Providing Students a Quality Internship - Keys to Success


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Providing a quality internship for every student is one of our main objectives at NAF. This interactive panel discussion will address key steps to ensure the NAF internship is a game-changing experience for every student and will clarify the role everyone – educators, employers, students and parents – needs to play. Best practices will also be shared, enabling participants to draw from their experiences and share their own perspectives.

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  • Provide examples of internship providers: No school absences, can work only 24 hours a week.
  • Providing Students a Quality Internship - Keys to Success

    1. 1. #NAFNext2014 Providing Students a Quality Internship: Keys to Success
    2. 2. ERICH DE LA FUENTE  Chief Executive Officer – EDF Communications  NAF National Advisory Board Member  Alumni Leadership Council Chair  Advisory Board Leadership Council  Miami-Dade County Academy of Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board Member  NAF NEXT Alumni Award 2012  Graduate of 1989 NAF Academy WHO WE ARE #NAFNext2014
    3. 3. KIT BECNEL  AOIT Director - Carencro High School 10 Years, Lafayette, LA  NAF Advisory Board Leadership Council 3 years  (Academic Support Officer 2 Years)  NAF Network Leadership Council 2 Years  Janet Linton Award 2010  NAF Distinguished Academy 2009  Distinguished NAF Design Studio 2009  Aldo Papone Award 2007 WHO WE ARE #NAFNext2014
    4. 4. Carencro High School  Student body 1096 (Comprehensive High School)  Title I – (62%) Free and Reduced Lunch  56% Non-White / 44% White  48% Female / 52% Male  Students with disabilities 17% Academy of Information Technology  Student body 156 (Four year curriculum)  Title I – (62%) Free and Reduced Lunch  38% Non-White / 62% White  35% Female / 65% Male  Students with disabilities 2% DEMOGRAPHICS #NAFNext2014
    5. 5.  Internships are part of a continuum of work-based learning  Internships are compensated  Internships address education equity  Internships are based on identified youth interests and learning objectives  Internship experiences align with academic learning  Internships produce valuable work that furthers employers’ organizational goals  All participants are prepared for and reflect upon internship experiences  Systems are in place to support internship participants throughout the experience  Internships are assessed against identified youth interests and learning objectives  Internships occur in safe and supportive environments NAF GOLD STANDARDS #NAFNext2014
    6. 6.  100% success rate in achieving compensated internships since the year of inception 2004 including 504 and special education students  Internship program takes place during the 1st five weeks of the summer break between the junior and senior year of high school  Average summer internship class: 25 – 33  33% of interns are asked to continue their internship AOIT INTERNSHIPS #NAFNext2014
    7. 7. Students Curriculum Preparation  Is your curriculum in line with local business/industry needs?  Be flexible-meet the academic standards/outcomes but flexibility in the curriculum is needed  Ensure students’ skill sets are useful in the workforce and meet the local community’s needs  Century 21st and soft skills are integral PREPARATION Director Assessment Meeting  Reach out to your local businesses to find out what are their workforce needs  Let them know your program is interested in helping fill those needs  Make them a stakeholder in their future workforce  Let them know about the internship program but don’t hard sell it #NAFNext2014
    8. 8. BUSINESSES  Identify areas in your company where intern can contribute to the business while obtaining a valuable experience  Task a company executive to serve as your internship liaison to the local academies in your areas  Conduct a meeting with Academy Director(s) and/or Advisory Board Members from which you are planning to hire interns PREPARATION #NAFNext2014
    9. 9. Students Pre-Internship Assessment  Meet with students individually as they fill out their own self assessments  Discuss the internship and ask is it in line with their career path  Create an action plan with director  Evaluate and use this assessment in placement studying their career path with possible or currently established internships ASSESSMENT Director Managing Expectations  The director and a community business partner meet with interested sponsors  A clear picture of what the business expects from the intern and what the intern expects from the business is formed  This step is an essential part of a long term partnership #NAFNext2014
    10. 10. BUSINESSES  Convey clear expectations of what the company expects from the intern and what the programs expect the students to gain from the internship experience  Develop a detailed job description for interns including job performance evaluation metrics; highlight necessary skills for the job and salary expectations  Ensure that job description is posted on the company’s website and communicated appropriately to the academies; also provide company’s policies and regulations ASSESSMENT #NAFNext2014
    11. 11. Students Internship Prep  Internships require preparation on both the student and parent’s part  Set expectations now. Hold mandatory meetings (7 months and 6 weeks prior) to internship  Fill out necessary paperwork early  Hard deadlines  Internships are SERIOUS business RIGHT MIND SET Director Internship Recruitment  Now that you have begun to establish a relationship with local businesses, reconnect with them in 6 months  Emphasize that they are the driving force in the community and if they want quality workers, then participation in education is a must  The internship program is a way for them to gauge strengths and weaknesses of the future workforce #NAFNext2014
    12. 12. BUSINESSES  Understand that the private-public sector partnership is essential to NAF’s success: good education and work experience will lead to a higher quality work force  Think of interns as potential future employees at your company  Give interns opportunity to learn and grow  Hold interns accountable for their responsibilities  Internships are a practical and cost-effective way to evaluate a potential employee  This is an opportunity to establish a long-standing win-win relationship with the academies in your area RIGHT MIND SET
    13. 13. Students Faculty Input  Director meets with other faculty members to begin placing students with internships according to skills sets  Students must have the correct skills as well as the necessary soft skills in order to be successful in their position  A good match is a HUGE KEY to a successful internship experience for both the intern and provider MATCHING STUDENTS AND BUSINESSES Director Community Partner / AB  Community partners can assist at this phase in the placement process  They will offer great insight as to the state of modern business practices, workplace culture, expectations, etiquette and necessary skill sets  Send 2 – 3 prospective interns to interview #NAFNext2014
    14. 14. Attempt to place interns based on:  Student interest  Student strengths in particular academy themed areas  Special needs of students/collaboration with Special Education Facilitator  Internship provider attitudes and expectations  Job description of internship provider MATCHING STUDENTS AND BUSINESSES #NAFNext2014
    15. 15. BUSINESSES  Set up formal review process of all CVs provided to select the best candidates based on the skills required for the position  Manage the process as you would do for candidates applying for a regular position  Have at least one other company executive (preferably from the division intern will work) interview the intern candidate  Upon obtaining feedback from your team, conduct personal interviews of the top candidates and select the best candidate(s) MATCHING STUDENTS AND BUSINESSES #NAFNext2014
    16. 16. Students Spring Meeting (4-6 Weeks Prior)  Parents and students must attend a mandatory meeting in the spring  This meeting covers the school policies, paperwork, curriculum, grading, etc.  It also helps the parents with what is expected of them through the duration of the internship PRIOR TO INTERNSHIP Director Last minute details  At this point, the sponsoring businesses should be 100% on board  Businesses should know what to expect from their intern and what the intern should expect from them  Any last minute details can be addressed during this time #NAFNext2014
    17. 17. BUSINESSES  Either you or direct supervisor overseeing the interns’ work should communicate with the intern to establish:  Starting date  Review job descriptions and responsibilities  Appropriate work attire  Compensation procedures  Job performance evaluation tools and metrics PRIOR TO INTERNSHIP #NAFNext2014
    18. 18. Students Student Engagement  Students report back to the director daily via online blogs  It is important for the director and faculty to watch for changes in posts that would indicate a negative experience or workplace situation  Students document their work DURING THE INTERNSHIP Director Business Engagement  The director and faculty visit with the internship providers and interns every other week  The key –partnership interaction between the academy and the businesses is crucial for this partnership to succeed in the future #NAFNext2014
    19. 19. Academy faculty visit both the intern and work supervisor bi- weekly Initial visits allow for clarification of work supervisor duties Individual conversations with both the intern and work supervisor allows each to speak frankly about the internship Special visits occur when the work supervisor reports a problem or when we discover issues on the job Academy faculty counsels with the intern for as long or as many times as it takes to have a positive experience Consider a special education specialist as an internship coordinator or provide a special task force to assist with special needs DURING THE INTERNSHIP
    20. 20. BUSINESSES  Assign tasks to the intern as you would any other junior executive so he/she can learn the most from the work experience  Have intern participate in meetings and accompany you to events so he/she can experience the corporate world atmosphere  Establish a reporting mechanism with the intern to provide guidance as well as constructive feedback  Conduct regular meetings with the Academy Director to ensure all is going well DURING THE INTERNSHIP #NAFNext2014
    21. 21. Students Post Follow-up  Final Report - Students provide a final MLA report of their work experience including what they learned, research about the company, the challenges, successes and failures  Student reflection on their workforce experience AFTER THE INTERNSHIP Director Post Follow-up  Internship providers are acknowledged and thanked during the internship closing ceremony  The goal is for businesses to continue to be actively engaged partners supporting the academy during the year  Develop relationships instead of a once-a-year source for internship money  Ultimately, these partnerships will grow beyond just internships #NAFNext2014
    22. 22. BUSINESSES  Conduct a full evaluation of the intern’s job performance  Praise all positive aspects of his/her work  Provide constructive feedback on areas that need improvement and provide suggestion  Hold final meeting with Academy Director to provide full evaluation and provide recommendation  Get involved in your local academy in order to:  Have better understanding of the program  Select students with necessary skills for your company  Give back to the community and positively impact students’ future AFTER THE INTERNSHIP #NAFNext2014
    23. 23. Documents and Other Resources: RESOURCES & SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
    24. 24. Kit Becnel: Erich de la Fuente: THANK YOU