Getting your company ready for a summer intern
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.