Prior to hiring an intern, an employer must understand how interns will fit within the company’s goals and culture. Since organizations vary in age, size, industry, and product, so too will internship activities. Questions that may determine what kind of program will work best for you:
Learn about prospective Interns. The best way to know what skills an intern is hoping to gain is to interview. It is important that employers realize that school and classes must remain a top priority for interns if they are a current student. The internship position should enhance their learning experience. Understand that for most interns this is a new experience and they may need support in balancing their schoolwork and internship. Agreeing on a set number of hours interns will work each week and offering flex‐time for freedom to plan their schedules on a weekly basis are two ways to support balance. Required hours/credit may vary. The student intern should meet with an academic or internship advisor for further direction. There are many ways to make the internship both memorable and engaging for both the intern and employer including the following:
Whether it is employees and interns going out to lunch, or employees taking interns to a local baseball game, engaging in these activities provides a great opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal level. They also provide interns a chance to get to know other interns and employees with whom they have not worked. Many Rhode Island employers with successful internship programs state that their social activities are rated by interns as one of the top highlights of their experience.
meetings and work with employees in other departments for a day. Provide opportunities for interns to attend career development events/seminars in the community to learn new skills.
An internship can only be a true learning experience if constructive feedback is provided. An effective evaluation will focus on the interns’ initial learning objectives identified at the start of the internship. Supervisors should take time to evaluate both the student’s positive accomplishments and areas for improvement. Interns will look to their mentors and/or supervisors to help them transition from the classroom to the workplace. It is recommended that mentors and/or supervisors regularly meet with interns to receive and provide feedback concerning their performance. During these meetings the students may:
Typically supervisors are asked to evaluate interns at the midpoint and end of the internship. Employers are encouraged to review the internship with the intern before he or she leaves. Evaluations are helpful when determining.
It’s going to be important to identify a supervisor for your intern(s) who will familiarize them with the organization, provide assignments and serve as a “contact” person for questions. It’s recommended that the intern supervisor be an expert in the type of work the intern(s) will be performing to provide the appropriate guidance for the intern’s assignments. An intern supervisor’s responsibilities will include:
In addition to the supervisor, a mentor may assist with transition into this new learning environment. This is done by answering general questions related to personal and professional growth, and sharing career knowledge leading to networking in the field.