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5 Tips for Improving Intern Experience

Internship season is upon us! Hiring interns is one of the best recruiting strategies out there. (Read more about other elements of a strong recruiting effort: Managing Internal Equity and Upskilling)

The importance of making an intern’s experience as meaningful as possible cannot be overstated.

By creating a meaningful experience, you can help ensure your student interns accept full-time positions while simultaneously strengthening your employer brand and company reputation.  But how do you ensure a meaningful internship experience? Here are some effective tips that I’ve gathered through the years:

1. Create a welcoming culture and environment where interns feel comfortable asking questions.

Assign a mentor to each intern, someone they can go to with day-to-day questions. Encourage the mentor to take the intern out to lunch and other social events where they can both get more comfortable with each other on a personal level. Foster a collaborative and communicative environment that creates positivity and motivation for your team. Make your intern feel like part of the team, not the bottom of the barrel.

2. Offer real world work and assignments.

The days of interns pushing paperwork is gone! Interns want to get their hands on work that they will experience post-graduation. This will benefit your company as well, because if the internship turns into a new hire, you will have an employee who is ahead of the game with training. It’s also a fresh set of eyes that could offer suggestions on enhancements and improvements to your processes and procedures. The more experience you give your intern, the more well rounded your potential new hire will be! Respect the fact that they are a student and still learning, but don’t be afraid to challenge them.

3. Give interns opportunities that allow them to contribute to a cause that’s truly making a difference, whether it’s for a client or your company.

This sense of fulfillment will make them feel truly a part of your team, and they will remember that feeling when they’re searching for work post-graduation!

4. Give and receive feedback.

This is where the welcoming culture that we talked about earlier comes into play. If an intern feels comfortable giving you feedback, take advantage of it! Feedback straight from the intern will give you the information you need to continue to improve your internship experiences for future students. Giving feedback is one of the most critical parts of any internship.  Valuable feedback from an employer will teach students how to be resilient and learn, grow, and develop.

5. Schedule consistent and intentional check ins with interns.

Remember that the workplace is new to them, and they will likely feel overwhelmed and intimidated from time to time. Establish weekly check-ins to ensure they are receiving appropriate work assignments and the support they need to succeed.

Internships are important

Internships are, without a doubt, one of the most valuable recruiting strategies available to employers. Internships give the employer the opportunity to get to know the skills, work ethic and culture fit of future employees without making the commitment of a job offer. It’s one of the best ways to find new team members, grow your business, and reach your goals as a company. Internships allow you to have a fresh set of eyes on current company problems and projects. If you are looking for help fine tuning or building your internship strategy, let’s connect. Learn more about our services and reach out to me by visiting the Wegner CPAs Recruiting Services page.


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