Should my organization host interns? This is a question we here at Intern Bridge get quite often and the decision to host interns at your organization is not one to be taken lightly. The truth is not every organization is a good fit to be an effective host for an internship program. The good news is that every organization can create a positive environment for an intern. However, there are several factors that you and your organization need to consider before making this important commitment.
As you start to assess whether your organization should host interns, the questions below may help you. Below you will find an organization audit that can be used to assess your organizations “internship readiness”. As opposed to other business audits, this one that focuses on an organization’s ability to host an internship program will only take a few minutes. These questions need to be discussed with as many folks in your organization that you can, especially executive level leadership and the specific departments that may want to host an intern.
The following organizational audit can be a very useful tool in focusing your conversations with key leaders in your organization:
How serious is my organization about hosting an internship program?
- Is my organization committed to working with universities?
- Will my organizational culture be supportive of an internship program?
What can interns does for us? What are our goals?
- Does my organization have meaningful work for interns to complete?
- Are there special technical skills we need in interns?
- Do we want to use the internship program to identify, test, and recruit interns as potential new employees?
- Would an intern’s naiveté and inexperience actually be an asset for our organization, providing a fresh perspective on our products or services? Or would a naïve intern actually be dangerous to self and to others in certain positions?
What human resources do we have to support an intern?
- Can my organization provide an individual with efficient supervisory skills to work with interns?
- Can my organization provide an individual with sufficient time to organize the program?
- In which departments might interns work?
Does my organization have the time to support an intern?
- What is the best time of year for my organization to host interns?
- What should the duration of individual internships be?
What physical resources do we have to support an intern? For example,
- A safe, adequate workspace
- Access to computers and all applicable software
- Internet access
- Other communication resources
- Adequate reference resources
- Access to people who would be colleagues, resources, or internal clients
What financial resources do we have?
- Will my organization be able to afford to pay a salary to interns? If so, how much?
- What remuneration, instead of salary, can we provide? (Parking, stipend, etc.)
Intern Bridge is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the second edition of Total Internship Management: The Employer’s Guide to Building the Ultimate Internship Program.
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Total Internship Management covers it all from A-Z and is a valuable resource. It provides great advice and guidance for companies and organizations of all sizes who want to build, advance, enhance or improve their internship program.t in the next generation of talent.”