Unpaid Experiences

Gears and arrows

UConn Health regularly receives requests for unpaid experiences such as internships, job shadowing, and volunteer assignments. While aligned with our mission of providing community educational opportunities, unpaid assignments must comply with state and federal regulations and applicable policies. A department’s decision to sponsor an unpaid experience requires careful thought and planning and must be pre-approved by senior leadership. Unpaid experiences at UConn Health include but may not be limited to:

The various types of experiences are distinguished based on nature, purpose, and duration of activities. Requirements and activity restrictions vary based on the type of experience and the age of the participant.

Special Note: the University recently announced a Protection of Minors Policy that describes a series of new expectations and practices for activities involving minors. In accordance with the policy, individuals under the age of 18 must be registered participants in a UConn Health sponsored program. Activities and programs involving minors must be sponsored by a unit within the University, must be registered with the University’s Minor Protection Coordinator and must comply with a series of standards to safeguard the welfare of participants. These requirements are in addition to the established UConn Health process and standards.

Purpose, Description and Request Process

Volunteer Assignment

Purpose: The work contributes to the mission and needs of UConn Health's John Dempsey Hospital. Opportunities to volunteer are available throughout the year for adults. Summer volunteer opportunities are available to college and high school students 15 years old and over.

Definition: Individuals who donate their services without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation.

Application Process:

Apply to become an adult volunteer using the Unpaid Experience Request Form. Complete the top portion of the form and email unpaidexperience@uchc.edu. Please visit the Donors and Volunteers website for program information.

Unpaid Internships

Purpose: The work is performed for the purpose of training and is for the benefit of the participant.  Types of unpaid internships should

Description: Unpaid internships are a hands-on opportunity for an individual to supplement their formal education and gain practical work experience. A key component of an unpaid internship is the inclusion of learning activities separate from work tasks. Internships are generally less than one year in duration and may be linked with course credit and/or professional licensure. Unpaid internship experiences must be in compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines and the CT Public Act No. 15-56: An Act Protecting Interns from Workplace Harassment and Discrimination.

Request Process:

  1. Secure a Host. First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the requester to secure a host/preceptor. Here are some tips for securing a host.
  2. Complete the Unpaid Experience Request Form. The requester fills out the top portion of the form and the host completes the bottom portion of the form.
  3. Submit the Form. The unpaid experience request form should be emailed, by the host, per instructions on the form. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

All unpaid experience requests are reviewed, disseminated, and/or approved by the office of Human Resources in compliance with all applicable policies.

Job Shadowing/Observation

Purpose: One-time observation for career exploration purposes or professional interest.

Description: A one-time opportunity for individuals to observe and accompany (shadow) an employee during the normal course of his/her job responsibilities for career exploration purposes or professional interest. The experience is typically the length of one work shift.

Request Process:

  1. Secure a Host. First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the requester to secure a host/preceptor. Here are some tips for securing a host.
  2. Complete the Unpaid Experience Request Form. The requester fills out the top portion of the form and the host completes the bottom portion of the form.
  3. Submit the Form. The unpaid experience request form should be emailed, per instructions on the form. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

Job shadowing/observation requests are reviewed, disseminated, and/or approved by Human Resources in compliance with all applicable policies.

Student Affiliations and Sanctioned Programs

Student affiliations and sanctioned programs offer college students an outstanding opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field of their choice. If you seek a student affiliation and/or sanctioned program experience, contact your school program directly for information.

Student Affiliated and/or Sanctioned Programs: View required contract, forms, and orientation >