Small businesses are the heart and soul of industry in the US today. In fact, did you know that over 99% of employer firms in the United States are actually small businesses?
That 99%-plus number corresponds to around 28 million small businesses in the United States operating today and over 18,000 companies with 500 or more employees.
Now, you often hear the presidential candidates talking about building jobs, small business and innovation, but what’s rarely discussed is how successful small businesses got that way?
Internship Programs Benefit Smaller Businesses Too!
Flipping on CNBC or Fox Business you’re bombarded with names of Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft. All of these firms obviously employ interns and, indeed, interns turn into full-time employees more often than not.
The same benefits of hosting an internship program can be enjoyed by small- and medium-sized business owners from New York to Los Angeles.
Unique Benefits for Small Business
Internship programs are one of the most efficient ways of bringing in fresh talent that you wouldn’t otherwise cross paths with.
In a lot of ways, small businesses that host well-run internship programs have a leg up over small businesses that forgo internships since internships can provide much needed support year-round and supplement the manpower of your, perhaps understaffed, workforce.
Just like what might happen when interns join the ranks of salaried employees at larger corporations, interns bring a fresh perspective to the table and an open-mindedness in the workplace that might be in shorter supply than you’d like among your veteran employees.
Internships from a Student’s Point of View
Interns are putting their best foot forward every day because they’re trying to wring every ounce of experience and skills development from the internship program.
There’s less concern with opportunism or corporate jockeying with interns since it’s all about cultivating their current skills and broadening their professional horizons.
Whether or not the internship program is a paid one, interns are testing out whether their classroom learning is really up to snuff in that they’re applying more abstract skills in a real-world, professional environment.
As a benefit to employers, interns are frequently coming to your business completely up-to-date on industry best practices and eager to test their skills in a competitive workplace environment.
Reaping the Benefits You Need Today
And if you’re considering offering an intern a full-time position – because say, your intern really made an impression and distinguished herself with her enthusiasm, time management and professional skills – then you have another advantage as well.
Since interns are, relatively speaking, tabula rasa you can steer their career path in the direction that would most suit what your business is currently looking for.
So, if you need an intern with more of an accounting background – or one with more people skills in an “impersonal” profession like actuarial science – then you can foster those skills within the internship and set up your mentorship program accordingly.
Great for Interning Post-graduates
From the student’s and post-graduates’ perspective, internship programs are a chance to build up a resume full of experience, professional contacts and a list of potential letters of recommendation.
Contacts in the industry never hurt and finding out the most popular associations, symposia and continuing education opportunities is rarely a bad thing.
What we’re saying is that internships are so intrinsically incentivized for both interns and employers that it’s hard to say who benefits more!