Posts tagged ‘summer internship’
by internships.com writer
Are you committed to having an intern at your company this summer? Consider selecting a junior employee to be the Intern Manager. Be sure to choose an employee who has great people skills and would be a positive mentor to an intern. This move, selecting an Intern Manager is a positive on many levels. It puts a system in place for welcoming and mentoring interns, it frees senior managers for other assignments, and it’s an honor for the junior employee who is selected to take the role of Intern Manager. Below are a few tips:
1. Appoint one junior employee to be in charge of interns as Intern Manager and point of contact and to mentor and monitor intern performance.. The junior employee also increases the intern’s comfort level since the intern will enjoy working with a younger employee closer to his or her own age.
2. Allow your Intern Manager time in his/her schedule to coordinate each intern’s schedule with the appropriate manager. Arrange for the intern to spend a certain amount of time either daily or weekly with the Intern Manager to review progress. Establish a clear chain of command, ensuring that your employees know if they have any concerns about the intern, they can get help from the Intern Manager.
3. Send a broadcast email to your employee distribution list that announces the intern, gives a sentence or two about him/her, and asks staff to extend a warm welcome. On the day that the intern starts, the Intern Manager should take the intern on a tour and introduce the new member to individual staff.
4. Arrange for the Intern Manager to meet with the intern on Day #1 and discuss expectations and outcomes on both sides. Set the intern up to succeed by starting with small projects and graduating to more complicated and lengthy assignments.
by internships.com writer
Use these tips as you are planning for summer interns:
- Survey your company, asking departments if they want interns, what skill sets, and how many interns they need. Some departments find interns useful and others may not.
- Prepare a description of internship duties and email it to the incoming intern (in advance if you can) for review, answering any questions ahead of time to prevent confusion. Make sure the intern has an Intern Packet with appropriate materials before the start date. The Intern Packet should contain company policy information as well as forms to track intern activity.
- Assign interns to areas that may need a full-time employee in the near future, using the internship to “test the waters” with candidates that you might later hire. Be sure to ask employees in those areas for their evaluations on each intern’s performance.
- Ensure that the intern has a desk and proper supplies so he/she can begin productive work immediately. A more senior intern—if available—may want to have a short meeting with the new intern to talk about office procedures or to explain the computer system or any unfamiliar technology systems. Utilize current interns to train incoming interns, reducing staff time with interns and facilitating employees to fulfill work objectives.
- Consider rotating interns to cover areas left vacant as employees take summer vacations. Suggest that the departing employee give the intern an orientation on what to do to reduce the workload on the remaining staff. Although the intern may only be able to perform basic duties, the department will appreciate the additional help.
- Reward an unpaid intern in various ways. If your company has a cafeteria, give the intern a pass that enables him/her to eat for free on working days. Take the intern to a professional meeting as your guest, paying for his/her lunch and introducing him to other professionals. Give a gift certificate at the end of the internship as well as a written letter of recommendation. Current interns may refer future interns to your organization, and you can be sure students share information about their experiences. Make sure everyone wants to intern at your company, so you have a wide selection of excellent applicants.
By internships.com writer
Sometimes the work assigned to interns is less than glamorous–data entry, research, scheduling appointments, copying and collating, etc. As any manager of interns knows, these tasks are the building blocks of critical business projects. Interns, however, may not understand this yet. There is a term that these interns, some of them just out of high school, are probably all too familiar with: busy-work.
A common complaint among students is that their teachers give them “busy-work” – work with no other purpose than to keep them busy. When interns are assigned tasks like photocopying, they might assume it’s busy-work and therefore, unimportant, and this attitude is sure to negatively impact their enthusiasm, commitment, and ultimately, their entire experience.
That’s why it’s important to explain to your interns that these types of tasks are actually essential steps to accomplishing the critical work objectives of your company. For instance, when I ask an intern to collect data and enter it into an Excel spreadsheet, I always explain before they begin the project what the data will be used for and why it’s important. I tell the student how the data will be analyzed and what decisions will be made based on the data. Whenever possible, I invite the intern to participate in those meetings or conversations, so they can observe the life of their work after completion.
It’s important to explain the larger impact of a task before an intern starts a project. This will help them to understand why it’s important to finish the task efficiently and with integrity. In my experience I have found this always leads to a better product and a happier, more engaged intern.
Everyone wants to know they are contributing to the larger business objectives or bottom line of a company, including interns. For an intern, this is probably their first foray into the business world and they probably have high expectations. By teaching the interns that tasks such as data entry and appointment scheduling are a vital step to accomplishing company-wide goals, they will feel invested and important. The intern will also learn a lot more about how business gets done, not just data entry!
Although we’re deep in the middle of winter, many college students around the country have their sights set on warmer weather and the possibility of securing a summer internship. University career centers are already busy posting internship opportunities and scheduling employer campus interviews. Whether you’re an employer considering starting an internship program or have an established program in place, now is the time to be planning how summer interns will be best utilized by your organization. Do you know how your organization expects to leverage the energy, creativity, knowledge, and skills interns commonly bring to the workplace? And above all, and a factor often neglected by employers, is your internship program designed to produce genuine value and results to the student as well as the organization? Having managed internship programs for a university and a few organizations, the best and worst internship experiences often hinge on this last question.
For the student, the goal of an internship is to gain practical and relevant experience through the application of knowledge so far attained only in an academic setting. Whether interns are joining your organization to support an established team or tasked with a short-term project, assure that their theoretical learning is being supplemented in the role. Beyond practical experience in their core area of study, interns are also expecting to develop and apply other skills that are essential to their long-term professional success. Provide interns the opportunity to develop interpersonal, critical thinking, presentation, networking, and political acumen skills. Developing these essential career skills is just as important to their overall internship experience.
For the employer, it’s imperative to identify one or more projects where the intern can provide legitimate support or make a considerable impact. Employers might at times be reluctant to trust an intern with too much responsibility fearing that he or she will fail. On the contrary, from my experience, interns rise to the level of expectation and use their willingness to learn as an opportunity to contribute wherever they’re needed. Of course, this approach should be balanced with what an intern needs to learn in order to complete the assignment. Pinpointing the right opportunity, along with determining the appropriate amount of supervisory support, will go a long way in assuring an intern’s skills are used most effectively. Combining an intern’s specialized area of study, willingness to learn, and the right project will yield the best results where the organization most needs it.