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.
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.
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.