Internship programs are offered by companies worldwide, as a way of helping students and beginners to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge of the work-life. At the end of the day, such an arrangement benefits both the intern and the employer. Interns get to learn from a professional setting and employers often end up discovering new talents!
So, are you looking forward to organizing one too? Then you need to note that an internship program is a two-way street; which means not only are the interns required to give in their best efforts, but supervisors are also obliged to take steps that can ensure the fruitfulness of the program.
Developing a Successful Internship Program
In this article, we have compiled some really useful instructions that should be followed for any sort of internship program.
A precise and Concise Job Description
The prospective interns need to have a clear knowledge of what is being expected from them. Since most interns are students coming from a totally different setting, they are needed to be shown the direction. It not only will help them to prepare accordingly but will also work as a guideline throughout the journey.
Interns are more likely to contribute to the organization when they have well-defined goals to reach. Working without seeing any results, often feels like a lost cause. Moreover, a standard job description can also be your means of judging worker performance during and after the program. Therefore, dedicate some time to prepare an outline that defines properly all responsibilities and duties of an intern.
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Assess Their Knowledge
When recruiting, you should be able to identify the right candidates and also understand their capacities. Each person has their own set of knowledge and skills. Being aware of their competencies helps you to assign suitable work to them. This can be achieved by asking various questions and also knowing the art of listening. Add follow-up questions whenever necessary in order to establish effective communication.
Study the interns well!
Make Sure There’s Enough Work to do
You don’t want your interns to end up doing nothing valuable over the course of the program, do you? It isn’t uncommon for young interns to get distracted during work. They have a high tendency of staying glued to their gadgets, as a result of having little to zero productivity. For this reason, it is important to keep the workload flowing.
Plus, a lot of interns carry strong intentions of learning, having their own list of expectations from the organization. So, don’t give them the chance to complain! Keep them busy throughout the program, creating a healthy work atmosphere.
Provide Feedback at Intervals
Employer feedback is a vital part of an internship program. Without performance reviews being held every now and then, there is a possibility of your interns getting derailed as you fail to create necessary pressure.
Try to provide constructive criticism which will help them to make improvements wherever needed. Let them learn from their mistakes. At the same time, highlight their accomplishments in order to keep their motivation alive. It is a good practice to make the worker aware of their weaknesses and strengths.
To bring about effective coordination, you can also assign individual mentors to each intern. It allows them to turn to someone in the time of urgencies. They are also less likely to hesitate when dealing with their direct supervisors.
This is something most companies tend to skip. Despite these interns being newbies in the corporate world, they are here to dedicate much of their precious time and energy to your organization. Give credits and acknowledgment where necessary. As a result, not only will the interns have a high self-concept but they will also work harder and better in future projects and assignments. A little appreciation never hurts!
Be Welcoming to Questions
Apart from assigning duties, create sufficient opportunities for your interns to ask questions. It is natural for any worker to face obstacles, to get stuck, or to come to a dead-end. This is why it is also one of your responsibilities to make sure that the interns are given freedom of speech. Questioning makes a person open to a wider area of knowledge. It helps them to learn new things, fix their existing mistakes, and sometimes shows them the next step to take. Keep those question-answer sessions alive! Encourage them to ask questions.
Keep Them Involved
You might consider this to be unnecessary, but believe me, involving the interns in daily meetings and discussions can help them a great deal. While it is not compulsory for them to actively participate in every place, they can learn a lot from just sitting and observing things. They can get an overall idea of how things function in an actual workplace.
Also, encourage your regular employees to include interns into their personal chat sessions. With this, interns can get advice from experienced people and produce a better outcome.
After all, no one likes being left out. Make them feel important!
Offer Necessary Work Tools
Interns are here to spend hours every day working in your organization. That is why you should make sure they are provided with all the tools and equipment required to complete an assigned task. These include a comfortable desk, a computer, a stable internet connection, etc.
Try to keep them away from disruptions that might possibly ruin their workflow.
Know the Law
Any organization that aims to generate profit, must offer remuneration to their interns. Certain principles can make your organization applicable to not do so. Make sure you have knowledge regarding that before labeling your internship program as “Unpaid”. Otherwise, you will be having legal issues!
To sum it up, we hope you got the gist of what looks like an ideal Internship Program. Avoid keeping loopholes from your end, while expecting the interns to give their best. We wish your internship program to be a win-win case for both parties!
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