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.

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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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