In The News: 10 Things I know about… Internship programs

Open notebook with animated internship and related images.

This article originally appeared in the Worcester Business Journal on May 13th, 2019.

10) You get out what you put in.

Make a real effort, treat interns like valued staff, and you get amazing results. Minimal effort on your part will produce minimal results – and disappointed interns.

9) Make sure you’ve got the time to run the program.

Regardless of pay, the most significant cost to you will be time. You need to put aside time for training, mentoring and work review.

8) Design intern-ready projects.

Before your interns’ first day, you need to make sure you’ve got work to benefit both parties. Find (or make) work for interns, from basic work to those research projects you never have the time for.

7) Find the teachers in your staff.

Find the team members passionate about teaching and empower them to work with your interns. Win-win.

6) Small businesses craft the best internships.

Small businesses are more agile, and you can pass this flexibility on to your interns. They will have access to the staff, all in one place, and learn from each from the multiple hats they wear.

5) Do the paperwork.

Make sure you know about school paperwork requirements in advance and review internship agreements and harassment policies during orientation.

4) Always ask for feedback.

If you want to run a successful internship program, you’ve got to know what works. Get feedback from interns regularly and make sure to have an exit interview.

3) Set high expectations upfront.

A great internship means hard work on both sides. Be transparent about the level of work from the start. This will lay the foundation for highly motivated interns and help unsuited candidates self-select out of the process.

2) It’s okay to challenge interns.

Interns can do more than they expect, but only when they get the right training and feedback. Involve them in many facets of your work so they can learn and have their voice heard.

1) Provide an education.

If college is book smarts, work is street smarts. Teach interns how to apply their skills and educate them on how day-to-day operations really work. Remember they aren’t the only people learning: You’ll build confidence in your staff from intern training.

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About the author : Julia Becker Collins

Julia Becker Collins is the Chief Operating Officer here at Vision Advertising. If Vision Advertising was a wheel, Julia would be the hub on which everything turns. She leads all aspects of the company, from developing and implementing the marketing plans of clients to managing the operations of all of Vision’s staff. Under her leadership, this marketing agency continues to grow, bringing on new staff and clients. Julia runs Vision Advertising and is the primary point of contact for everything from new clients to her growing staff. When she’s not leading Vision Advertising’s marketing operations team, she can be found taking a bootcamp, yoga, or spin class, running in an obstacle race, trail running, hiking, doing just about anything outside and active, listening to one of the many podcasts in her queue, or spending time with family.

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