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.

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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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