Thank you for hiring a Western Intern! Below is more information that will ensure both employers and students experience a positive work term.
You, as the employer, are responsible for ensuring all interns have received and understand the employer’s health and safety policies and procedures, in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario. In addition, the appropriate health and safety training must be provided prior to the start of the internship work term. You are also responsible for following and making interns aware of Bill 168 regarding harassment and violence in the workplace.
For many students, starting an internship work term can be intimidating, regardless of their level of experience. It is recommended that your company take students through an orientation process that will provide them with an opportunity to learn about your organization (perhaps a tour), become more familiar with their own work location, and meet their supervisors. A social activity for all new intern hires can put students in touch with each other and provide networking opportunities.
You, as the employer, will provide adequate training to ensure that interns develop the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill the expectations of their role.
An internship placement should offer the student relevant, degree-related experience over the course of the work term. Interns should feel challenged and be able to reference their academic training during the performance of their job. The work environment should provide initiative and encouragement. The student should be treated as a regular employee and given autonomy to work on projects, and to report back to the project supervisor. Interns should be encouraged to provide input and recommendations.
For many students, an internship is their first degree-related job. In order for interns to remain motivated and productive, feedback on their performance is important. This is especially critical if their work habits need modifying in order to achieve success. We encourage you to provide this feedback regularly, and to be available to answer questions and to provide guidance, especially in the earliest part of the work term.
You, as the employer, are to provide interns with an initial written evaluation (usually after 3 or 4 months) taking into consideration their level of experience and time on the job. You are encouraged to review the written evaluation with the intern, so that discussion and clarification can occur. It is particularly important that the intern understand his/her strengths and areas requiring improvement. The intern should have an opportunity to reflect and to comment. Some interns are required to submit their interim evaluations to their respective faculty coordinator.
You, as the employer, are to provide a final evaluation at the end of the work term. It is important not only to give feedback to the intern, but also to assess improvements in performance and success in meeting objectives. As with the interim evaluation, it is preferable that the final evaluation be reviewed directly with the intern. All students are required to submit their final evaluations to their respective faculty coordinator.
Western strives to ensure a positive internship experience for our students and employer partners. If intern expectations are not being met, our Faculty Coordinators are available to provide assistance. We will work together to actively assist in finding a resolution. In the unlikely event that a decision is made to terminate based on performance issues, please inform the coordinator in advance, so that supports can be put in place for the student.
Employers are encouraged to follow the rules and regulations of the Employment Standards Act of Ontario, when setting the terms of the intern’s contract.
If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact one of the internship coordinators below: