How to Create a Positive Summer Internship Opportunity For Your Business
Need Some Help at Your Company This Summer? Don’t Miss These Six Easy Tips for How to Create a Positive Summer Internship Opportunity for Your Business!
It’s a familiar story: You’re swamped at work with barely a minute to breath. You know you need extra help but hiring a brand new, full-time employee just isn’t in the budget.
Why not consider student internships to pick up the slack at your business this summer?
When you hire a student for a summer internship, you are not only creating a cost-effective way to boost your business but you are giving your company a chance to inspire and influence a young person on their own personal career journey.
As the leader of your company, you don’t have to be the one who mentors a student intern. You can create a simple internship program that elevates your company, fills a needed work gap and helps to give back to young minds as they are exploring their options. It can become a win-win for everybody with the right execution.
If you’re ready to learn how to maximize work for student interns this summer, then read on to get our six easy, pro tips for making the experience a positive one. There are so many creative, smart and eager college students ready to work for you. Here’s how to make sure you both get what you want out of the experience:
Tip #1: Identify Your Needs
The first step in creating a positive internship opportunity for your company is to spend some time talking to stakeholders in order to identify your needs. What is the most pressing work that a student intern could do that also would help your company. Remember that you want the intern to get value out of the experience, so you should never have the person answer phones or do “busy work” unless that is a specific goal he or she has. Instead, try to identify projects that would benefit your company but that you are not necessarily reliant on. That way, you’re never disappointed.
Tip #2: Ask for Volunteer Mentors
Everyone is busy, but there are some employees who will be especially excited to mentor students at your company. Put out an all-call–or identify the employees whom you think would be good at mentoring a student intern. You can keep them on a short list and match them later with an intern. You also could develop an internship program in which the student cycles through shadowing several of your employees week by week.
Tip #3: Interview and Match
Interview your student interns with your employee mentors in mind. You’re looking to pair the intern with an employee — or several employees — who will not only get along but that the intern can learn from. This takes knowing a little bit about personalities and who collaborates best with whom. The better you know your employees, the better equipped you will be able to make that match. In your interviews with the student, ask about their approach to teamwork and collaborative environments. Ask about a time in which they worked under duress. Ask what they do in their spare time. All of these questions will lead to clues to their personality and better help you match them to an employee.
Tip #4: Take Time to Listen
Once the internship begins, take some time to sit with your student intern and get to know him or her. You want to use active listening skills to get to know the person better and to hone in on what excites them and what makes them feel uninspired. This will help you especially as you move on to the specific work the intern will be doing for you over the summer.
Tip #5: Set Measurable Goals
It’s important to frame the internship around measurable goals. You could divide the work into three tiers–immediate goals, short-term and long-term. From there, set deadlines and assign projects that can be realistically completed within the time frame of the summer internship. One of the great downfalls of a student internship is that the person doesn’t complete a project because it is too big or too difficult. That person feels deflated, and you’ll feel disappointed. It’s better to assign work that you don’t necessarily need in order to operate as a company. Choose projects that add to the company in a significant way, but don’t give the student intern the responsibility of completing your annual report, for example. This isn’t the time to dump your work onto a student.
Tip #6: Celebrate Together
At the end of the internship, don’t forget to celebrate! Hold a meeting and invite staff so that they can see the intern’s work. Or, circulate some of the work the intern has done around the office. Whatever goals the intern has met, recognize that. They’ll feel affirmed in their work, and this further solidifies the relationship you’ll hopefully continue to have long after they leave your company. Some interns are better than others, of course, but usually you can find at least one accomplishment to celebrate together.
Are You Ready to Launch an Amazing Summer Internship Program That Benefits You and Your Student Intern?
It’s true: There are many mistakes companies can make when starting a summer internship program. Don’t let that be you!
It doesn’t have to be this way when you follow our guide listing six easy tips for creating a positive experience for your summer intern at your company. The key is making sure that both sides get something out of the internship. That truly makes the experience positive; you need both so that you feel like you are investing and reaping rewards on both sides.
When you take a little time to plan the parameters and direction of your internship — and you take time to listen to the goals of your student intern, you can create an environment in which everyone can thrive!