Intern candidates seeking positions related to their field of study are searching for more than the classic work experience introduction. In most cases, applicants have already garnered an essential understanding of the importance of dependability, accountability and how business works in general.
A robust internship program must first be based on a strong commitment to expose an intern to many different aspects of the specific career and industry. Next, there must exist genuine intent to provide avenues for real-world application of academic knowledge and former experiences.
Here are 10 tips for ensuring your internship program offers lasting benefits for both the intern and your company:
- Identify a supervisor who has the passion and time to guide your intern program and encourage experienced employees to embrace mentor roles
- Reflect on what it was that made your internship significant and be open to sharing those experiences
- Create a structured recruitment program that ensures a diverse pool of applicants
- Conduct an effective orientation focused on the “How to” in regard to policies, tracking work time, using technology and working safely
- Host an intern boot camp that offers the chance to get to know one another, as well as understand more fully what your company is all about and recent successes
- Provide frequent professional development activities focused on gaining personal insight and ways to tackle challenging work dynamics
- Assign meaningful work with frequent opportunities for self-evaluation and supervisor feedback
- Ask questions to determine current skill sets and set clear expectations for assignments and establish learning targets
- Help interns understand the impact of mistakes while acknowledging that if they happen, can be learning opportunities and mostly avoided by asking questions when in doubt
- Take special care to monitor intern social dynamics
Companies can get the most out of interns and reap more rewards from an internship program based on the above elements. There’s no better time than the present to make a conscious effort to make changes that will leave interns with a lasting, positive impression of your company and your team. Want to intern with TR? Find out more here.