The True Value of an Intern
So what is the value of a summer internship for a company?
For the student?
Other than getting someone to work for free or limited pay… the company has a chance to directly impact the next generation of their workforce. They get to see the quality of students being cranked out of higher educational institutions and help groom them into potential employees.
The company should provide experiences that will show the student what to expect on the job, set deadlines for assignments, teach them billing and the importance of using their time effectively, allow them to do real work that will benefit the company and its clients, encourage them to ask questions and allow them to sit in on meeting with clients – learn the business from the inside-out.
As for the student, they gain invaluable real world experience in their field. Before graduation, the student has the opportunity to apply their knowledge and test themselves in the business world. They see first-hand what their future will hold in daily activities and projects at work. Yes this will include some mundane but necessary tasks such as making copies, answering phones and updating lists but it should also include real projects that make an impact on client work. Hopefully the student will then take this experience and try to position themselves as valuable to the company in hopes of landing that first job.
If you want to develop an internship program or re-evealuate an exisitng one, here are a few things to consider…
1. Create a job decription – Set objectives, goals end expectations
2. Proactively contact area schools – Make an effort to raise awareness of your internship program among counselors to gain interest from top students
3. Interview many – Seek out quality students that realize the opporutnity in front of them, then use your resource to help educate them. Don’t take on so many students that each one will not get a quality experience or have nothing to do.
4. Evaluate your program – Evaluate the student, ask their input for what they found most beneficial then use their input to continuously improve your internship program.
Ultimately the end result shoud be a positive and rewarding experience, not only for the student, but also the company.
Dedicated to our outstanding summer interns – Best Wishes to All of You!