Successful Internships; The How-To
The time is approaching for eager new interns to start filling up the office space, ready for a chance at the big leagues. Before that happens, we want to share what we’ve learned about running an effective, positive, and successful internship program.
Make it a priority to establish a mentorship early on. This will be beneficial not only to the student, but almost exclusively to you as well. Creating a rapport with interns helps build, trust and mutual understanding between both parties. The mentor assigned to an intern should be available to answer questions, create work expectations and offer professional advice. Like any worthwhile relationship, you have to invest the time in order to get more honest results out of your intern (and buying the occasional sweet doesn’t hurt either).
Real World Experience
More valuable than a paycheck are the skills and experiences that an intern will walk away with. Our field is changing and evolving faster than textbooks can fly off the press; so it is extremely important that you equip your interns with real world experience that they can learn from and inevitably use in the future.
See Project to Completion
There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than when you see your brainchild born into fruition. Lots of remedial tasks that seem to have no end game can quickly become a discouraging situation for any intern to be in. Get those shiny, new interns involved in a project that adds value to the company and is impressive enough to include in their resume. Keep in mind, that as the supervisor you need to establish multiple checkpoints to review their work and provide guidelines to guarantee the project and intern’s success.
Give Frequent Feedback
Above all, internships are learning experiences and that growth is facilitated by constructive feedback on your part. Setting aside times to meet with your interns to go over feedback is proven to work, but Millennials seem to respond better to real-time feedback they can adapt to. Praise is equally as important and is a stronger motivator than you would think. Make sure to encourage your interns with both, so that they know exactly what they are doing right and what they can improve upon. We’ve experienced that this truly makes all the difference.
With that being said, remember to also give your interns the chance to share their experience with you. Nothing will improve the way you run an internship better than insight from those who went through it. We hope this proves to be a valuable and positive experience for all parties involved. That always seems to be the case for us!
For any internship inquiries, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (p.s the coffee is always on us).