About internships: guidelines, forms, process and how to apply.
For a state authority like The Nordic Africa Institute, it is important to participate in building a skilled workforce and to create employment opportunities within the state and society. A practical way to reach this aim is to offer internships which give students and people in their early career an opportunity to practice their knowledge at a workplace. Furthermore, internship allows unemployed people an opportunity to gain work experience and practical experience how different (public) workplaces function.
Internships also contribute to the NAI Strategy in that they encourage and promote Africa studies. Interns are encouraged to be received and placed within all NAI units, however, taking into account the Institute’s overall operational goals and targets as well as the interns’ needs for supervision and learning. As a guiding principle, flexibility and openness should be practiced in placing and hosting interns. NAI decides which person/persons can be offered an internship.
Currently, there are four different forms of internships practiced at NAI:
- interns referred by the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen). This category of interns has economic compensation from the Agency for internships with an organization or company.
- interns whose internships are part of the curriculum in some higher education institutions. Students seek internships which are coherent with the specific focus of their education.
- Students who are part of an exchange program, such as Erasmus or similar, who can finance the internship.
- Internship in the State. The Swedish government has given the authorities the task to provide internships for newly arrived refugees and people with disabilities during 2016-2020.
Process within NAI
- Applications for internships can be submitted to the institute in different ways. In some cases, NAI staff members can be contacted directly by a potential intern, or the Swedish Public Employment Service contacts the human resource official or the Heads of unit
- All applications are forwarded to the HR official
- The HR official coordinates the process and contacts the responsible Head of unit where the intern in question could be placed
- Heads of units decide whether an internship can be offered. The Head of unit will also appoint a supervisor before the internship is offered. Heads of units should encourage staff to take on the role as supervisors
- The HR official informs the applicant and takes care of practical questions such as receiving and inducting the intern to the workplace and informs about the rules and procedures of the Institute
- Heads of units will oversee in coordination with the supervisor e.g. that feedback is given and certificate issued in the end of the internship period.
- The HR official will follow-up and provide reports concerning internships programs at NAI on annual basis and when needed
Commitments of different parties:
The Nordic Africa institute is responsible for:
- offer the intern a workplace, equipment and other necessary work items
- appoints a supervisor who carries out the following duties
- draws up an internship plan with the tasks to be performed
- informs the intern about different workplace's activities
- provides practical help and advice on internship tasks
- maintains contact with the intern during the internship period to ensure that the internship proceeds according to what has been agreed
- provides regular supervision and feedback to the intern on the performance of duties.
The person on internship is responsible for:
- perform the tasks agreed in the internship plan
- observes the work hours of NAI unless otherwise agreed
- observes all applicable rules, guidelines and procedures of NAI that the intern is subject to during the internship.
Internship period and compensation
The internship period varies from a month up to a semester on full-time. Financial compensation or other benefits are not paid by NAI for the intern. The person on internship is responsible for his/her own accommodation. Internships are not accepted at NAI during the summer months due to low activity season of the institute.
It is important to note that a person on internship cannot replace regular staff, and should be at the institute for learning and practice.
How to apply?
All interested candidates for internship at NAI should send an application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Application letters should include a CV and a personal letter with information on desired period for the internship and objective of the internship.
The Head of Unit issues and signs an internship certificate at the end of the internship period.