Interns provide a valuable contribution to organizations and many organizations are beginning to recognize the value of developing strong internship programs. Internships offer a win-win situation for both the organization and the student while providing the organization with talented students who offer new knowledge and skills to the workforce.
Many employers often use their internship programs as a testing ground for hiring future full-time employees after graduation. The benefit is that employers are able to see first-hand what the intern has to offer should they be hired on full-time. Hiring interns has proven to be a much more effective hiring tool than the regular normal interviewing process. Internship programs not only help boost your organization’s productivity today, but can help contribute to future successes.
What are the short-term benefits of hiring an intern?
• Increase productivity. Student interns approach new projects with enthusiasm and are ready to put their knowledge to work. They also enjoy being presented with tasks or projects that they can contribute to and watch develop. Interns can work on many types of projects such as marketing campaigns, product development, or research.
• Manage training costs. Student interns generally work full-time during summers, and part-time throughout the academic year. They are paid hourly or compensated with academic credit. Costs related to the hiring of interns are generally much less than hiring additional full-time staff.
• Establish relationships with universities. Obtain access to talented student populations through college career centers and faculty members.
• Add personnel during peak periods. Adding interns to your staff can assist you and your staff in managing work loads during periods of frequent activity, and can provide additional support to your existing staff.
• Bring in fresh perspectives. College interns will approach projects with vigor and energy, and can refresh a workforce. They will often provide insight into projects, products or processes that can be valuable to your company and its vision.
• Enhance supervisory skills of your staff. Mentoring interns can help your staff to develop stronger leadership and management skills that can enhance teamwork and efficiency on other projects.
What are the long-term benefits of hiring an intern?
• View potential employees in action. Many companies and organizations hire interns as full-time employees after graduation. Internship programs provide you with the rare opportunity to observe potential candidates’ performance before hiring.
• Develop skill sets. Internship programs provide you with the opportunity to assist students in developing the skills wanted most by your organization and other employers.
• Retain talent. Students who are hired full-time after completing internships are more likely to stay with the company or organization for longer periods of time.
• Cut down on recruitment costs. Hiring employees who have established a history with your company will reduce the amount of money you spend on training and recruitment for new positions.
• Help to keep college-educated talent in our region. Students participating in area internship programs develop local connections. As a result, many are more likely to stay within the region post-graduation.
How can interns be utilized?
Interns have talents that can be used in a variety of different ways, depending on your organization’s vision or industry. The most important thing to keep in mind is that students are enthusiastic about opportunities that allow them to put their knowledge into practice.
Here are some of the projects interns can successfully contribute to:
• Creating a new marketing campaign
• Creating mailing lists
• Creating and maintaining a database of clients
• Designing brochures or distribution materials
• Designing a logo or website layout
• Designing charts and graphs to be used in meetings and conferences
• Editing publications
• Conducting market research
• Photography for a publication
• Analyzing sales data
• Writing press releases and other public relations materials
• Conducting scientific research
• Software development and testing
• Writing user manuals and directions
• Performing system maintenance
• Laboratory testing
• Developing a new product
• Providing technical support
• Creating and maintaining a website
• Developing handbooks and employee manuals
• Pre-screening of applicants (Human Resources)
• Writing weekly or monthly employee newsletters
• Conducting regulation research and compliance
• Assisting with the development of recruiting strategies
• Assisting with payroll
• Handling accounts payable/receivable
• Analyzing stock market trends
• Assist accountants during tax season
• Planning an event and program
• Scheduling and booking location reservations
• Interacting with donors or planning fundraising events
• Set or costume design
• Leading educational tours
• Organizing donor lists
• Developing stakeholder newsletters