5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Summer Interns
The holidays are approaching fast. For most, it’s a chance to enjoy a well-earned break in the sun. For students nearing graduation, it could be time to head to your office for their summer internship!
For many potential interns, this will be their first time in a professional work environment, and they’re looking to you to learn the ropes… but creating a valuable learning experience and still making the most of the extra manpower can be a difficult balance.
So, how do you ensure that you (and your interns!) get the most out of the summer?
- Plan your programme
The best intern experiences, for students and companies, are those that have been planned out in advance. Take a leaf from Facebook who hold first place on Glassdoor’s internship ranking. From weekly Q&A’s with Mark Zuckerberg to involving them in top secret projects, Facebook’s interns are “not just here to do grunt work”. As a result, the Fortune 500 company have some of the best and brightest upcoming minds in their employ, most of whom started as interns!
- Choose your interns carefully
You would never hire a permanent member of staff without at least one interview, but the average summer internships only last between 6 – 10 weeks, so it can be tempting to skip over this part. Most companies are just grateful for the extra pair of hands but taking the time to find the right interns for you will make the experience more positive for both sides. You want someone who is willing and excited to learn the skills unique to your company, but it’s equally important that you can give something back to them. According to Forbes, around 60% of internships will lead to a job, so taking the time now to find the right interns can benefit your recruitment for years to come.
- Make them feel welcome
Walking into your internship can sometimes feel like being thrown in the deep end - It’s okay to have high expectations for your interns, but make sure to take the time to properly welcome them to the company! Consider hosting an intern orientation, you can introduce them to the team before they go to their individual departments. This can help to take some of the pressure off and create a more relaxed, friendly environment.
- Give regular feedback
It’s important to acknowledge your intern’s success, as well as providing constructive criticism they can take with them into the working world. Consider weekly touch bases. Set aside dedicated time to have these discussions - you will not only help your intern to understand how they need to develop, but also increase their engagement which will lead to more productive days.
- Keep in touch
When you have a positive experience with an intern, the end of the internship doesn’t have to signal the end of the business relationship. You might not have a job opening for them at the time but keeping the line of communication open will give you the opportunity to consider them for future positions. As a previous intern, they will already be familiar with the company culture and the expectations you have for your employees, dramatically minimising the average 7 week settling in period. It can also give you the chance to collect some intern success stories, an effective (and cost efficient!) form of advertising!