I found this great article the other day: Hiring an Intern? What to do before the summer starts. It offers a few simple steps to help you decide if you need an intern, what the intern could focus on during their time spent with your company, plus some suggestions on how to make it a valuable experience for both of you.
I was lucky enough to have a couple invaluable internships throughout college. I learned a lot, and I like to think I helped out a lot as well. As Jodi Glickman explains in her article, having specific projects for an intern is a great idea. One project I spent a lot of time on was setting up a health and wellness fair. This could be a great option for companies that would like to try to lower health care costs, but just don’t have the time to pull everything together. I promoted the fair, called local wellness providers under our insurance, and even found a caterer to provide a healthy boxed lunch to all vendors and participants. It took time and research to pull it together, but it’s nothing an intern shouldn’t be able to handle.
If you decide to look for an intern, make sure you share what you’re looking for with local colleges. I had a course that required an internship, for which I received credits. While more common, internships don’t always have to take place during the summer. If you’re able to be more flexible, offer something in the fall (a great time to help with open enrollment). The internship I had for credits took place during my fall semester and I was able to work a good bit since a lot of my classes were in the evenings.
Make sure you offer real opportunities, not just filing. I made benefits presentations, attended meetings about disciplinary actions and scheduled interviews. These tasks allowed me to utilize skills learned in my classes. A task mentioned in the article is finding the right person to manage your intern. I liked the writer’s suggestion of looking for a rising star who could use the experience of managing someone. My manager graduated a few years before me and had never managed previously. We both then reported to the HR Director. So while you’re getting an extra hand around the office and helping out a local college student, you might also be offering important experiences inside your organization as well.
Originally posted at: http://uecubenefit.uecu.org/