Jim Lavoie, CEO of Rite-Solutions, Robert Hughes, Plant Manager of Hayward Industries, and Bill Jones, President of Warren Rogers Associates, Inc. (WRA) give us their views on hosting interns.
Q. What is the main reason you host interns at your organization?
“To expose them to a different kind of company.” – Jim Lavoie
“Our business relies upon large scale multi-year agreements. With a pool of trained interns, we are able to accommodate these upticks in business by turning to skilled interns who will soon be graduating and seeking full-time employment.” – Bill Jones
“To accomplish specific tasks in numerous areas of the facility.” – Robert Hughes
Q. What are the top three ways your organization benefits from interns?
“Allows our experienced employees to concentrate more on higher level objectives. Aides in getting tasks done quicker. Gives us different perspectives on how to solve problems.” – Robert Hughes
“To handle surges in business. To determine if WRA and an intern are a good fit for long term employment. To enable WRA to gain the advantage of the technical skills and understanding of the interns.” – Bill Jones
Q. What is the most challenging part of structuring an internship program?
“Long term interns create scheduling issues as their availability changes with each semester. Summer interns do not pose this issue.” – Robert Hughes
Q. Have you had a favorite intern?
“We have had three exceptional interns from URI engineering that were well educated, highly motivated and quick learners.” – Robert Hughes
“Ye, two. Initiative [impressed up most] – They both got a Security + certification during their internship.” – Jim Lavoie
Q. Do you pay your interns? Why or why not?
“Yes from $16-$19 per hour depending on the year of schooling they are in.” – Robert Hughes
“Yes – To make them feel relevant to the company.” – Jim Lavoie
“WRA has always hosted interns who are paid because they have added value and revenue to the company.” – Bill Jones
Q. Who do you think benefits the most from interns?
“If done correctly, the intern benefits the most, but the organization has seen a benefit as well.” – Jim Lavoie
“The interns, as they get valuable experience in an actual work environment.” – Robert Hughes
Q. How did your internship program get started?
“Forecasting a demand for Information Assurance industry growth.” – Jim Lavoie
“In 2009, WRA undertook a large scale project for configuring and installing industrial computers at retail petroleum outlets. We hosted interns to assist us with this surge deployment under tight deadlines and they enabled us to complete the project successfully.” – Bill Jones
“We started hiring summer interns from employees’ children.” – Robert Hughes
Q. How do you use internships as a recruiting tool?
“If we encounter a student that has the skill set we are looking for, we often host them as interns so that we can see how they perform and to gauge their level of interest in our company. We have four former interns on staff that are now full time employees. This week we began hosting an intern with notable analytical and SAS software skills under the auspices Rhode Island Work Immersion Program.” – Bill Jones