What interns aren’t telling you about their internships

As a business that works with interns, you’re doing a great thing by giving hands-on experience to a student, youth or unemployed adult in Rhode Island. That said, there may be some things that your interns aren’t telling you, and if you don’t know about these problems, you can’t take steps to address them.

Here are some things that interns may not be telling you when they participate in your internships in Rhode Island:

  • “I’m not getting the experience that I need.”  Your company and all of the business that it’s doing is certainly important, but don’t get lost in the trap that it’s too important for an intern to tackle. The days of having your interns staple papers and make copies all day long are well on their way out. If you take the time to let your interns in on the actual work, there are several benefits that can come about. For starters, your return on investment (whether it’s time or money) will be much better when your interns are producing actual work. Additionally, allowing your interns to take ownership of tasks and projects helps to facilitate growth and contributes to better morale. In return, your company will be known as one of the quality internship providers in Rhode Island, and the reputation will help you attract better talent in the future.
  • “I’m not always who you think I am.”  Traditionally, interns were in the younger working generation. If the first people you think of when you think of when someone says “intern” are 20-year-old college students, those are absolutely great people to add to your applicant pool. But there are also some non-traditional interns that can offer you their own unique skill sets, which come from having already been in the work force for a while. Often times, individuals that are mid-career and looking for a change will make great interns. Keep in mind that these applicants have their own real-world work experience that they’ve gained through past employment, and they might be able to contribute value to your team that you otherwise may not be able to find with less experienced applicants.
  • “I’m not making ends meet.”  When it comes to internships in Rhode Island, many applicants aren’t going to look solely at paid internships, but if there is a paycheck associated with the internship, it will definitely attract attention. While your business budget is a vital part of your plan, so too should be employing quality staff members. If you can find it in your budget to pay your interns, they’ll likely be appreciative and respond well. If you’re offering internships in Rhode Island that have to remain unpaid, think about offering other perks that can attract top quality talent to your company. If your interns are in unpaid positions, it’s highly likely that they’ve sought part-time paid positions elsewhere to help make ends meet. Try to be mindful of this, and be flexible with hours whenever possible so your interns can earn their own money while helping your business make money, too.
  • “I’m overqualified.”  Remember, they’re not saying this to you, so this isn’t necessarily a negative thing. If you have “overqualified” interns, put them to use!  Who ever said no to a team of great people, right?  If you have interns that have great skill sets in certain areas, allow them to explore and enhance those areas while they work with your regular staff members and teach them what they know. Overqualified interns can turn into stellar full-time team members when the internship has ended!
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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.

3 thoughts on “What interns aren’t telling you about their internships

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