In summer, some students head to companies to start their internships, rather than wasting their time on the beach. These students are fresh, energetic and eager to start a career – all qualities you should look for in your summer internship. However, for most students it will be their first time in a vocational setting and they are leaning toward you and your team members to learn the ins and outs of your profession and industry.
Provide you summer internship with optimistic learning experiences and leveraging them can be relatively tricky. Therefore, as you welcome your summer internship, it’s important to spend some time carefully considering how you can make it a great experience for everyone involved. Here are some tips you can use to make the most of your summer internship:
Choose the Right Summer Internship – Interns are usually temporary helpers, but they still impact your team and company in a big way. Unproductive, unhelpful, or unmotivated interns can wreak havoc on your team’s efficiency and morale. That said, great employees can contribute a new, unique angle to your company and even become your company’s newest “rock star” apprentice at the end of term. In order to choose the right intern, you need someone who demonstrates coaching ability, enthusiasm, initiative and solid listening skills. Students must also demonstrate a genuine interest in your position and industry.
Plan for an Internship – There’s nothing worse than having an apprentice who doesn’t have enough to do. Not only will your intern be bored, but you’ll also have to constantly think about what assignment to give you next, instead of paying attention to your work. In the end, it won’t be productive for either of you. Hence, it is very important to prepare proper assignments or work assignments in advance to ensure that your summer interns have sufficient day to day work to complete.
Consider preparing assignments approximately two to four months before the internship begins. Assignments should be substantial, challenging, and rewarding for them, so they can learn more about your industry. Give them real responsibility and make them feel like valued team members.
Make Them Feel Welcome – Every intern wants to feel welcome in a new organization, especially one just entering the professional world. A great way to make your intern feel at home is to send an email welcoming them to the team. Plus, you can plan a quick meeting or casual lunch to introduce them to your existing team.
You should consider pairing interns with team members who really excel at the company. This allows apprentices to have their own mentor and learn more about the career. These mentors are essential, as they can help an intern transition into the corporate world much more easily.
Be sure to Set Expectations – As a manager, you need to ensure that interns know what is expected of you and the company. It is recommended that you outline exactly what your intern is responsible for and explain how your team operates. Additionally, clearly indicate how performance will be evaluated.
Give interns the opportunity to tell you what they would like to learn from you and your team. Afterward, make sure everything discussed is put down on paper, as this will allow you to evaluate their progress and achievements during the summer internship. Always schedule weekly or biweekly meeting with Human Resource Management for all apprentices to reassess progress and to see how much they have learned.