Companies view and utilize interns in different ways and there are never two interns alike. So, what do interns mean to your business? Interns coming into your company are real students looking for real experience and learning opportunities. Most of them are likely wondering, "Am I going to get the real-world experience and exposure, or am I going to get stuck filing papers and doing coffee runs for the duration of my summer?"
While some companies are prepared to teach their interns and let them in on those real-world projects, other businesses fail to seek out tasks and projects their interns can actually learn from. A major faux pas when it comes to internship programs is busy work. While some may think this is okay, it can create a sense that the company was never actually prepared for the interns. How can you prevent this from happening through the program?
Some processes or protocols throughout your day are likely second nature by now, but this is not the case for interns who likely have no beforehand experience. The pivotal point of hosting a successful internship program is to NEVER to assume they have prior knowledge unless they specifically tell you. This is a learning experience for them; it’s their first jump into the working world!
If you throw a whole slew of information to them it's overwhelming and intimidating. They will not be successful or beneficial to you if you don’t properly explain and guide them throughout the program. How can you tell if you intern knows more or less than you think? Try implementing these steps into your program to grasp a better understanding of your interns:
Mentoring your intern is crucial for their learning, exposure and overall experience. While you may be their supervisor, they aren’t your personal coffee running, paper filing, desk organizing assistant. Internships are meant to offer insight into the working world, skill building, career development and academic growth. That’s a lot to take in for a student, but they are willing to put in the work to gain that experience...with the help and guidance of a mentor. How do you know if you are really mentoring or just dictating tasks? Take a look at these mentoring tips:
About Jeanette Maister:
Global talent acquisition technology leader with extensive experience in global talent acquisition, applicant tracking systems & recruiting technology, recruiting metrics and process. Deep insight into all aspects of campus recruiting strategy. Recognized for driving growth and helping clients transform their recruiting efforts.
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