Do you have an internship program for college students? What is your main purpose of having such initiative, is it to train the interns about how it looks like to work in the real business field, or you simply need some helping hands to get the tasks done? Be it the earlier or later purpose, having an internship program means that it becomes your responsibility to provide the interns with meaningful job-related experience and help them master the skills they need to excel in the field. When you successfully train your intern, it will lift up your employer brand among talents.
Unfortunately, many employers end up wasting their intern’s potentials by underestimating their position. Some people might see the interns as mere additional ‘helpers’ in the team, such that they just give trivial and menial tasks to these students until the end of internship program. On the other hand, some others do the opposite by immediately forcing the intern to work with the same workload burden as the real employee do. The truth is, the best way to nurture your interns is through one training at a time.
But first of all, you should provide proper onboarding for them. To get the best result of onboarding intern, you should put attention on these points below:
Set the goals
Before allowing the intern to join the team, you should determine the goals and let the interns know about what they can learn from the internship program. It is also crucial for you to tell them how your company might benefit from this internship program, such that the interns will not feel cheated about it. For example, if you ask them to create some designs for a project, you should give them proper credits accordingly. When you and the interns have significant differences in vision and values, then it will be better for you to have a talk and find the best way out.
Make preparation checklists
Preparation is really important to ensure a successful internship program. Before inviting the interns, you should create three sheets of checklist. First checklist covers the things that the interns have to prepare when working, including the dress-code and office stationeries. Second checklist covers the facility provided for the interns. You should make sure the PC they will use is working well, the desk is ready, and the internship ID card is printed. Third checklist covers about other miscellaneous stuffs such as telling them the wifi password, the email address they could use, as well as add them to the team’s chat group.
Prepare the team
Do not let the intern feels like lost in a jungle where he does not know to whom he has to ask for help when all your employees look busy and he dare not to disturb them. You should tell the team to support this internship program by choosing particular mentor to train the intern. Given that someday the intern will work in real work environment, you need to provide them with real experience through the internship program. It is important to encourage them to participate in active communication with the team, such that they will feel accepted as the member of the team.
Observe the progress
To optimise the internship and training effort, you should set a kind of achievement targets that should be met within particular period for the intern. Asking the intern to make a daily report of their own job progress is also necessary to let them know that they work under your observation. You also need to update and find out if there is any problem between the mentor and the intern. For example, you can spare some 30 minutes once a week to conduct a meeting with them.