Work Experience students performing different jobs

Establishing an Internship

Thank you for thinking of College of the Desert student talent as part of your recruitment efforts. As an employer, you have access to over 10,000 students at College of the Desert, some who may participate in the Work Experience Program to earn college credit while working, interning, or engaging in volunteer activities. 

We are proud of our long-standing partnerships we have developed and continue to foster with our local businesses through our Work Experience Program - we hope you will join us in bringing meaningful work-based learning opportunities to our students that enhance our Coachella Valley economic mobility!

Ways You Can Maximize Our Partnership

  • Obtain employer access to our student job board Handshake where you can post any job or internship opportunity and connect with students. See additional resources below.
  • Work directly with a dedicated Work Experience staff to establish an internship pipeline. 
  • Offer professional development opportunities to your current employees who may wish to up-skill by enrolling in one of our academic programs and/or enroll in short-term Employability Skills courses. 
  • Participate in ongoing career and job fairs, information sessions, career panels, and Career Connections@COD events hosted by the Career & Workforce Solutions Center.
  • Consider becoming an Advisory Committee Member:
    • Advisories meet at least once-per-year to establish and maintain excellent business partnerships, provide feedback on industry related curriculum, validate job market, improve job readiness, and discuss industry trends. 
    • Other participation activities include:

Internship Benefits to Employers 

Interns provide an array of benefits to employers, including:

  • Allows test-drive new talent that may turn into your future employees
  • Reduces recruitment cost
  • Increases your company's visibility on campus
  • Assists with closing the skills gap
  • Fosters leadership skills in your current employees
  • Give back to the community and enhance economic mobility
  • Gain insight into new and emerging trends from younger generation

Aspects to Consider Before Establishing an Internship

  • Current agency staffing - do you have current staff to supervise the intern(s)?
  • Identify agency needs in various departments.
  • Compensation - what is a paid vs. unpaid internship?
  • Provide meaningful hands-on work-based learning.
  • Promote the importance of the intern enrolling in a Work Experience course to earn college credit during the internship interning.
  • Designated a dedicated staff member who will post the internship on our job board on a rolling semester basis.
  • Plan ahead! Here are our upcoming internship dates (same as our semester sessions)
Session Spring 2024 Summer 2023 Fall 2023

16 week

1/29/24 - 5/24/24

8 week 6/12/23 - 8/3/23

8/25/23 - 12/15/23

12 week

2/26/24 - 5/24/24


9/25/23 - 12/15/23 


Establishing an Internship

Submit the required Employer Intern Request Form. A staff member from the Work Experience Office will contact you once the internship details are approved, then you can post on Handshake. 

We may also request a weekly outline of tasks the intern will be participating in. 

Register as an employer via our free job board platform Handshake. Be sure to add College of the Desert as one of your school partners. 

In selecting an intern, we expect employers to adhere to federal guidelines on non-discrimination practices. Once you select an intern, change the applicants status to Hired in Handshake. Please notify all student candidates you interviewed whether they were selected for the internship or not. 

Be sure to utilize the Applicant Status Messaging Preferences in Handshake to assist you in communicating with applicants about the status of their application. 

Direct your new intern to the Work Experience Guide for Students for steps on how he/she can register in a Work Experience course. 

You may also contact us to inform us of your selection. 

Learn about your role as the employer, including information on hours the intern will need to complete based on the units he/she is enrolled, establishing SMART student learning objectives, and student expectations when enrolled in a Work Experience course.

Keep our semester dates above in mind when planning for your next cohort. Planning at least a semester ahead will provide you enough time to recruit for the next semester. 

Make sure to update the internship posting in Handshake to reflect the new semester period, so you can receive rolling applications for the following term. 


Handshake Resources for Employers

The Handshake support webpage provides your helpful articles and resources, including:


Best Practices for Employers

  • Review all the Employer Resources tabs on the left menu
  • Build a complete Handshake profile with interesting facts that make your workplace stand out to attract candidates
  • Create dynamic job/internship postings on Handshake:
    • The job description is the main catch for students.
    • Include if the position allows for flexible scheduling, opportunities for growth, minimum preferred qualifications, etc. 
  • Review the job posting applicants section in Handshake and make updates to notify applicants of their status. 
  • Should you have any students with resumes not up to par, please connect us to them so we can provide them resources to improve their chances at becoming hired.