How to Get The Most out of Interns Print
Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:39

For the past few months we have had two interns helping us in the office. Richard Forrester is a student at Wytheville Community College and he is studying business management. Richard assisted us with updating websites and our Facebook pages, as well as many other tasks. Ryan Surratt joined us through People, Inc. and is learning how to work in an office environment. He has been helping with marketing and other various tasks around the office. He plans to go to Radford University for his Bachelor's Degree in a Computer Science related field.

Through trial and error over the years, businesses have found that the easiest way to ensure interns are productive is to limit each full-time employee to having only one intern at a time. It can be very tempting to interview that last applicant when their resume looks too good to be true, and it's even harder resisting to bring them on board, but it typically ends up not being worth it. Small businesses don't have the HR departments needed to support a big class of interns. It's better for individual employees to form partnerships with individual interns and have them work together as a team.

Along those lines, think of how and intern can further your goals and responsibilities. Make them work WITH you, not against you. Lastly, set expectations. At the start and end of each business day, sit down with your intern and tell them exactly what you expect from them during their hours in the office for that day. Mandate that they check with you before they leave for the day. That accountability will make a huge difference in their productivity.

Don't bring on more interns than you can handle, train and mentor. One last thing, try not to see them any differently. Even the paid interns are mostly being compensated with the mentorship and the exposure that they get from being there. Expecting less from an unpaid intern is the best way to RECEIVE less from them. Good interns, paid or unpaid, will rise to the hard work.

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