Are you hiring interns this summer? This timeless tradition has lasted for decades because the model works. Businesses benefit from hard-working students studying the industry, and interns benefit from the experience, network, and knowledge they gain. But how do you guarantee internship success at your agency?
Learn ways to engage with your interns this summer and ensure a successful internship for your agency and intern alike.
Internship Success at Small Businesses
People often think of internships as they relate to large companies and massive corporations, but businesses of any size can benefit from a well-run internship program. Companies benefit by gaining fresh perspectives from their interns, who often are taking university courses on topics that can benefit small- and medium-sized businesses.
Companies also get extra help over the summer, which is usually the peak holiday season for regular employees. And interns often turn into excited and passionate full-time employees ready to learn more about the industry and company. This makes internships a great pipeline for future talent.
Interns may prefer to work at small- and medium-sized businesses where they can have a greater impact and learn more broad skills. Networking, learning new things, and having access to senior leaders and interesting experiences are all critical for internship success — and smaller agencies can also provide these opportunities.
Tips to Finding Internship Success
It’s not enough to simply fill the hours when your intern is with your agency. They shouldn’t be handling simple administrative duties or tasks no one else wants to do. Internships should be enriching and should give students a glimpse into working with your company and in the industry.
But that doesn’t mean interns don’t work hard and produce results for their employers. They can perform valuable work for your company and fill a necessary role. Try these tips to ensure internship success at your agency:
Have a plan and stick to it.
The most successful internship programs are well-designed and constructed. Businesses that define clear projects, metrics, and goals for their interns will see better results than those that do not. Try setting objectives in advance and thinking of projects that will enhance the intern experience while also benefiting the company.
Follow up with performance evaluations.
Interns need performance management along with your other employees. Set time to review their objectives and progress toward goals. Regular meetings and performance reviews help ensure your interns exceed expectations while also giving them time to learn and develop skills.
Involve your interns in meaningful projects.
Many people like working on projects that are important to them or to which they feel a connection. Talk with your interns to understand what they are passionate about and try to align work with their interests.
Offer flexibility to your interns.
Being flexible with working hours and work-from-home requirements goes a long way with all employees, even your interns. Students may be taking classes or working on a thesis project while also interning at your agency. Many interns are balancing various roles and commitments and employer flexibility is critical to their success.
Have a designated manager for interns.
Designate a contact person to manage your internship program. This means your interns will have someone they can go to with questions and gives you more control of the internship program. Having one person in charge improves the coordination of the program and provides a mentor for interns.
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