If your company offers an internship program, there are certain ways you can make it as efficient, effective, and constructive as possible.
By doing this, you can get the most out of your interns – and indeed, they can get the most out of their internship! So, for the top 7 ways to improve your company’s internship programs, just keep reading.
Supply Your Interns with Branded Company Merchandise
When you’re taking on interns, you need to make sure that they feel included! A great way to help your interns feel like they’re part of the team is to provide them with branded company merchandise to proudly display and wear.
To do this, you can start by obtaining a plain black lanyard for each intern you employ, and have it printed with your company logo and branding.
Once your interns’ branded company lanyards have been created, they can wear these around their necks to demonstrate that they are a part of your organisation!
Your interns can also pair their new lanyards with branded company hats or beanies, tee shirts and polos, or even scarves – to be fair, anything that visibly displays and promotes your company logo!
Establish the Structure of Your Internship Program
To establish the structure of the internship program your interns will follow, you need first to determine the scope of the program, as well as the key requirements, objectives, and program goals.
You may like to measure your interns’ progress by setting tasks for them to complete within predetermined deadlines. You may also want to consider what type of work you want your interns to complete.
Are there more menial tasks you need completing, but don’t know who to ask? Ask your intern! More challenging tasks can also be assigned to your interns, dependent on their capabilities.
Importantly, for many interns, this will be their first professional job! As such, you don’t want to overwhelm or overload them with overly complicated requests. However, many interns relish a challenge and will jump at the chance to prove themselves – which is also the ideal opportunity to scope out your interns’ capabilities.
Set Internship Development Goals, Objectives and Milestones
So, you’ve established the scope of your internship program. Next, you need to set up your internship programs’ measurable goals, objectives and milestones. These goals can be in the form of tangible tasks to be completed within certain timeframes.
Alternatively, they may include specific milestones – such as meeting and achieving daily, monthly and weekly commitments. Either way, it is important to monitor your interns’ progress and to check in with them regularly.
Check-in with Your Interns Regularly
By checking in with your interns regularly, you can monitor their progress and how they’re tracking in terms of the overall structure of their internship program. This can involve having a daily one-on-one briefing, or a weekly WIP or work-in-progress meeting.
Depending on how long your internship program is set to last, you may prefer to set up monthly check-ins with your interns instead.
“Buddy Up” Your Interns with a Guiding Mentor
If you are a business owner who simply does not have the time or capacity to dedicate yourself to daily, weekly or monthly meetings with your interns, it is an excellent idea to buddy them up with their mentor. The role of an intern’s mentor is to guide them through their internship program to ensure that they stay on track.
The mentor can also assist with answering any of the intern’s burning questions, as well as provide invaluable information about the company’s internal processes and procedures. A mentor can also introduce a promising intern to other members of the company, and as such, play an active role in their future career prospects.
Support Your Intern’s Future Career Progression and Aspirations
Undoubtedly, if an individual is choosing to intern with your company, they will have career progression aspirations. Whether it’s to stay with your company or to apply externally, each intern will have their own ambitions. Regardless of what they are, it is important to ensure that your intern feels supported.
You can do this by making sure your intern feels they have someone to turn to for advice – whether that’s from their buddy or mentor, or you directly.
Celebrate Your Intern’s Achievements
Graduating from an internship is quite an achievement! As such, you need to celebrate this, as well as your intern’s other achievements along the way. By making your intern feel valued and celebrated, you will help to instill confidence in their own capabilities – which is invaluable in the long term.
Interns are a valuable resource for any company. But, you also want to ensure they are getting value out of their internship program. And, by following our guide on how to lead your interns through their internship with your company, you can ensure the best results for all parties involved.