Creating an internship program is a great way to fish new young talents. Creating an internship to give undergraduates experience in their field and also give fresh graduates experience. An internship program can even help in attracting those students after graduating so that they become full time employees at your business. Here are a few tips on how to plan a successful internship program
1-Find your internship coordinator
The coordinator is the most important factor of the internship, the coordinator is the person who will make the internship a success or a failure. You must hire a coordinator to organize the internship and teach your interns, the coordinator can be hired externally from outside of your company or they can be hired from your company. It is preferred that you hire the coordinators from your company, because they will have knowledge and experience about your company so they will make the students understand easily how the company works.
2-Learn about internships’ law
Each state has specific laws about internships, so you must respect those laws. The intern must have clear realization that at the end of the internship a job isn’t guaranteed. If an intern does real work the same as an employee does in the company, the company is entitled to pay the intern. Making the internship paid can be a great motivation to attract more talents and increase the contribution of the intern. Many more legal bases must be covered when designing an internship program.
3-Plan the internship’s schedule
Putting a detailed timetable is very important, you have to know each activity that will be done and what are the main benefits that the students will get out of it. The schedule will make the internship more organized. When planning the schedule, it must be in logical order, you have to make the starting assignments easy at first then gradually make them harder, this will benefit your interns to a very high extent.
4-Create your internship’s application form
Who are you looking for to apply to your internship? What are their qualifications? Too many questions come to your mind when creating the internship’s application form. Firstly, have to think thoroughly which talented students you are looking for and what are their qualifications. Secondly, will your internship be paid or will it be just for educational purposes then filter the best of them to be potential recruits. Finally, you have written what are the required papers to apply to your internship. All this information must be written in your internship’s application form.
5-Set a date
You have to set a date for interns to start applying for the internship and it is preferred to make that date before the internship by a few months. You have to set a specific date for when the internship will start and when to end, most of the time internships are set to be in the summer so that students have lots of free time on their hand so that they will be dedicated to the internship
6-Assign a mentor to each intern or group
Assigning a mentor to each intern or group is essential, these mentors can keep an eye on the interns. The mentors will watch the interns’ progress and will understand their way of thinking. You always have to remember that your interns can be potential recruits in the future, so watching them in the internship is very important. It is preferred that the mentors you assign are from you own company so that they can of great help when being asked any questions about your company.
7-Keep an eye on your interns’ growth
Your interns will definitely grow during the internship, you have to keep detailed information about each intern and the growth they achieve. Each intern should have a profile that records their achievements and how they complete the tasks assigned to them.
8-Make your interns comfortable
Interns most of the time are students or fresh graduates, they are shy at first to speak up or even ask about something they don’t understand. You have to provide your interns with a tension free environment where they can ask about anything whenever they like. Don’t tolerate interns to be sarcastic of their peers, sometimes an intern is shy to ask a question due to being afraid from their peer to make jokes about them.
9-Listen to your interns’ feedback
Interns at the end of the internship may have some comments about their experience, listen to their comments and put them in mind for the next internship program. Create a feedback form and ask your interns what they gained from this internship, was it useful for them or not, did the enjoy it. you should also ask them in the feedback to tell you what the downsides of the internships are and what do they think needs to be changed. Your interns’ opinions are of grave importance, their opinions give you a view of the intern’s mind and will help you in the future to provide them with the best internship programs possible.
10-Keep in touch
After your internship program comes to an end you can keep in touch with the best talents and fits that you found in the internship program so that when they graduate, they apply for a job at your company. Keep in mind that interns are potential recruits, so keep them close.it is a good idea to keep profiles on each intern that came to your internship program. One of the main advantages of keeping in touch with your previous interns is that when the apply for a job at your company, they already know their way around your company and will get the hang of the work pretty easily.
The main goal of your internship program is to attract talents and provide learning experience to the interns whether they will be potential recruits or not. The primary beneficent in the internship program is the intern.