Internship Policy

Employers, please read this notice prior to posting unpaid internships with us.

The Center for Advising and Career Services (CACS) brings together students seeking internships and employers seeking talent. The CACS team works proactively with employers to identify internships and communicate these opportunities to students. In some cases, CACS will consult directly with hiring managers to create internship descriptions.

While we believe that our students should only accept paid internships, we also acknowledge that there are some valuable unpaid opportunities worth pursuing.  We are happy to share these unpaid internship opportunities with our students, contingent upon compliance with the Department of Labor’s six criteria for determining whether such student workers are "trainees" (unpaid interns) or "employees" (hourly or salaried interns). The latter must be paid minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA). Therefore, the following criteria must be met for us to post unpaid positions on Zócalo, the Monterey Institute’s online career management tool:

  • The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  • The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  • The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

For additional information regarding compliance provisions of the FLSA, see the US Department of Labor’s website. Please note that ultimately it is the responsibility of the student and the organization hosting the internship to ensure compliance with the law.

Adapted from Presidio Graduate School's Internship Policy