Q&A with three employers offering internships

Do you ever wonder how other businesses and organizations use interns? What are their experiences and what do they got out of it? Mark J. Trovato, Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Attorney General, Tim Shayer, HR Director at Dr. Day Care / Kids Klub, and Becky Blaine, Practice Manager at South County Artificial Limb & Brace all weight in on their experience using interns.

Q. What is the best reason you host interns at your organization?

A. “Educational opportunities for the up and coming workforce. Also, SCALB is in the midst of experiencing business growth and a need for hiring 2 employees.” – Becky Blaine

A. “Interns are assigned to the Washington County Criminal Division out of Providence.  Interns are hosted for the purpose of teaching young people about the criminal justice system while utilizing their skills to assist our staff.” – Mark Trovato

A. “To provide the intern with practical on the job applications in the early childhood/school age field.” – Tim Shayer

Q.  What are the top ways your organization benefits from interns?

A. “Interns assist the support staff with clerical duties and prosecutors with writing assignments.” – Mark Trovato

A. “On occasion, we have hired volunteer interns upon completing their internship.” – Tim Shayer

A. “We just recently hired an intern as receptionist/office assistant in a full time position.” – Becky Blaine

Q. What is the most challenging part of structuring an internship program?

A. “With the first internship dedication of time to create a “job description” and creation of how to make the short amount of time allowed into a meaningful, real-life working experience. i.e. 5 hours/week for youth school internship.” – Becky Blaine

A. “Coordinating the interns academic schedule with the center; transportation issues.” – Tim Shayer

A. “The most challenging part of structuring an internship program is providing the interns with duties that are commensurate to their skill level.” – Mark Trovato

Q. Have you have a favorite intern? What about that person most impressed you?  

A. “Two, in fact.  Their apparent enthusiasm to want to learn all about the unique services we provide. And their gratefulness for having had the opportunity to participate in the program.” – Becky Blaine

A. “Our favorite intern is always our current intern.” – Mark Trovato

Q. Do you pay your interns? Why or why not?

A. “Yes. We reimburse students wages when working hours beyond what the internship program allows.” – Becky Blaine

A. “Generally, no.  Most of our interns are here as a result of college coursework requirements.” – Tim Shayer

A. “To my knowledge the State does not pay interns.” – Mark Trovato

Q. Who do you think benefits the most from interns?

A. “I believe the intern benefits the most as the experience exposes them to a profession they might not otherwise see.  This opportunity could influence their decision to pursue a legal career or to choose another path.”

A. “All of us.” – Becky Blaine

Q. What are five words you would use to best describe interns?

A. “Challenging, valuable, opportunity, experience, goals” – Becky Blaine

A. “Energetic, capable, conscientious, eager, funny.” – Mark Trovato

Q. How did your internship program get started?

A. “The internship program with the Attorney General has been in place as long as I can remember and the origins are unknown.” – Mark Trovato

A. “Through the State of Rhode Island’s Governor’s Workforce Board – Express Grant and the knowledge of the grant availability brought into our company by our practice manager.” – Becky Blaine

Q. What is the most challenging part of supervising interns?

A. “Depending on the intern – patience, teaching work ethics and accountability.”- Becky Blaine

A. “Keeping the interns busy at all times.” – Mark Trovato

Q. How do you use internships as a recruiting tool?

A. “A huge opportunity to “test-drive” a potential hire as in our current situation i.e. rapid growth = need for 2 employees in the capacity of a receptionist/office assistant and an orthotic/prosthetic technician.  Happy to report we have hired our receptionist/office assistant through a School Year Youth Internship.” – Becky Blaine

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About bridge.jobs

Bridge is a program that focuses on connecting employers and students in Rhode Island. The goal of Bridge is to match Rhode Island employers with talented students looking to gain valuable professional experience. Applying knowledge and skills acquired in college to a professional setting is a vital component of a student’s college education. Students who gain relevant internship experience are better prepared for full-time employment after graduation. By hiring interns, employers gain qualified, career-driven young professionals as employees. Student bring with them exposure to cutting edge practices and technology, new insights and philosophies, flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. bRIdge has a particular focus on connecting students and employers from specialized fields such as Business, Science, IT, Technology, Health, Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The bRIdge website allows employers to post paid or unpaid internships online and directly reach out to a vast and talented pool of students. College students and recent graduates can sign up and start looking for an appropriate professional learning opportunity in minutes. bRIdge is a program of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) and RISLA’s College Planning Center of Rhode Island. RISLA has joined up with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICURI), the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to bring together academia, business and community. If you have any questions about this program or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

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