Internships are becoming more popular as students seek a place to enhance their skills while getting a head start on finding lucrative employment. If you own a company, you’re probably considering hosting some interns; that’s a good idea. However, hosting an intern is never as simple as it looks. In fact, no one has ever said hosting an intern is easy; quite the opposite. Every year, when it’s the intern season, managers are tasked with providing interns with the best experience ever. It can be challenging, especially if it’s your first hosting experience.
I’ve hosted many interns over the years, and I can tell you upfront – Interns aren’t the only ones who need guidance during this season; managers do as well. When you’re mentoring a new person in the field, it is also an opportunity for you to reflect and become even better. There are specific responsibilities to take note of and a guide to making the intern season go smoothly for you and your interns. The whole process of hosting an intern can be pretty stressful especially knowing they’ll also need your attention.
To help you avoid a dilemma, we’ve gathered 11 tips that would facilitate a wonderful experience for you and your interns. After I had begun hosting an intern, I learned these tips, and it would have been even better if I had this information beforehand. However, you don’t have to make the same mistake I did; these tips will help you build an internship program you’ll be proud of. Let’s check out the tips below:
Proper Interview is Important
When it comes to hosting an intern, it’s not too early to begin getting to know your intern. First, knowing what you’re looking for is vital. It will help you efficiently narrow down your search instead of simply accepting whatever comes. Second, an interview is necessary because we recommend it to meet your interns before their first day. Ensure the interview process is in-depth and all grounds are covered. Talk about their major and find out what the intern would like to work on and achieve during the internship. You shouldn’t hold back on your expectations too and what you would need from them.
Of course, many employers would love to hasten the interview process because of its stressfulness. Students are also probably new to this as they haven’t had to interview at companies before. However, the interview process is essential to both the managers and the interns. It will help to calm their nerves when they finally resume work because they’ve met you before. In addition, expectations and requirements on both sides would be clear from day one. The interview process when hosting an intern is where the internship begins.
Planning For Arrival is Key Before Hosting an Intern
Interns are not here to stay for very long – two or three months with you and they’re back to their studies. That’s why you need to get ready for them from day one to achieve the best result. Your interns would be looking up to you, and I assure you, you don’t want to disappoint. Before they arrive, you should plan out how it’s going to go. You already have a clear idea of what they’re looking to achieve during the internship program from the interview process. Now, you have to decide what you would like them to learn during the internship duration. You can divide your plan when hosting an intern into days or weeks.
Set out projects in advance and attach them to a mentor to turn to throughout the program. Doing this will take some of the work off you. You can also talk to your friends and associates who have challenging internships. Ask them about their experience, what works and what doesn’t. Make plans to give the interns an overview of what the company is all about.
You Should introduce them to the Environment and Yourself.
Your new intern is new to the environment and might find it all very confusing. Even if your company has an HR department that has provided them orientation, it is still essential to give them a personal introduction about how things work. Introduce them to the work processes and tools used. Most times, interns learn best by doing but giving them a tutorial will speed things up. Also, you should inform them about your work ethics from the first day. Tell them your dislikes and what you should expect from them. By laying the cards right on the table from day one, you would avoid many annoyances. This information always gives them a chance to do the right thing.
Hit Them With A Job From Day One
When hosting an intern, you have to make provisions for them. That’s why planning is critical. Ensure you already have a job set aside for your interns for them to dive into immediately after they resume. Assigning a job to your interns will keep them busy in the meantime. When interns resume, they’re full of anticipation and excitement, ready to start a new job. Giving them this task will keep them pumped while also giving them a break to concentrate on other things.
Sometimes, you could pass on the uninteresting jobs to them or something you know they might find exciting. Start small, however, and not critical tasks that could significantly affect the productivity of the company. As they complete these tasks, give them more pressing tasks, and when completed, they’ll be proud they played a role in the company’s performance. When you feel they’re ready, you can then increase to a higher-risk project that might require them to work with different teams. A tip when hosting an intern is to give them something you know you might never get to do. While this will ease the project off your shoulder, it will also give your interns something to get immersed in.
Map Out The Program and Stay on Course
When your interns arrive and your plan for their arrival is already underway, you’ve given them their first big tasks. Now you can take time out to map out the rest of their stay. Make the plan clear on how you want the internship to progress, the different steps, and what the end goal is. What tasks you would like them to have completed at the end of the week. Measure their progress so you can tell how effective the internship program is. It can also be easy to deviate from the plan. Ensure you stay on track and not be distracted from the goal you intend to achieve. It can be so easy to forget the initial plan and just go with the vibe. You have a purpose, and staying true to it will help you successfully host your intern.
Interns Need to Have Fun
Sometimes, when hosting an intern, they can get bored. It is your job to ensure that doesn’t happen. One action you can take in this direction is to organize social activities for your interns. If you have an HR department, you can task them with this job. Although you could organize some of the activities in the office, try to get them off-site to have fun. You can go hiking as a group and take pictures. Also, You could encourage fellow workers to involve interns in whatever fun they have. You could equip the break room with games that would help them unwind between jobs. Don’t allow your interns to eat alone; you could arrange lunches between colleagues and interns.
Remember They’re Not Temp Contractors
Remember that interns are there to learn something and garner experience. You should spend time with your interns and get to know them. When hosting an intern, don’t just drop tasks on them and walk away. Provide your interns with opportunities to elicit questions. Often, interns have no idea what they’re doing. A lot of unknown or gray areas can get blurred together. You could ask leading questions that will help them solve a problem without necessarily telling them the answer. Remember that your business reputation is at stake when interns go back to school. What they say can positively or negatively impact your hiring opportunities next time.
While Hosting an Intern Ask Them For Feedback
They’re not the ones who should ask you for feedback on how they’ve been doing. Go to your interns and ask them for feedback. Ask them if they’re getting what they need from the workplace. Find out if they feel they’re involved enough or think they’re too involved. It is always a good idea to find out how they feel about the internship. From intern to employee, each person plays a role in a successful internship. You don’t have to wait for the evaluation day. Continue to ask them these questions regularly. It will help you make things better for them, and you can impact the future of their profession by knowing how they feel.
Make it Worth Their While
If you want your interns to do an excellent job for you, you need to make it worth their while. A possible option would be paying them a good salary in return for their duties. If not, you can offer perks that will make the job appealing to them. When hosting an intern, doing this will make the interns feel valued. If they have something to look forward to, they will make the experience more serious. Interns are people like everyone else; you get what you paid for. If you don’t make it worth their while, you will get poor unimpressionable results from them.
Ensure You Can Retain Them
When you’re training interns, you will need to put in many resources and time. Ensure that your investment will pay off at the end of the internship chooses to stay or return after their studies. You should only pick interns that have shown an interest in building a long-term relationship with the workplace. They should also be able to increase the return on the investment made on your summer intern when they return. You shouldn’t hire an intern with little or no interest in the business or who won’t help you get a return on investments.
Treat The Internship Like A Job
When you’re hiring interns, you should treat it as a job. Make sure the job description is clear, and ensure you check in frequently to see how they’re doing. You should treat your interns the way you would treat any new worker. Interns usually have high enthusiasm and can provide you with a fresh perspective. You should treat them like they’re a part of the team and they’re valued. If you keep them happy, they’ll do a great job, and you’ll be satisfied. If you treat the internship like a job, they might make an excellent employee someday.
How Do You Create An Internship Program
If you want to start hosting interns in your workplace, you need to create a program for them. Below are tips to help you make Second an excellent internship program.
Create a Great Structure
Create a structure of what it is you want from your intern. What do you want the company to achieve with the internship program? Doing this will help you gain more insight and help you plan the operations of the internship. You can discuss which part of the upcoming project you would like the intern to take part in when they arrive. It would help if you also determined the department you need an internship. Don’t forget that you’re hiring an intern, and therefore, it doesn’t have to be financially beneficial. The idea is to educate them and help them gain valuable experience.
Provide For Supervision; Hosting an Intern Fresh From College
Interns need someone to supervise them throughout their stay. When creating an internship program, you need to put this in place. If you have an HR department, you can put them in charge of this. Ensure that your supervisor is dedicated and will monitor the intern’s progress closely. Interns should always have a supervisor for every project they take part in. A supervisor will help answer whatever question they have. Make sure your chosen supervisor understands internships, and they can effectively guide them.
Provide For Compensation When Hosting an Intern
When creating an internship program, you should make provision for compensation. If it’s not a salary, you can prepare for other forms of compensation like accommodation, stipends, job offers, and others. Providing compensation will make the intern take the job even more seriously.
Are You Ready For Hosting an Intern?
When hosting an intern, you can never be too ready. There are many things to put in place and so much information you need to know. Above, you can find 11 things you should know before hosting an intern. These tips will make the experience an amazing one for you and your intern. If you’re considering creating an internship program, we’ve also put together some tips to help you create an impressionable internship program.