In recent years, there has been an increased focus on assessment. In addition to evaluating the performance of team members, managers have been instructed to provide evidence of program success that goes beyond anecdotal stories and to demonstrate the value-add of programs in order to secure additional financial resources. This directive to measure outcomes on individual and programmatic levels is not limited to Fortune 500 companies, but is also strongly encouraged and even required at small, mid-size, and large organizations that recruit and hire interns and maintain internship programs.
Managers assess interns and internship programs for a wide variety of reasons:
- To provide evidence regarding whether or not a student benefited from an internship.
- To demonstrate the degree to which a student learned or gained new skills.
- To guide the student in identifying areas for improvement.
- To provide data regarding the overall program.
- To demonstrate value-add.
- To offer suggestions for program improvement.
There is great variability regarding the degree to which managers conduct and ultimately utilize data collected from the various assessment tools. Managers who seek to recruit the best talent for their organizations or strive to strengthen the quality of their internship programs will likely leverage assessment data to inform hiring decisions, guide recruiting strategies, and make modifications to their program, be it the position description, orientation program, or strategic integration within the organizational culture.
Data from the Intern Bridge, the nation’s premier college recruiting, consulting and research firm, reinforces the notion that managers not only conduct but also value assessment. More than fifty percent (54%) of managers surveyed in the study reported that their organization actively solicits feedback from interns about their experiences. Student feedback reinforced this finding. Nearly fifty percent (50%) of interns reported that their organization actively solicited feedback regarding the internship experience. Noteworthy is that nearly fifty percent (45%) of managers who responded to the survey reported that their organizations strive to make changes to the program based on feedback received from interns