7 things your interns aren’t telling you

Hosting an intern can be a very rewarding endeavor that not only helps support local students, but also provides an opportunity to give back to the community. In order to make an internship program a success, you must show the intern that you care and are open to feedback. Try not to make your intern feel uncomfortable or as if they don’t matter. If your intern is intimidated, they may not share what is really on their minds. Here are seven things your interns may not be telling you.

“I am not getting the experience I need.”

The entire objective of an internship program is to gain experience in the industry. Many interns have little to no formal hands on training and depend on an internship to provide them with the start they need to thrive. If they are stuck constantly doing busy work and running errands, they may not be learning what they need to succeed. Set up a competitive internship program that allows your interns to learn while they work.

Intern Doing Busy Work

“I may not be the typical student.”

A non traditional intern can make just as good an intern as a young student; sometimes even better. Don’t limit the more mature crowd to being set in their ways and unteachable. Make it a point to mold all of your interns into the professionals they need to be. Don’t overlook older individuals who are in the midst of a career change for your internship program.

“I am not making ends meet.”

It is no surprise that college years are those of  TV dinners and a strict budgets. Offering pay for an internship can greatly increase morale and appreciation. Determine the needs of an intern in your company and provide a salary accordingly. If you are not offering a paid internship, consider other incentives such as academic credits or rewards programs. Keep in mind, if you are a Rhode Island employer, you may be eligible to receive matching funds to help pay for your intern. Learn more here.

“I’m overqualified.”

There may be times when you have an intern that is overqualified for the work that is being assigned. Take advantage of this opportunity to bring new perspective to the rest of your team. It couldn’t hurt to set a new pair of eyes on a project that can be made better. Work your interns to their fullest potentials to help them thrive while you increase productivity.

“I need help.”

If your intern is suffering under a pile of work to complete, they may be apprehensive to make it known. Anticipate when your intern’s workload is too much and how to balance things out. Have a mentor to regularly monitor the intern and be a point of reference when they need help.

“Is there a chance for future employment?”

Although some interns are only seeking experience to look good on their college portfolio, others are seeking full time employment. If your internship program can possibly lead to full time employment, make it known. Your interns will have more drive to achieve a bigger goal than just the completion of the program. Interns who become employees tend to have higher retention rates.

“Am I doing a good job?”

Get regular updates from your intern’s mentor about the progress of the program. Don’t leave your interns in the dark about how they are coming along. Appreciation and acknowledgement are great morale boosters that can lead to even better results and productivity.

Listen to what your interns are trying to say the next time you host an intern. Visit www.bridge.jobs to find interns in Rhode Island.  Learn more about creating an internship program with the Guide to Structuring a Successful Internship Program.

Creating a useful internship orientation

Creating an effective orientation for your new interns is a staple in achieving the productivity you desire. When you bring interns on board, you need to arm them with the knowledge they will need to succeed at your company.Internship orientation

Some interns will be working in their career field for the very first time at your organization. Make the transition an easy one with a good start. Here are some tips to help you create a useful internship orientation for your company.

  • Warm Welcome – A warm welcome can go a long way. Break the ice for your interns by embracing them into the company. Provide need to know facts about the company like background, mission statement, and productivity of the operation.  Let the interns know who is who within the company and chain of command. Although power point presentations are a great way to convey the message, use as much personal interaction as possible for your new interns.
  • Tour the Facility – Interns should be aware of their surroundings instead of being pushed into a new environment they know nothing about. Provide a tour that will not only show the interns where they will be working, but also an overall look at all the departments. Don’t forget to let them know where the kitchen and bathrooms are located! Give a brief description of what each department does to make the company run as a whole. Introduce your interns by name to people who have a minute to talk. If your intern is a quiet type, these new acquaintances can help take the pressure out of meeting new people.
  • Meet the Mentor – If the mentor isn’t the one giving the orientation, allow your intern to become familiar with their given mentor and/or supervisor. Allow the mentor to explain what their role will be and how it correlates to the intern. The mentor should elaborate on the internship learning objectives, evaluation procedures, and responsibilities of the intern. A recap of the initial job description can be reiterated at this time. Go over hours, breaks, and holidays (if applicable). Be sure the intern knows the cell phone and internet search policies for the company.
  • Technical Aspects – Take the time during the orientation to ensure that the intern knows how to use the computer systems at your company. Show them how to send emails, log in, and view important company information like meeting requests. If your intern doesn’t know how to communicate with the rest of the company, there may be some misunderstandings in the future. Demonstrate how to use the office supplies and devices like the fax machine.
  • Handbooks and Safety Manuals –  Once you have covered all of your bases, give the intern a handbook and safety manuals to review. Although you may have already gone over the same information, let the intern have a hard copy to refer to in a pinch.

Are you a smaller organization that doesn’t want to take the presentation approach to your internship orientation?  Apply the same tips but in a one-on-one setting. Have the intern meet personally with higher management to get the most knowledgeable perspective about the company. Have the mentor meet with the intern on the first day to carry out the orientation and help get the work flow initiated.

Now that you have an orientation planned and ready to use, find the perfect intern for the job. Visit www.bridge.jobs to locate the intern that is right for your company. Learn how to construct the perfect internship program with the Guide to Structuring a Successful Internship Program.

6 things interns should tell their employers

Being open and honest are key tools to success in your internship and in your life. However, it may not be easy to share unconventional details with your host company during your internship. If the opportunity presents itself, don’t hide in the shadows.

Tell your employer how you really feel with the utmost respect and admiration. Although it may be tough to open up, you may find that you are very glad you did. Here are six things interns should tell their employers.

“I am overqualified.”

If you have what it takes to do more challenging work in your internship, let it be known! Once you have completed your required duties, seek out your superior to discuss receiving work that requires more of you. The company will ultimately benefit from your skills and you will gain the hands on experience that you need from the program. If you are nervous to tell someone that you are overqualified for the work they are assigned to you, just know that the outcome may be a lot better than holding it in. Your employer will be happy to see initiative and shouldn’t have a problem putting you to work.

Intern Filing

“I am not getting the experience I need.”

When you are stuck organizing the filing cabinet or licking envelopes, chances are you aren’t getting much on the job training. Tell your employer that you would like to learn more from the internship. Convey how important it means to you to not only benefit from the experience, but to help boost productivity for the company. Keep in mind, if you are unpaid or if you are receiving academic credit (or both!), you shouldn’t be spending more than 20% of your time doing busy work.

“I am overwhelmed.”

There may be times at your internship where you have bitten off more than you can chew. Instead of working until you crash, let your superior know the problem. In order for the internship to be a success, it will need to be mutually beneficial. If you are too burdened with your task you will most likely become stressed and make mistakes. Your employer can come up with a solution to remedy the problem and get you back on track to enjoying a fulfilling internship.

“Take notice of my accomplishments.”

When you do a job well done, you want to be recognized for it.  If you feel as if your progress is going unnoticed, speak up. Let your mentor know about the things that you are doing well and how it affects the company. This can help to perfect the internship program to pay more attention to future interns’ successes.

“I need a letter of recommendation.”

After the completion of your first internship, you may want to pursue other professional opportunities in the near future. If you don’t have much experience in the field, the internship will be the focal point of your resume. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for a letter of recommendation to add to your professional portfolio. The odds are in your favor if you have done a great job at the internship. Your previous employer should be more than happy to provide you with what you need to move on in your budding career.

“Thank you.”

When an employer takes the time to invest in a young hopeful’s goals and aspirations, it is truly thanks worthy. Take the time to hand write a note to your host company at the end of your internship to thank them for the opportunity and experience you gained during that time. Showing your appreciation with a simple thank you can go a long way.

Can you speak up to your host company for your next internship? Visit www.bridge.jobs to search for internships in Rhode Island.

When to start your internship search

There are many ways that your company can benefit from having an internship program. Whether you want to boost productivity, give back to the community, or test drive future talent, there is always a good time to search for an intern. When to begin your search will depend upon who you are looking for.

Would you like summer help or could you use more assistance for the end of the year? Once you know what the needs of the company are, you will be more equipped to meet the demands. Here are some tips to help you organize an effective recruitment strategy and know when the time is right to search for an intern.

When To Post

If you want an intern for the summer break, start posting early to gain access to the best candidates. You will want to ensure that you have an intern secured well in advanced. This will also give you ample time to perfect the details of the internship program.

As a rule of thumb, go for March or early April to post your internship. On the other hand, if your intern will be working throughout a semester in school, aim to post at least two months in advance. This will give you the time you need to sort through applications and decide who you want to interview. Don’t get overwhelmed if you receive a higher response than anticipated. Clarify the characteristics, previous life experience, and course work that you will require to hire an intern. Take your list and match it with existing resumes. This will make the sorting process less time consuming and more efficient.

Posting too late could affect your choices as you will feel rushed to meet the demand to fill the position. Start early and secure the intern that you know will deliver an exceptional performance.

Interview

Once you have narrowed your applicants down according to resumes, it’s time to start the interview process. Provide yourself with a given time period that you plan to interview with a cut off date. Interview all the applicants in your final pool. Since you have already made out your list of must haves in an intern, you will be able to pair faces with resumes and decide who you want to chose for the internship. If the interview process takes a little longer than expected you will be covered by the extra time the early posting provided.

Prepare

Take time to properly prepare for your intern’s first day. Make sure that your internship program is perfected and everyone involved at the company are on deck for the intern’s arrival. Have a mentor in place to supervise and aid the program. Provide an orientation to get your intern up to speed with the company and an overview of the internship program. Your intern will ultimately feel more welcome and at ease when you take the time to show that you care about your internship program. Don’t leave all of the planning to the day before your intern starts!

The key to securing your intern for the term is to start early and used a structured schedule to get the job done. Visit www.bridge.jobs to find local interns in the Rhode Island area.

Learn more about creating an internship program with the Guide to Structuring a Successful Internship Program.

Getting the perfect Internship

If you are passionate about your career path, chances are you will be very intense with your internship search. It is important to find a relevant internship that will keep you motivated, engaged, and coming back for more each day. Landing such an internship may be taking longer than expected. However, when you know what components are needed to locate the perfect internship, you may find what you’re looking for right under your nose. Here are a few ways for you to find the perfect internship.

Apply For The Right Opportunities 

If you are seeking a career in the food industry, why even consider applying to a graphic design firm? Even if there is a chance that the two industries may overlap, you have to be direct about what you want. Make sure that you search and consider opportunities in your desired industry to eliminate wasted time and energy. Once you narrow down your search, evaluate each of the companies. Do you see yourself happier in a more relaxed culture setting or are you looking for an executive position? Do some research on various company’s background and goals.

Take your own perspective into account to find which company will best suit you. The more you can identify with the position you will be taking, the more you will enjoy the internship.

Create the Perfect Resume

Once you know which internships you are going to apply for, it’s time to build the perfect resume. Use a cover letter to introduce yourself to the company and motivate the reader to read your resume, Start strong with your name in a slightly larger font so you won’t be forgotten. Instead of using “one size fits all” language, tailor your resume specifically to each company and position for which you are applying. Don’t be afraid when you have to put down your relevant experience. Relate your coursework, previous work experience, volunteer work, and community service to fit the needs of the internship. Use clear language to magnify your achievements and strengths. Don’t add information that isn’t true or misleading. If you can’t get the internship on your own merit, then you don’t need it. Include references and a professional portfolio if applicable. Be sure to proofread your work before you send it off.

Team of young chefs preparing delicatessen dishes

Prepare for the Interview

Now that you have gotten this far in the process, it’s time to bring it home with the interview. Prepare for your interview by doing research of the company. Typically you can find information about background, mission statements, and the founder on the company’s website. Feel free to browse information about products and services as well. The more information you know about the company, the more conversation you can have at the interview. If you are nervous, it may be a good idea to do a mock interview with a friend. Come up with possible questions the interviewer may ask you so that you will have ready responses in mind. Consider what questions you will have to ask the interviewer so that you can get more insight about the company and the internship. Have a nice outfit prepared for the interview. Be sure to properly groom yourself so that you will feel more confident. Get a good nights rest and rise early so that you won’t be late.

Are you ready to seek out the perfect internship?  Visit www.bridge.jobs to find the perfect internship in Rhode Island.