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Tis the Season for Internships

May 19, 2022

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

After a hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, internship programs are back and present an opportunity to select and develop future talent.  According to ASE’s 2022 Salaries for Co-Op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey, 88% of the 105 respondents maintain a formal internship program. 

A typical internship:

  • Includes developing intentional learning objective goals that are structured into the experience and supervised by a professional with relevant and related background in the field
  • Promotes academic, career and/or personal development
  • Includes learning objectives, observation, reflection, and evaluation
  • Balances the intern’s learning goals with the organization’s needs
  • Typically lasts three months. May be part-time or full-time
  • Involves industry related and soft skill development
  • May be carefully monitored and evaluated for academic credit
  • Provides adequate supervision in a reasonably safe environment with the necessary tools to perform the learning goals agreed upon for the duration of the internship.

An internship is not:

  • Free help
  • Meant to replace an employee
  • More than 20% busy work (i.e., filing, covering phone, errands)

On average 66.4% of interns convert to full-time employees.  To create a successful internship program, you should answer the following questions:

  • What does your organization hope to gain from the program?
  • Is your organization looking to fulfill a need on a specific project? Will this internship(s) encompass one major project, or entail a variety of small projects?
  • What are the tools and workspace necessary to provide the student?
  • What talents, academic background, and experience do you want in an intern? Decide on qualifications early on to help you select the best candidate.
  • Who will be primarily responsible for the intern(s)? Will that person be a mentor, supervisor, or both?

A recent article from NACE – National Association of Colleges and Employers listed the 15 Best Practices for an Internship Program.  Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Provide interns with real work assignments.
  2. Hold orientations for all involved.
  3. Offer scholarships.
  4. Offer flex time or remote work arrangements.
  5. Have an intern coordinator in your company.
  6. Bring in speakers from your company’s executive ranks for lunch & learns.
  7. Conduct focus groups and exit interviews.

Feed your full-time hiring with a top-notch internship program. 

Photo by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash

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