employees. Use our internship guidance to create a challenging, rewarding and successful experience for your interns. The information below has been outlined to provide guidance in how to supervise and support your interns, while still allowing individual flexibility for each supervisor’s approach.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out Lauren Johnson ( or the Learning & Development team (

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are my primary responsibilities as an intern’s supervisor?

    Required expectations are to:

    • Assign interns defined duties and responsibilities consistent with their position description and goals for their success.
    • Develop a goal plan for every intern.
    • Meet with interns 1:1 on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
    • Share information about learning and development opportunities with your interns.

    Optional expectations are to:

    • Evaluate interns’ performance.
    • Assign a mentor or staff member from your team to help your interns navigate your agency’s work environment.
  • What supervisory support can I provide to my interns?
    • Be prepared for the interns’ arrival.
    • Provide meaningful assignments, set expectations and give feedback regularly.
    • Ensure that your intern receives training and learning opportunities.
    • Be willing to increase intern responsibilities over time to help them develop.
    • Facilitate networking opportunities.
    • Ask for assistance from your HR department on issues related to the internship.
  • What should I do to prepare my intern for orientation?

    Send a welcome email to your intern outlining any specific expectations you have. Click here to download an example welcome email. Supervisors should include at least:

    • Dress code expectations.
    • A drafted training schedule.
    • Directions to the office (including parking and building access).

    Communicate expectations with your intern for what to do at the end of their orientation session. Common options include:

    • You will meet them and bring them back to the office.
    • Someone from the agency will meet them and bring them back to the office.
    • They are free to go and can return the next day to the office.
    • Other expectations as necessary.
  • What is the difference between orientation and onboarding?

    Although the terms “onboarding” and “orientation” are often used interchangeably, they have different goals and outcomes.

    • Orientation is a short-term process that prepares interns for their first days of work and may involve administrative tasks such as completing paperwork for benefits and necessary forms related to their employment.
    • Onboarding is a broader, longer-term process that helps new employees to transition smoothly and become engaged members of an agency. More specifically, onboarding is the process of welcoming and acclimating new employees into an organization and providing them with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to be successful. The effectiveness of an onboarding program affects employees’ ability to successfully transition into an agency and whether that agency can retain talent. A successful onboarding experience also contributes to an intern’s sense of inclusion and belonging.
  • What type of work should I assign to an intern?

    You should assign meaningful work that supports your needs and reflects the intern’s academic field of study or career interests. You should not assign, as an intern’s primary duties, simple administrative or clerical tasks, such as scanning documents or data entry. If you hired a summer intern, you could assign work of a project-oriented nature or limited duration. Summer interns should primarily work on completing temporary projects or on performing labor-intensive tasks that do not require subject-matter expertise.

  • How can I best support interns’ professional development?

    Interns need to acquire technical skills but also need opportunities to hone their soft skills and competencies (such as verbal communication, teamwork, collaboration, networking, problem solving and decision making). Professional development is a key factor in an intern’s decision to stay in an organization and as such it’s beneficial to learn more about your interns’ career interests, experience and goals. Focus on developing these competencies through on-the-job assignments as well as formal training. Invite them to participate in important meetings or discussions related to the mission of your organization and find ways for them to play an active role.

  • Do I need to conduct performance evaluations?

    It is highly encouraged to give frequent and timely feedback to your interns in order to support their growth and development. Supervisors are able to use the Goals and Performance Modules within SuccessFactors to facilitate this process.

  • What hours should interns be expected to work?
    • Interns are expected to work with their supervisor to develop their working schedule. It is typical to expect 25-37.5 hours of work per week, depending on if there are other personal obligations.
    • Interns are expected to work with their supervisor to identify the start and end dates of their internships. Traditionally, internships run from mid-May through early August, or roughly 13 weeks. All Governor’s Public Service Summer Internships will end by August 31, but there may be an opportunity to move them into a different role with your agency.
    • Individuals sitting in a Governor’s Public Service Summer Intern Classification cannot work more than 180 days during their appointment.
  • Do interns get paid time off, sick time and holidays off?
    • Interns do not accrue paid time off or sick time. If they need the day off, for any reason, they are expected to work with their supervisor to coordinate absences as needed.
    • Interns will not work on state holidays and are only paid for the hours they log. Therefore, a holiday is not considered a paid day off, but simply a day off. Interns can also work with their supervisor to flex their schedule to account for having a day off.
  • How can I create an engaging, supportive workplace culture for interns?

    Get to know your interns and communicate with them frequently. A combination of in-person and virtual meetings will help maintain open communication. Many interns are new to the workplace and may be anxious to receive feedback on their performance; timely and actionable feedback on assignments is best. Interns want to learn and develop new skills so give them real responsibilities and challenge them with important or progressively complex assignments. You will help them to develop crucial skills and will in turn be rewarded with the creativity and innovation that interns bring to the workplace. As a supervisor, you can serve as a role model and make a difference in their career. The next generation of state government employees is looking for more than just a “job.” They are drawn to public service and to the opportunity to develop and grow.

  • What do I do if I want to extend a Governor’s Public Service Summer Intern beyond the end of their internship?
    • Full time: If someone is interested in pursuing a full-time position, then they are encouraged to apply to roles via SuccessFactors as other candidates would.
    • Part time: If someone is interested in staying on in their intern role, then you are encouraged to speak with your field HR staff to move them into a different PCN.