Student FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an internship?

An internship is on-the-job work experience that is related to either a student’s career interests or current field of study. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and can take place during the academic year or over the summer months. Internships are short-term, but can last from one month to a full year. Internships function as training opportunities.

Why intern with the County of Orange?

The County offers students and recent graduates an excellent opportunity to:

  • Acquire valuable skills, experiences and contacts that will enhance career prospects
  • Balance and complement academic preparation with practical experience
  • Network with professionals who are dedicated to making a positive difference in Orange County
  • Build resumes/work history and explore career options
  • Fulfill college/university internship/fieldwork requirements

What are the requirements to qualify for a paid internship with the County of Orange?

The qualifications vary based on the department. The internship job description will outline the required qualifications.

Do I need to be a current college or university student to qualify for a paid internship?

Recent graduates (up to six months post-graduation date) as well as current students enrolled in an accredited college/university or technical school are eligible to apply for a paid internship.

How do I apply for a paid internship?
Available paid internships are posted online at
When should I start looking for an internship?

Students/recent graduates are encouraged to submit an online interest card to be notified of upcoming paid internship opportunities.   Applicants can also create an account with Government Jobs in preparation to apply for either paid internships or career opportunities.   Some positions require a lengthy background check, it is recommended to apply as soon as the position is online.

How long can I expect the process to take from applying to being offered a paid internship?

The process can take one to two months, but may take longer (four months or more) for positions that require extensive backgrounds.

Can I apply for multiple paid internships? Is there a limit to the number of positions I can apply for?

There is no limit to the number of internships that an applicant may submit an application for; however, it is important to thoroughly review the intern requirements to determine whether you possess the required skillsets.

I am an international student, am I able to apply for a paid internship?

International students who are authorized to work in the U.S. may apply for paid internships.  However, some departments may have specific requirements.  This information will be included in the internship posting.

I already graduated and am not enrolled in a college or university. Can I still apply for a paid internship?

Yes, recent graduates (up to six months post-graduation) may apply.

What is the salary of a paid intern?

The internship pay range is listed on the Student Intern classification job specification.

How many hours can I work per week? Do I receive holiday pay? Am I able to earn overtime?

Interns can work up to a maximum of 59 hours per 2-week pay period.  However, most assignments typically require 15 – 20 hours per week.  Paid interns are not eligible for holiday pay and do not receive benefits including, but not limited to, healthcare/dental coverage, vacation time, sick leave or overtime pay.

How long do paid internships last?

Internships, ranging from less than six months up to 12 months are offered. Specific job descriptions will include available timeframes. 

What is the dress code for an intern?

Dress codes vary from department to department. The County of Orange is a professional environment and interns are expected to adhere to the professional guidelines of the department to which they are assigned.

Am I able to do two separate paid internships with the County at the same time?

No. Interns may not work under two separate internships at the same time.

Will I be able to apply for a paid internship if I already completed a paid internship in the past?

Students/recent graduates are limited to one undergraduate-level and one graduate-level paid internship.

Are students required to enroll in an academic credit program in order to qualify for a paid internship?

No. Academic credit or an internship course is not required; however, students seeking academic credit through their college/university may apply.

Will there be flexibility with my schedule?

Yes, departments are often flexible in working with intern schedules.  The job description will outline how many hours are required of a student along with the days and timeframes those hours can be scheduled.   

What can I expect to learn during my internship?

This will vary based on the specific internship advertised.

Will a paid internship lead to employment?

Internships do not automatically lead to paid employment and interns are not guaranteed regular employment upon completion of their internship.  However, interns are welcome to apply for any of the County’s open career opportunities.

What happens if I am unable to complete my internship?

If you are not able to complete the expected term of the internship, please notify your internship supervisor as soon as possible.  

Will I be reimbursed for expenses incurred during my paid internship?

Only expenses that have been authorized by the intern’s supervisor will be reimbursed.

Does the County offer unpaid internships as well?

Yes! Please visit for unpaid internship opportunities.

Can I work as a paid and as an unpaid intern during the same time?

No. Interns can only be assigned to one internship opportunity (paid or unpaid) at a time.

I am currently employed with the County or Orange, can I apply for a paid internship?

No. Current County employees (regular, temporary, extra help) or vendors are not eligible to apply for paid internships.

I was offered an internship, but it was not my first choice. Am I obligated to accept this internship?

No, you are not required to accept an internship at any time. 

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