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Helpful Tips for Internships

These tips offer simple actions every employer can and should take with their interns, which will help ensure that both the students and your company get the most out of working together:


1. Assign the intern a single manager who enjoys working with students.

This is huge! Students can accomplish big goals when given the right amount of guidance. But, they are new to the work-world and your industry, and so if thrown out to sea and told to start paddling they won’t know what your expectations are or where to start. Ultimately, you want to find someone on your staff, which enjoys sharing his or her expertise with young people, and is going to be committed to helping the interns.



2. Make sure the intern has a dedicated project.

How many projects have you had sitting on the back burner without the proper bandwidth to do the job right? An overarching internship project can help an intern learn more quickly, stay focused, and provide a culminating final project that adds a lot of value to your company. One expert tip we advise is to assign a smaller, more manageable project at the onset of the internship to help you gauge the intern’s strengths and weaknesses.



3. Meet Regularly.

This is a simple task that can make managing your interns much more efficient. By meeting for a casual 30 minute conversation periodically, you can assign objectives, answer questions and help your interns move forward in their projects with confidence.



4. Set quantifiable weekly goals for the intern.

This is a management best practice extra important for interns. Interns need to have clear project goals; and you need regular benchmarks to see how they are performing in order to help them improve. Both of you will benefit from the practice.



5. Break assignments into small tasks, and review drafts early.

Don’t assign an intern project due in a month. Interns are new to the professional world, so by having them complete drafts lets you point them in new directions, before going down a wrong road.



6. Share the big picture of how the company is doing and how they are contributing.

Interns are curious about the industry they are working in and want to know how the company is doing. By sharing some insight on the bigger picture and how their projects fit in they can bridge this knowledge gap and will be more motivated to deliver great results.



7. Encourage your interns to ask questions.

Interns may not know proper question asking etiquette. If you are the intern’s manager, let them know that they can ask you questions, as this can save a lot of time in the long run.



8. Offer intern compensation in the form of software training, introductions to co-workers and education about the field.

Some employers may not be able to pay to their student interns, while others can. However, many of the best forms of compensation are free. Teach your interns the tools of your trade, whether that is Microsoft Excel, Salesforce, HootSuite, or nuanced email tactics. These are invaluable skills that you have accumulated and that can’t be learned in school. This knowledge is worth its weight in gold to ambitious students. Another simple value add you can offer is to recommend books, blogs, or other information sources for students to become more versed in the field, and become a stronger job applicants in the future.



9. Have Fun!

Having great interns at your office can and should be a lot of fun. These students come into the office for the first time with big ideas and big goals, and they will grow tremendously over the course of your internship. They also come with new ways of thinking and will add an exciting dynamic to your office for however long they are there.


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