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 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.

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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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