Design an Awesome Internship Program

July 27, 2013

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By: Suzy and Sylvie At Metis, we love our interns and co-ops and want to give them the best opportunity to succeed both during their stints as Metis interns and beyond in their future careers. Recently, we attended an class by Smarterer CEO Jennifer Fremont-Smith on “How to Hire an Army of Interns to Help Build Your Business.” Below are some tips on how to make sure both your interns and your business get the most benefit out of the internship program. Get the best candidates to apply: Treat your internship posting like a marketing asset and make it appealing to applicants. In the job description, include a cool title that will stand out on the intern's future resume and highlight the most exciting things the intern will do. To separate the good from the bad, have potential candidates show how much they want the position by challenging them to answer questions or participate in challenges. Designate a manager for interns: Designate an employee to manage the program and interns. Provide interns with training and feedback to make sure they understand their duties and learn from their mistakes. A daily morning huddle can create a bond between the interns and their manager. Set goals and expectations: Find out early what your interns want to learn and get out of the program. Then, try to deliver on these wants. Ensure both you and your interns have realistic expectations of what they will be doing for your business Track against goals: Review what the interns were able to accomplish based on the goals set at the beginning. Setting lofty but attainable goals will give interns something to strive for and something for you to measure their progress against. Fremont-Smith says, “BHAGS are great IMTs,” which means, “big hairy audacious goals are great intern management techniques.” Since interns bring such energy, diversity, passion and fresh thinking, it is important to respect their time and make the program valuable and educational for them. This way, the program is mutually beneficial to the interns and your business. What best practices do you recommend for building successful internship programs?

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