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I wrote about the ways that interns can make the most of their internships, but this post is from the other perspective. How can a company make the most of having interns?
It’s tempting to just view interns as a hassle or just more people to be managed, but interns can create real value for your company. You can create a pipeline of talent that will help your company years down the road, you can build up a network of people who love your company, and you can put more positivity out into the world by training up the next generation.
Here are some simple things you can do to make a successful internship experience for everyone!
You have a golden opportunity to teach enthusiastic young people — take advantage of it! Interns are there to learn, so use the knowledge and skills you gained by learning from others to teach them. You most certainly benefitted from learning from others who were much more experienced than you early in your career, it’s now time to pass that one to the next generation.
2. Ask Questions
This young generation likely knows more than you do about trends, social media, technology, etc. Ask them what they and their friends are into, what the best ways to reach their generation are, what industries they think their careers may be in, etc.
You have a focus group of the next generation right there in your company, so make sure to use the time wisely to learn and improve yourself and your company and prepare for the future.
3. Make It Fun
One of the most “fun” activities you can give someone is a real, (slightly) important task. Most interns will be excited for a challenge and will be glad to have something they can put on their resume at the end of the summer. Give them a project or something tangible to work on so they can be proud of their work.
4. Get to Know Them
Too often, interns can be ignored because everyone knows they will only be there a short time. But it’s so important to get to know them, not only because it can benefit them and it’s good to pay it forward, but also because you never know when you might see them again. They could become an incredibly crucial future employee, or a future client or customer, or maybe even your future boss (crazier things have happened). Connect with them on LinkedIn so you can remain in contact and potentially help them out down the line.
A quality internship is life-changing for a young person. It can set the trajectory of their career and life in a positive direction. Don’t take it lightly that you have impressionable young people in your midst. Be responsible and do something good for them. I promise you won’t regret it!