Q. How can our company successfully manage interns?

April 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

by the Intern Coach

A.  You’ve timed your question perfectly. Inc. magazine just published an excellent piece, “How to Manage Interns.” (April 22, 2010). The article is loaded with great tips to help you structure your program to everyone’s advantage. The author writes that companies should first consider what internships can do for them, such as evaluate an intern as a potential employee. Also, the company can use internships as marketing tools to develop and promote its brand among potential employees, consumers, and the local community. Among the many helpful suggestions are the following:

  • Offer interns practical work experience that matches their academic interests. Supplement their assignments with a speakers’ series or introduce them to colleagues in your industry, who might provide a continuing network after their internships.
  • Select a company mentor or point person who can answer intern questions and resolve any issues. Encourage interns to move around the company, meeting various professionals, learning about the corporate culture, and developing new skill sets from numerous “teachers.”
  • Estimate how much time the company will spend on training and advising the intern. Before the intern begins, ensure that he/she is willing to commit a certain number of hours a week to the internship, whether onsite or remotely.
  • Be aware of generational conflict that could arise if most of your employees are of middle age. Having young people in the office may create tension, especially in use of social media and technology, and in terms of appropriate dress and behavior.
  • Avoid legal snafus is one of the best pieces of advice in the Inc. article. Unpaid internships must meet several criteria, including focusing on the value to the intern and offering relevant educational training.

Entry filed under: intern management. Tags: , , , , .

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About this blog

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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