Getting your company ready for a summer intern

March 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm 2 comments

by 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.

Entry filed under: developing intern program, Intern Training, summer internship program. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. oohilovehattie  |  May 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    This is great advice, and it seems like your setting up a really good environment for a new intern. However theres a few things you have forgotten! I have been interning with various companies for the past six months and the most important thing is how employees interact with you.

    If they don’t make an effort with you at the beginning – introducing themselves etc then the intern is less likely to want to help. Of course as an intern its your job to so what your told – but you are more willing to work for people when you feel appreciated.

    Starting at a new company (I did my first internship when I was 16) can be very daunting, you are suddenly taken from school and thrown into a business community. Make sure there is someone that the intern knows they can talk to – just in case!

    I hope this is helpful to both companies and businesses.

  • 2. Jennifer  |  August 11, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I think another way that a company can prepare for an intern is to create objectives with them, whether it be via email or once they have just started.
    I have undertaken numerous internships (in the communications/journalism sector) and the main cause of anxiety, for me, was being unsure of what is expected, and whether or not anything would come out of it.
    It’s important to know whether you should be working towards larger goals (for instance- having a new section of a website running in four weeks time) or smaller more frequent goals (submitting a weekly review on a product). Having these aims also helps to ensure that the intern is happy with placement- if they feel that they would be better off moving from the advertising department to the editorial section, then this will become clear earlier on.
    This also helps to define work speed and create a more stable routine. While some tasks will be out-of-the-blue and unplannable (which is another great dimension to interning), it’s still important to provide the goal-structure.


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This blog is dedicated to employers with a focus on how to hire and manage interns effectively. We will have a variety of experts who will share helpful ideas, tips and more. We invite you to comment, ask questions and share your experiences. You are also welcome to submit written contributions to this blog.

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