Why interns aren’t as bad as you think [Employers]

Internships offer employers a huge pipeline into tomorrow’s talent in a way that’s also beneficial for interns. Young interns are getting a chance to apply academic, classroom knowledge to a real-world setting and potentially test drive unexplored career directions.

Internships can be structured in such a way that’s both fun and productive. You have the chance to hone interns’ work skills and potentially shape them into a future employee. At the same time, you’re giving them the freedom to explore a few different avenues within the field they’re interested in. It’s a nice mixture of hands-on experience, skill development, open-ended exploration, and benefit to your organization.

Marketing segmentation

Planning and conducting an internship program also gives employers a chance to mold tomorrow’s talent from the beginning. Research out of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows that, among over 15,000 upperclassmen who embarked in paid internships, well over half received full-time job offers. Takeaway: clearly internships are working for most employers!

Internships are Gateways to Great Careers

Other findings from the National Association of Colleges and Employers are also enlightening. The association looked at the kinds of things that made interns rate their experience as very or extremely satisfying versus partially or completely unsatisfying. It turns out that when you have interns spend more time on administrative, routine or inessential tasks they’re more apt to find the experience unsatisfying. No big surprises there!

The more time spent on problem-solving tasks that students’ felt had a positive impact on the organizations, the more satisfied were the interns. Interns also looked for more structure in internships since they ended up more deeply appreciating internships that placed a heavy emphasis on project management. Creating specific goals for your internship and facilitating a sense of teamwork, therefore, are hugely beneficial steps every internship program should incorporate today.

Fostering more internship satisfaction through more structured environments, a greater emphasis on problem solving tasks, and fostering a sense of teamwork is important for another reason. Doing so increases the chances that the interns that create the most favorable impression – i.e., the best interns – will actually accept the full-time job offers that they’re extended. In the NACE study mentioned above, interns were above seven times more likely to accept a job offer depending on their satisfaction levels with the internship experience.

You Get What You Put In With Interns

Many employers are hesitant to take on interns. They feel they won’t be beneficial or that they will be too much work. But nurturing your intern is worthwhile. Given the right structure and project management, interns can do everything from lending a few fresh perspectives to supplementing a short-handed staff with more input. Almost any corporate culture, given enough time, can develop routine ways of going about problems and silo mentalities in which departments aren’t communicating or sharing as well as they could be.

Interns can come in and really shake things up: In a good way! You’d be surprised how often simply explaining to someone how you complete a task or approach a problem can lead you to think, “maybe there’s a more efficient way to go about this.” Moreover, interns are frequently the ones making the suggestions themselves, which is why it’s important that interns are matched up with mentors who can provide a sense of structure and trust.

Hiring interns also gives you unique advantages like potentially increasing your brand exposure and social media presence. Interns are going to be chatting among themselves and their friends when it comes to spreading the news about their recent situation; if it’s truly positive, then there’s also a great chance that they’ll be brand advocates for your company on social media and in real life.

The insider’s guide to hiring the best interns [Employers]

As an employer you might be looking at your intern applicants and thinking that this whole process is shaping up to be a lot of work. Going about the search the right way, though, can really make it a relatively painless process with great payoff and provide your company with a host of benefits.

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When you screen correctly for the best interns, you put yourself in a great position to test and essentially train tomorrow’s talent throughout an intensive internship.

Because you control the ins and outs of the internship, you can have interns doing real work that has a tangible, felt benefit.

Ways of Hiring the Very Best Interns

At the same time, you can drastically increase your employee retention rate since your interns are the best and brightest among your pool of applicants and genuinely enthusiastic to be helping out your organization.

Just over two-thirds of interns mature into full-time employees; and, over four-fifths of those job offers were ultimately accepted.

Those numbers in conjunction with one another tell you that employees are correctly identifying tomorrow’s top talent – and people compatible with their organizations – but it tells you another thing as well.

Because four-fifths of one-time interns took the job offers extended to them, it tells you that the offer was seen as mutually beneficial. How do you get to that enviable position as an employer?

Remain Proactive

The expression that “time and tide wait for no [wo]man” really applies here: Employers who consistently lasso the top interns in their area do so by being proactive in their search.

First, you need to home in on the main spot that interns – of all stripes, backgrounds and abilities – are coming from.

To succeed, start by finding a way to be on campus during job fairs to attract upperclassmen, and you might even consider finding a way to speak on campus during orientations and introductory classes.

Enlist the Help of Professors

Since the lion’s share of your internship pool is going to reside on college campuses, why not enlist the help of professors in making that search even easier?

Perhaps after you’ve spoken on campus or set up shop at a college or university job fair you could go over and introduce yourself to professors in the field (e.g., business marketing) who can steer promising students towards your area.

Give professors a rundown on what you do and what exactly you’re looking for in order to get the best results.

Stay in Touch

Some have called career services offices the most important offices on campus because they curate databases on internships and job opportunities while putting together job fairs, providing career guidance and sharpening applicants interview skills. You definitely want to be in the good graces with this on-campus resource.

Conduct Effective Interviews

You should, of course, bring up your applicant’s career goals, perceived strengths and weaknesses, and concerns with their resume.

Absolutely, but also see if interns can answer situational questions and negotiate future challenges they’re likely to face on the job. Use the STAR technique here.

Post Everywhere

Taking an all-hands-on-deck approach is a great way to up the chances that your internship opportunity attracts top talent in your area.

So, where are students and other young professionals looking when they have a general idea of the field they want to internship within?

It turns out they look at a variety of sources from Bridge.jobs, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and even Google to Internships.com and, the less well-known but increasingly effective, Internmatch.com.

At a minimum, post your internship opening on Bridge.jobs to find interns in Rhode Island and your official website so that you’re found on Google.

How internships make you a better employee [Students]

You don’t have to take it from us. NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, has compiled some exciting data on internships and job offers. According to their 2016 “Internship & Co-op” survey, interns are offered full-time jobs at the highest rates in a decade.

So what does that data mean?

Companies want to hire interns

For starters, it means that interns make better employees. Interns know what’s expected of them, because they’ve gotten a glimpse into the real, working world. They’ve had a chance to talk to supervisors, to bounce ideas off of colleagues, and to demonstrate basic professionalism and soft skills in an environment where people are paying attention. Companies like that, and they know that hiring a former intern is much less of a gamble than taking a chance on a recent grad who they haven’t seen “in action.” And that includes recent grads with GPAs higher than yours.

Businessman working with a teamwork at office

Real-time networking

Building relationships through professional contacts is invaluable, and, in the end, is the way that most people land jobs. Polishing your resume is important, of course. But sending off a thousand copies to companies around the country on the eve of your college graduation won’t have the impact of one good conversation with a supervisor on an internship site, and the proof is in those NACE numbers. Organizations want to hire people that they know, and after your internship – they know you.

You’re putty in their hands

Sorry, we know it’s a little unsettling. But supervisors at an internship site have the opportunity to mold you into the type of employee they want, and they aren’t going to pass up that chance. By the time you’re done fulfilling your internship hours, they’ve got you right where they want you. So why not hire you? Show them that you’re eager to conform to their expectations.

Take advantage of what might be your single best chance to land a full time job offer right out of school! Shake hands and kiss babies (do not actually kiss babies!) at your internship. Talk to your supervisor about what she wants, and then do it. Keep that intern game strong, and give yourself an edge over the competition.

5 Problems with your personal brand [Students]

Even the most savvy job-hunters are likely to make some mistakes as they start to build and manage their personal brands. Here are some of the most common ways that students fail to successfully portray themselves online – and how you can avoid these branding faux pas.

Branding Strategy

You’re passive

Your brand has to be managed. It exists, whether you work at it or not. As a result, many students are left with online personas that really don’t accurately or adequately demonstrate who they are, and in some cases offer up a damaging view. Don’t just let it happen! Look yourself up, and then work to remove some of what you see from search results, while adding in others, deliberately.

Your message is inconsistent

Your resume says you’re professional, conscientious, and interested in volunteer opportunities. Unfortunately, your Twitter feed says otherwise. Remember that interested parties are going to receive both of those messages, so you need to be consistent. Anything out of line with the message you’re trying to send to the public should be hidden from public view, edited to alter content, or deleted altogether.

You’re invisible

If employers can’t find information about you on the web, you’re a ghost. Ideally, your conversations with them, references, and resume would be all that matters. But in the real world, you won’t even get a chance to have those conversations if you don’t have a web presence. Start with LinkedIn if you’re truly a blank slate. Further brand yourself by developing a personal website. You don’t have to be a designer or developer to do this – plenty of free templates are out there to help you convey the image you want.

You’re not taking a stance

Your brand should make some professional promises. Work to paint yourself as a candidate who has goals, is motivated by professional achievement, and cares about professionalism. Highlight your experiences at work. “Like” professional organizations, and join them where necessary, to make sure that potential employers are able to see your involvement.

You’re rubbing employers the wrong way

If your brand is offensive – tasteless, crass, or overly opinionated – you can expect employers to immediately pass. The first place to look for potentially offensive material is on Facebook and Twitter, because they’re places that most people feel safe posting jokes or sharing memes or videos that could easily be construed (even if they’re actually pretty funny) as insulting. Try to think objectively as you scroll through what might be years of your postings – is there anything you’d like to remove? Is it safer, and easier, to make everything private?

Remember, a well managed personal brand can be your ticket to a job, so take some time to develop a strategy, review what’s out there and make a change to convey the right message.