When you decide to implement an internship program for your company, you are opening many doors for aspiring professionals to take advantage of a desired career path before they have significant hands on experience. Not only is an internship program beneficial to young hopefuls, but also to your company. Having an internship program can increase productivity, create a pipeline to help identify future employees who are already trained, and allows your company to give back to the community. In order for your internship program to be a success, the interns must be able to take away a valuable learning experience that will benefit them in their career. Your job is to provide the right environment for interns that will promote the learning, growth, and experience that is needed to be successful in the job field and for them to become enthusiastic ambassadors of your organization. Here are a few tips on how to outline your internship program and create a beneficial learning experience.
- Orientation– Give your interns a warm welcome as if they are brand new employees. Educate your interns about your organization and get into details about products and services offered. Introduce them to who they will be working with and any other relevant staff. Give them a look into the work culture and daily life at the company. Some interns may be new to the working world entirely so consider breaking things down to the lowest common denominator to make things easier to understand. Once your interns feel welcomed and become more aware of what is to take place, they will be more relaxed to begin contributing to the cause. However, if you simply throw an intern into the workflow, you may be beginning a long road of counter production.
- Provide Complimenting Tasks– Set up projects that your intern will be able to link to their academic learning. Classroom knowledge and firsthand experiences can go hand in hand to create the best learning experience for your interns. Fight the urge to send the interns out for coffee and other mundane errands. Although tasks like filing and correspondence are necessary, help to fulfill the intern’s need for knowledge with more challenging duties and limit busy work to no more than 20% of your intern’s time.
- Supervision– Keeping your interns under supervision helps to ensure that they stay on task. It can be hard for a student with no work experience to stay on task at first so make it easier with a mentor to help keep them focused. A mentor can evaluate performance, answer questions, and provide another point of view of the career. A mentor can also become an important building block in your intern’s business network.
- Real Life Experience– Although knowledge gained in the classroom can be essential, direct experience is the only way for an intern to properly learn the field. Rolling up their sleeves and getting deep into the real working world will provide interns with a lasting impression that can either make or break their goals for the future. Help your interns get a broad look at what it takes to make the company run through a variety of tasks and experiences. Allowing interns to see a company from every angle can help them to be better at the position in which they desire. As your intern branches out, they can make many more connections and thrive.
These tips are sure to arm you with the tools you need to make your company’s internship program a success. Looking for interns in the Rhode Island area? Visit www.bridge.jobs to match your company with the perfect intern for free.