Interns can often be a blessing, picking up the slack and gaining really valuable experience in the process. On the other hand, at 40 hours a week, they can become a burden, especially if there’s not enough work or no one to manage them. If you’ve still got a few weeks to go before you say that farewell message to your intern, here’s how to make the most of them.
Long gone are the days of interns picking up coffee and entering data. Internships are just as competitive as entry-level jobs and top talent interns demand the highest quality experiences. 70 percent of college seniors have done at least one internship, but more often than not, students go through two or three internships during their undergraduate careers. Something interns (and many full-time employees) need to do is keep track of their work.
Not only can it help with college credit, but it can also create some great bullet points on future resumes. When a future interviewee asks what you learned at your internship, you’ll have a long list of all the projects you had a part in and the things you achieved in a short span of time. As an employer, you can use that very same list of accomplishments to stress how much an intern can achieve at your company. Seeing that list of hard work on a LinkedIn profile or a personal blog is a great credit to everyone involved.
Once interns have left the office, they can still do valuable work on campus. Their fond memories and experiences can translate to important marketing for your brand. Former interns can help run career fairs, meet with prospective interns and contribute to a local word-of-mouth campaign about the excellence of your company.
According to a poll at AfterCollege, an overwhelming 71.6 percent of college students want to work at an organization whose work they care about. Prospective interns and graduates are far more interested in organizations that have a good reputation and what better way than through a former intern with first-hand experience?
An internship gives you access to a network you could only otherwise break in to with a full-time job. If you contribute valuable work and insights, you’ll be a memorable intern and former colleagues will be more likely to click “accept invitation.” Getting to know the right people also means you might not have to scour the career site.
Instead you may get an email from someone you impressed at your internship, asking if you’re interested in an unadvertised position. Former interns are far more likely to be hired for full time positions, since they have proven experience and organizational knowledge. Even if the job openings aren’t that abundant, you can still develop some non-academic references or perhaps even a mentor.
Interns know just how hard it is out there. In spite of their millennial confidence and eagerness, a full-time job requires the experiences of a worthwhile internship. With 66 percent of employers citing relevant work experience as the most important factor in their hiring decisions, internships are in high demand and in the end, should reward both their companies and their hires. The professional world is changing and internships are an integral way to stand out during your college career and the postgraduate job search. So, before you say your farewell message to your intern, think about the three tips above. Have any more tips to share? Let us know.
Esteban Gomez is a marketing consultant with interviewstream. He loves learning and has a passion for traveling, having visited many countries including China, Colombia, Italy, and Peru.