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

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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.

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