I am a huge fan of internships! My organization has been very successful in identifying talent while helping students build and shape their careers.
What makes a good internship program?
It must be paid and at a competitive entry-level rate.
Tasks should be appropriate for experience, but varied enough to provide the employer with a clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses while exposing them to as much of the organization as possible.
There should be a learning plan focused on how technology impacts organizational outcomes and mentoring.
There should be a viable path to full-time employment or professional support in landing a a role outside of the organization in the form of introductions and references.
I started as an intern on a help desk in 1999 because my mom offered to pay my rent for two months if I promised to stop working in restaurants and commit to finding an internship. That paid internship started my career and I welcome the opportunity to make those opportunities available for others.