Getting the Most Out of Your Summer Intern

 Summer is officially here and many college students are searching for an internship within their major field of study.  Internships provide great learning opportunities for students, allowing them to dive a little deeper into their anticipated career path to see if they are challenged and intrigued by the industry.  For employers, interns provide an extra set of hands at little or no cost.  Additionally, an internship is a great way to try out a potential employee.  With proper training and hard work, this intern could turn into a great full-time employee down the road.  Below are a few tips on how you can get the most out of your summer intern.

Determine your need.  It is important to formulate an effective and appealing program that will be both tangible and beneficial to all involved.  Preparing an outline detailing what your anticipated goals and outcomes are for your program is essential. Drafting a job description that includes roles, responsibility and skills needed, will help in your selection process.  This document can also serve as a reference point throughout the internship.

Serve as a mentor.  Interns are looking to gain as much valuable experience as possible in their time with you.  At the beginning of the internship, communicate expectations.  Plan to check in with your intern every day, plus have a more formal sit-down meeting about once a week to keep them informed about upcoming projects and make sure they have clear direction on existing ones.  Having an open and communicative relationship with your intern will help them grow and will keep you up to date on their progress.  It will also help you gauge if they are a good fit for your company as a potential future hire.  Additionally, it is important that your intern feel like part of the team.  When the internship is over, you want them leaving with a positive impression.

Worthwhile projects.  While many interns expect to be doing everyday administrative tasks, use this opportunity to allow them to dive into a tangible, meaningful project.  Give your intern the opportunity to take the first stab at a project you have been contemplating. The results are likely to be very telling for all involved.  You will also be able to see how they handle themselves in real world situations and how they fit in among your company’s dynamic.  The intern may also discover something about their interests and abilities of which they were not aware.

Share the big picture.  Keep your intern up to date on how the company is doing and how they are contributing.  By sharing some information on the bigger picture and how their work relates to the company as a whole can bridge a knowledge gap and motivate them to continue to deliver great results.

So, as you start to begin your search and onboarding of a new summer intern, take a look at your company’s goals, both short and long term, and determine what you are looking for in an intern.  Look for students who demonstrate an interest in your industry and are motivated to learn. Take the time to train and mentor them, as they could easily be your next employee!

This week’s blog was written by Caroline Ryder. Caroline is a Marketing Analyst with C2G Resourcing, a subsidiary of Consultants 2 Go, LLC.