Employer Toolkit



Earn Up’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for economic growth, utilizing the unique resources of Northeast Florida to attract jobs and capital investment to our area. Integral to this mission is the cultivation of a skilled workforce that meets the demands of our evolving economy. We embody this commitment by engaging stakeholders across the talent ecosystem in talent attraction, development, and connection.

Internships serve as a bridge between academic learning and real-world application, providing students with hands-on experience while offering employers access to a pool of emerging talent. By facilitating meaningful internships, we not only equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for success but also address the workforce needs of our region’s industries.

The Employer Toolkit’s Internship Guide aims to help an organization start an internship program, integrating best practices from day one. Organizations with established programs can also benefit from reviewing the latest data and best practices outlined in the guide. An internship program should be an intentional decision, given as much care and purpose as a new business unit. The guide provides sample documents to streamline the internship process and enhance program quality.

Together, let us commit to advancing work-based learning opportunities in Northeast Florida, thereby empowering our future workforce and fueling economic prosperity for generations to come.


Anna Lebesch, Ed.D.
SVP, Strategy and Talent Development


The Earn Up Internship Guide is primarily geared towards organizations that would like to start an internship program to expand the work-based learning opportunities available to our high school and college students in Northeast Florida. Companies with established internship programs may find the resources beneficial for expanding their current opportunities. This guide provides information around the benefits, types, and key building blocks to create a successful internship program, including samples and worksheets to help kick-start the process of creating internships, to ensure a quality experience for interns and employers.

Employer Toolkit - Internship Guide

Internship Readiness Assessment

Calculating Intern Conversion Rates

Intern Evaluation Form

Supervisor Feedback and Developmental Recommendations

Onboarding & Orientation Checklist

Sample Offer Letter

Sample Offer Letter – Email Version

Sample Job Descriptions

Sample Project Plan

Sample Rejection Letter

Sample Welcome Letter/E-Packet

It was clear to me that I wanted to pursue architecture as a career after my first internship experience at Haskell.

Samir MujtabaArchitecture Design Associate, The Haskell Company

...I gained an understanding of my ideal first job. I knew what I wanted before committing to a full-time opportunity.

Emma CarlsonPeople Operations Analyst, Dun & Bradstreet

I realized I could do this work professionally, and I had an interest in making this my career.

Randall ReeseService Technician, Bridgenext

Samir Mujtaba

Architecture Design Associate, The Haskell Company

Internships provide students with invaluable real-world experience that supplements their classroom knowledge. They also can lead to exciting job opportunities.

Samir Mujtaba, a Jacksonville native, is an Architecture Design Associate at The Haskell Company, a global, fully integrated, design-build and EPC firm headquartered in Jacksonville. His passion for design and creating innovative solutions to help improve lives emerged while he was a student at Bartram Trail High School and enrolled in Haskell’s High School Intern Program. He says the experience set the foundation for a successful career in architecture.

“The more you learn, the quicker you can advance,” said Mujtaba.

The High School Intern Program at Haskell is unpaid and offers a curriculum for rising high school seniors to gain architectural, engineering and construction exposure. During their six weeks in Haskell’s headquarters, students work on projects, tour job sites, participate in training through Haskell University and give weekly presentations to Haskell team members. The program started in 2018 with six students, including Mujtaba.

“It was clear to me that I wanted to pursue architecture as a career after my first internship experience at Haskell,” said Mujtaba.

Following his second year at the University of South Florida, Mujtaba transitioned into Haskell’s College Internship Program. The college program is a paid internship and students work on active projects. After his second year of college, Mujtaba transferred to the University of Florida and completed two more summer internships at Haskell before earning a bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 2023. Following graduation, Mujtaba was offered full-time employment at Haskell. He is the first full-time hire that participated in the high school internship program.

“In addition to architecture, I learned about business communications, business etiquette and goal setting in my internships,” said Mujtaba.

Both internship programs have grown extensively since their beginnings and continue to expand even more. In 2023, Haskell employed 89 summer college interns and welcomed 14 high school interns. At Haskell, interns work closely with team members and are given assignments that are critical to the company’s daily operations. Student interns gain job experience that better prepares them for potential full-time positions after graduation. Interns are a vital part of Haskell’s efforts to attract the best possible talent to contribute to creating world-class solutions for clients. Among the students participating in the collegiate program, approximately 90% receive an offer to return or transition to a full-time employee.

Mujtaba is well suited for a career as an architect. He is creative, likes to draw and build, enjoys technology, and is eager to learn. He enjoys working independently on multiple projects and as part of a team. While math skills are important, advanced math is not a prerequisite in this career. During his internships, Mujtaba became certified in AutoCad and proficient in Revit programs. His drive and initiative gave him an edge for future employment. Mujtaba is grateful for the experiences and opportunities Haskell has provided and credits his supervisors for providing valuable advice and mentorship.

“My advice to other students is to start as soon as you can and learn as much as you can,” Mujtaba said. “You’ll stand out and be ahead of everyone else around you.”

Emma Carlson

People Operations Analyst, Dun & Bradstreet

Emma Carlson accomplished what most college students dream of – making a successful transition from college to the workplace.

Carlson secured an incredibly valuable internship at Dun & Bradstreet, gaining on-the-job experience while attending the University of Miami. Upon graduation, she received an offer to transition into full-time employment at the company’s Jacksonville headquarters.

“I was fortunate to land a virtual internship during the summer of 2021 and extend it throughout my senior year,” said Carlson, a People Operations Analyst at Dun & Bradstreet. “This is my first professional job and it has been exciting to start my career at Dun & Bradstreet in Jacksonville.”

Dun & Bradstreet is a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics, and assists companies around the world to improve their business performance. People Operations is a modern interpretation of the responsibilities of a human resources department within an organization, focusing on putting the employee first.

In her role at Dun & Bradstreet, Carlson helps manage the employee journey including orientation and onboarding for new hires. She supports the People Business Partners and the HRIS (HR information systems) Team. She also assists the Early Careers Program Manager with internship program recruitment and operations – the same program that introduced her to Dun & Bradstreet. Carlson relocated to Jacksonville in June 2022.

“It was an exciting time to join Dun & Bradstreet as they were moving their headquarters to Jacksonville,” Carlson said.

Like many students, Carlson was exploring a variety of career pathways during her junior year of college. The internship experience helped her discover her passion, skills and strengths, which is essential for career success.

“I enjoy working with people and achieving business objectives,” Carlson said. “The People Team at Dun & Bradstreet turned out to be an excellent fit for me to learn and grow.”

During her internship, Carlson participated in a rotational training program within the People Team. The experience provided her with skill development and unique insight to support business divisions and corporate functions across the company.

“After exploring the different areas, I gained an understanding of my ideal first job,” Carlson said. “I knew what I wanted before committing to a full-time opportunity.”

Carlson has a strong work ethic and thrives on innovation and embodying the company’s core values. She says collaborating and assisting others throughout the company – both locally and globally – is the most rewarding part of her position. Carlson appreciates the company culture at Dun & Bradstreet.

“The support I have received from my team and my leader throughout my time at Dun & Bradstreet has been amazing,” Carlson said. “Everyone supports your growth and wants you to succeed.”

Like many young professionals, Carlson would have relocated anywhere for the right position. She’s happy her career brought her to Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville is one of the hottest job markets and has so much to offer,” Carlson said. “I enjoy the beaches, the restaurants and the St. Johns Town Center where our headquarters is located. There is something for everyone in Jacksonville.”

Randall Reese

Service Technician, Bridgenext

Internships can be a valuable tool to propel your career. In addition to preparing students with real-world experience, they can lead to rewarding job opportunities.

Randall Reese is a Service Technician for Bridgenext, a global digital consulting company specializing in technology, data and creative marketing solutions that empower clients to achieve digital realization. Reese was a Wolfson High School student in 2016 when he began participating in a summer internship program through the Duval County School District and the company, which was then known as Emtec, Inc.

“I’ve always had an interest in technology and in history,” Reese said. “There is so much to learn in IT.”

The Bridgenext/Duval County School District internship program offers high school students training and hands-on experience. As part of the program, students help complete necessary technology-related tasks for the school district, such as cleaning devices, re-installing software and testing computers.

“The internship is a tremendous learning experience,” Reese said. “My advice to interns is to always be willing to help and take every job – you’ll learn something from it."

Along with acquiring new technology skills, Reese discovered his passion and purpose during his internship.

“I like working with people to help solve problems,” Reese said. “I have an interest in troubleshooting, and I found my niche with repairs.”

After high school graduation, Reese continued in the internship program. Reese was also focused on earning a history degree from the University of North Florida. At that time, he believed teaching history was his ideal career pathway. While attending UNF, he continued to work with the company. The experiences included working on the company’s technology team jobs at the City of Jacksonville and JEA.

“These are the kind of opportunities that you only get through an internship,” Reese said. “I realized I could do this work professionally, and I had an interest in making this my career.”

Although he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from UNF in 2022, Reese switched his career pathway and accepted a full-time position on the Bridgenext JEA team.

“I have an affinity for technology,” Reese said. “I realized this type of work happens to be the perfect fit for me.”

In his role at Bridgenext, Reese works in the call center. He is responsible for troubleshooting, diagnosing and repairing technology issues. Callers may be seeking assistance on installations, resets or software issues. Some of the concerns are a quick fix. Others are more complicated. Reese’s goal is to resolve the callers’ problems efficiently.

“It’s customer service in a technology world,” Reese said. “I enjoy that I get to use my teaching skills in this role. My job is often teaching people how to use their technology effectively.”

Reese also uses his teaching skills on employee training assignments. His role on the help desk requires proficient technology skills. Reese says the position also requires the ability to demonstrate empathy, flexibility and patience.

“You have to listen to the caller and keeping your patience is key,” Reese said. “If they are having a technology problem, they are probably not having the best day.”