Internships are time-honored positions that have the potential to change lives, make companies even more successful, and even transition inexperienced young people into seasoned, insightful employees. That’s the hope, at least.
And statistics back up that hope. In the U.S., students who complete internships during their college years increase their chances of being employed after graduation by 85%.
To make these beneficial internships happen, interns and their employers must understand what the internship program should entail and how to make the most of it. Here’s our guide on how employers can create successful internships and how interns can benefit the most from them.
Why Choose an Internship
It may be tempting to jump right into a career after college, but if you can swing it financially, an internship provides crucial job-building experience, networking, and wisdom that can help you more easily move into that dream job you’ve wanted.
Try Before You Buy
An internship is an ideal way to test a career before investing completely. You can gain a hands-on understanding of the job's pros and cons, the company's mobility opportunities, and how your work ethic and personality type fit (or don’t) within the company’s structure.
Instant Networking Opportunities
One of the most valuable tools that should come from an internship is your ability to network. Connect with people in your office by arranging meetings or lunches and learn more about their roles in the company. And seek out opportunities to meet people in different workplaces through conferences, workshops, and other networking events.
By building these relationships, you create a support system of like-minded people who can potentially get you a job within the company you’re interning for or help you meet other employers looking for your skills and newly acquired experience.
Gain Tailored Experience
When entering an internship, plan what you want to gain from the experience. Discuss this with your supervisor or mentor, and then use your time in the workplace focusing on the aspects of the job you most to grow.
Tailoring your internship experience lets you get the most out of your time there and helps keep your long-term goals on track. It’s easy to lose patience or feel like you don’t matter, especially if your internship is unpaid or offers low pay. But having clear goals on what you hope to achieve makes this process more effective.
While interning, take advantage of employee resource groups, and take the time to have coffee talks with other employees. You have full access to the inner workings of a company and the ability to discover where your strengths fit within it. Use these resources to round out your resume, debunk workplace myths you may have heard, and help you envision your place in the company.
How Employers Should Benefit From Their Interns
Employers should view interns as much more than cheap labor or the chumps to pawn busy work onto. Interns have so much to offer a company or organization as long as the company provides them with the tools to become an internal asset.
Think of Interns as Potential Future Employees
With the current job climate showing employment draughts in numerous industries, having a future and well-trained employee already in your grasp is a huge benefit to companies.
More than half the internships that people participate in result in full-time job offers within that company, so treating your interns as future employees from the beginning will make their transition into your company easy.
Training an intern allows you to focus on how your company does things. Since most interns are coming to you right out of school, they haven’t learned the systems of other companies or been wired to work in one certain way. You can mold interns’ work habits into your company's specific structures.
Learn From Fresh, New Talent
Plan your internship opportunity in anticipation of gaining new insights from an often younger and unjaded workforce. Be open to the ideas and suggestions of young people who may see solutions you haven’t or who have a fresh perspective when approaching problems.
Interns are also often coming right from school, where they may have studied up-and-coming approaches and best practices in your industry that your company can benefit from learning.
How to Establish an Effective Internship
As an employer, it should be your goal to make an internship an impactful experience for your interns. Doing these three things will help create a positive, worthwhile work environment for you and your interns.
Effective communication is vital for your employees, so make sure it’s equally as prevalent for your interns. Prevent information from getting lost, and allow your interns to feel like they are part of your company and that their role matters.
Opening up communication channels for interns empowers them and helps them learn more effectively. It can even push the boss/intern relationship into a more positive direction, like a mentor/mentee relationship.
As an intern, take responsibility to ask questions and seek a greater understanding of the roles in the company and your specific duties. With open communication, take the initiative to learn everything you can.
Invest in Personal Growth
Just handing off busy work or trivial tasks doesn’t make for a productive intern experience. Instead, take the time to plan out a trajectory with your interns that will help them grow both personally and professionally.
Encourage interns to contribute ideas and work with other employees as team members. They will grow exponentially when they know your whole company supports them.
Give your interns access to employees across all areas of your company so they can see how roles and responsibilities overlap and connect. Additionally, help your interns network and build their skill sets based on their individual goals for their internship.
Take Your Internship to the Next Level With One Tech Staffing
Make your internship experience work for you, and learn from the experts you’ve always wanted to work with. Then find your dream job with One Tech Staffing! As a company that helps quality candidates find exceptional employers, our team makes those networking connections easy.
Submit your resume or post your open positions and let us connect prime applicants with advantageous jobs. A win-win for everyone!
Talk with our recruiters today to learn more about how we place the right people in the right job by calling 952-884-9199 or messaging us online.