5 Benefits of Having an Intern

Opening the doors of your company to interns is a great way to help a young person develop vital skills in your industry. Ambitious individuals can take so much needed knowledge from an internship that can be the foundation of their future career. So how does having an intern benefit your company or organization? Although it may seem like a liability, having an intern has numerous residual benefits for the company that may actually surprise you. Here are five benefits of having an intern join your team.

1. Free Up the Staff

Once your interns have been taught the basics of their responsibilities, you can then move your professional staff on to bigger and better things. Is there a project that has been on hold due to lack of time?  Now is your chance to utilize your resources in the best possible ways. Not only will the interns benefit from the hands on experience, your company is maximizing time and getting more accomplished with the new system.

Business Man Internship

2. Hire From Within

Imagine having the advantage of molding future talent specifically for your company without the risk of initial full time employment. Your company can enjoy the best of both worlds. Once the intern has shown a good pattern of work ethic over the course of the internship, you can then offer a full time position. The benefit of knowing the dependability of your employee will save time and money on a chancy new recruit. Don’t waste unnecessary time on a hiring package just to be burned. Take the guesswork out of the hiring process and choose who is already a perfect fit for the company: your intern.

3. Increase Staff Retention Rate

When an intern has dedicated their personal time and efforts to a position, they will be more appreciative and loyal once a permanent position is offered to them. It’s easy to quit on a company that you have nothing invested in.  However, an intern has more to loose than the average employee. With no prior formal experience, the intern will need to use your company as the only reference on the resume. Needless to say, the intern is more likely to stay with your company for the long haul.

4. Give Back to the Community

Businesses small and large can always use the support of the community. Giving back to the community by providing internships is a great public relations tool to get exposure. Your company can be seen as a stepping stone for young people to achieve their dreams. Investing into the local community is also a great way to boost company morale.

5. Recruit Future Interns

Use your internship program to generate enthusiasm among prospective interns. Show each intern a meaningful experience that is sure to create buzz across the campus. When it’s time to enlist more interns, there will be an excited crop of students in place to choose from.

Are you ready to reap the benefits of having an intern in your company?  For those located in the Rhode Island area, post your internship on www.bridge.jobs to help you find the perfect intern for your company. Learn more information about creating an internship program with the Guide to Structuring a Successful Internship Program.

Q&A with 3 Employers on Internships

Kevin Bettencourt, Manager of Human Resources at Interplex Engineered Products, Scot Jones, CEO of Groov-Pin Corporation, and Jeff Baxt, Communications Manager of the Philadelphia Education Fund, weigh in on their experience with interns.

1. What is the main reason you host interns at your organization? 

“To educate today’s youth and/or adult workers about the positive employment opportunities still available in today’s manufacturing sector.” – Kevin Bettencourt

“It’s a two-fold purpose; while we recruit interns to support the development/communications team, we also want to offer students some real life work experience to get them accustomed to the work environment within an organization – Jeff Baxt”

“Access to a stream of candidates by exposing students to the challenges and opportunities in manufacturing.” -Scot Jones

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

“1) Refines how we explain what we do. 2) Stream of new ideas and skills for problem solving. 3) Awareness of the company.” – Scot Jones

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

“Making a short internship meaningful both for the intern and the company by balancing exposure to the business and projects where the intern can contribute.” – Scot Jones

“Currently, as my work schedule has been curtailed, I have to coordinate my schedule with interns so I am on site the days the interns are in the office.” – Jeff Baxt

4. Have you had a favorite intern? What about that person most impressed you?

“Yes, our most recent intern had a great work ethic and knew how to use common sense.” – Jeff Baxt

“Each has been different.  It is great going over the stories that they can tell in interviews about their experience. We shoot for three good stories.” – Scot Jones

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

“Yes.  At Interplex we believe in providing more then just a positive work experience. Compensating our interns provides a financial incentive for seeing the internship through and reward for positive performance.” -Kevin Bettencourt

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

“Internships are mutually beneficial.” -Kevin Bettencourt

“The interns benefits the most.” – Scot Jones

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

“The future of our business.” – Scot Jones

“Energetic, eager, flexible, adaptable, refreshing” -Kevin Bettencourt

“Collaborators; partners; enthusiastic; eager; resourceful” – Jeff Baxt

8. How did your internship program get started?

“I offered a position to a family acquaintance.” -Scot Jones

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

“Determining  the needs of each part of the team (development and communications) and what kind of support they need; e.g. recruit interns with experience in both or just one area?” – Jeff Baxt

“Keeping in mind how new they are to the work environment. Keeping a flow to their relatively short experience. Tailoring the internship to be of benefit to both company and intern. Convincing interns they can take the initiative.” – Scot Jones

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

“To attract new talent to the organization and jump start long meaningful careers.” -Kevin Bettencourt

Employer responsibilities for hosting an intern

When you are deciding to incorporate an internship program into your company or organization, it’s important to know what responsibilities the company must uphold. Hosting an intern is so much more than taking on a young student to do busy work and fetch coffee. There are a plethora of components that it takes to make an internship not only beneficial to the company, but also to the intern. Taking the time to construct your company’s internship program correctly will be well worth the effort.  Here are a few simple guidelines on what the employer responsibilities entail when hosting an intern.

Orientation

Outline the description of company rules, chain of command, and the future duties required of the intern in the orientation. This will take the guess work out of the position and help to make the intern aware of the things that will take place. Give the intern a tour of the facilities and introduce them to the employees to help them feel more relaxed. It is your responsibility as an employer to make the intern feel comfortable with their surroundings. In turn, you will get more out of your intern when you put more in from the start.  Don’t forget to give the intern access to their work areas if they are secured or restricted.

Internship MentorProvide a Mentor

A mentor is an indispensable asset to your internship program.  Having a mentor to keep track of progress, answer any questions, and offer feedback will help your intern learn more. Set up check points for the mentor to meet with the intern to make sure that progress is being made on a consistent basis. If you cannot spare a single employee for the job, enlist the help of a team to help the intern. As long as there is a clearly identified network designed specifically for the task of mentoring, there will be less confusion for your intern. Leaving an intern to their own devices is like leaving a fish out of water. In the end, the mentor/mentors can provide great business contacts when the internship is over.

A Good Learning Experience

Don’t let your internship program fail due to lack of quality learning experience. The objective of the program is to allow the intern to walk away with real life experience in the industry. So make it interesting with challenging projects, exposure to multiple departments, and utilization of classroom knowledge. Keeping the intern engaged in meaningful tasks and decision making will enable them to stay excited throughout the duration of the program. Set up learning goals that should be met throughout the program to help ensure the intern is actually learning hands on experience and retaining important information. Keep in mind that if your intern walks away without any real life experience in the field, the program was probably not their best use of time. It is the duty of the company to ensure the intern can leave the program feeling confident that the time spent was a success and can also become a great ambassador for your company.

Are you ready to offer a meaningful internship program to aspiring young professionals?  If you are in the Rhode Island area and are looking to host interns at your company, sign up with www.bridge.jobs.  Get matched with the perfect intern for your organization.  Take advantage of the free Guide to Structuring a Successful Internship Program.  With all of these tools to help you get started, you will be hiring interns of your own in no time.

Writing a distinct internship resume

Do you feel as though your lack of formal training will hinder you from landing the internship of your dreams?  Don’t let that stop you from trying to get ahead in your career. The beauty of an internship is to help equip you with the experience you need to succeed.  Designed to give you the much needed experience you need in the field, an internship doesn’t require that you have formal training. When looking for an intern, companies want to see who you are and what kind of drive you have to reach your goals. Here are some key points that will help you write the perfect internship resume.

Experience

Employers want to see courses that you have taken that relate to the internship position as well as any relevant professional experience. Any projects that you have completed within relevant courses should be documented. Group projects are essentially important as this shows the employer that you can be a team player. There is a big chance that you will be applying what you have learned in the classroom at some point during your internship.  Be open about what knowledge you have gained through your schooling and previous work experience. This can allow you a time to shine and apply what you know at your internship. Let the company know any software training you may have gained as well. Any computer skills you can bring to the table will always be a plus.

Internship Resume

Skills

Even if you have never worked in the field before, you can transfer any work skills or experience that you have generated. Use action words to highlight your experiences at previous jobs no matter how small. A waitress can use phrases like “maintained a personal bank,” “provided exceptional customer service,” and “organized multiple orders at any given time.”  These words will stand out show the employer what you are capable of.  As long as the employer can see your work ethic through your words, you are on the right track. Also note any non-work related skills, like computer skills, language skills, etc.

Extracurricular Activities

Have you participated in any related extracurricular activities?  Have you held a leadership position in non related activities? It is important to show the employer any related clubs or groups that may lead you closer to landing the internship. Even if you haven’t participated in related activities, a leadership role in non related activities could be just as important.  If you have been a coach or acted as a team lead, make the company aware that you can take charge if need be. Employers like to see young people with tenacity and who aren’t afraid to be themselves and bring something new to the table.

Letters of Recommendation

It’s a great thing when you have established professionals willing to put their name on the line to back you up.  Meet with former employers or teachers that have worked closely with you in the past to write a letter of recommendation for you. Words of praise from a respected source is highly esteemed and may be the exact tool to help you achieve the internship you desire.

Format

Last but not least, keep the format of your resume simple and clear. Stick to just 1 or 2 fonts, use bullet points, and call out headings with bold text. Realistically, employers usually only spend 1-2 minutes reviewing your resume, so you want to make sure it is easy to read and your main points, skills, achievements, and job-fit are clearly visible.

Do you think you are ready to submit your internship resume?  If you are in the Rhode Island area, visit www.bridge.jobs to find the perfect internship for you.