The final piece of the Internship Best Practices Puzzle: Teamwork. Internship Programs are not a solo sport; a great team is vital! It takes everyone in the company participating to have a successful Internship Program. But who should be on your intern team?
Team Member #1: Intern Manager:
Once you have your Internship Program structured, having a dedicated Intern Manager can make a significant difference in how smoothly your program runs. This person would be very focused on the goals of the internship program. Even if your program is not big enough to hire a full-time staff member, this would make a great short-term project for a HR graduate student or HR employee looking to advance their skills. This gives interns a “go-to” person to manage the daily tasks of running an internship program.
Team Member #2: Full-Time Staff and College Career Center Staff
Encourage your full-time staff to interact with your interns! Let your interns see how their projects make a difference to the full-time staff. It would also be great time to build relationships and encourage ongoing mentorship and networking opportunities! If your interns are coming from college campuses, invite the college career center staff to see the fruits of their labor, enhancing your relationship with them and encouraging more student referrals.
Team Member #3: Executives
Interns are looking for opportunities to connect with some of the most accomplished in their field; who wouldn’t want to rub elbows with the CEO? Encouraging top level executives to speak with interns is always popular! Top executives can give advice, encouragement, words of wisdom, and can be a great role model for interns to emulate. If your Executives are willing to spend some unstructured, informative time with interns (1:1 or in a group), that is even better!
With these 3 members on your Internship Team, your program will be more appealing to future interns. It also helps to keep your interns connected and engaged throughout their time with you! Hopefully, this article gives you some insight.