Internship program guide


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Best practice guide to build a successful internship program.

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Internship program guide

  1. 1. Building an Internship Program for Your Small Business
  2. 2. Defining an Internship Program This document will help you build an annual internship program at your organization (vs. simply recruit one intern for one semester/summer). An Internship Program includes, the plan, resources, and processes to bring on an intern(s) Fall, Spring, and Summer that can contribute to the organization’s goals, accomplish pre-defined tasks, and receive experience, supervision, and expertise for their time and energy
  3. 3. Benefits for Employers Buildcapacity and bench strength Access to new expertise, trends, and educated talent Opportunity to evaluate and screen students for full-time positions Consistency of intern(s) each semester Fresh ideas and energy
  4. 4. Top Intern Positions Social media Online and other marketing Research (grant, market, trends) Graphic design Programming (web and application) IT support (desktop) Sales support Administrative Copywriting
  5. 5. Benefits for Students Job and workplace experience Resume builders – project-work Class or internship credit to graduate Various financial incentives Build a network/get exposure to industry Potential for increased starting salary Faster ramp-up with first full-time job
  6. 6. Processes Recommended Establish program parameters and goals Set expectations and define interests upfront Complete orientation and onboarding Create discrete projects intern can complete Have a Mentor or Buddy for the intern Conduct performance reviews/feedback Develop training and development opportunities Assign a single supervisor/manager Perform regular checkpoints
  7. 7. Internship Success Factors Eliminate “ just an intern” mentality A formal welcome for intern to the organization Clear roles, responsibilities, goals and tasks Intern commitment and management support Explain how internship relates to business goals Find the proper incentives Schedule time for transition & documentation End of semester presentation/wrap-up Staying connected after the internship
  8. 8. Available Incentives Performance bonus Commissions Class credit (students will know the process) References/connections/networking Mentorship Professional development Unique experiences Unique contributions
  9. 9. On-boarding Checklist Welcome announcement to all employees Discuss start and end dates Define work hour and on-site expectations Provide dress code and day 1 directions Provide buddy and supervisor information Define list of projects & owners/contacts Ensure intern has proper supplies/resources See Sample Orientation Outline for more
  10. 10. Daily Operations Checklist Orient students and get them started on assignments Explain bigger picture – why project matters Provide regular training and development Meet weekly to provide feedback/check status Have them document their work/processes Have them develop a transition plan See Sample MOU for an Internship
  11. 11. End of Program Checklist Have them present their findings/projects Transition the role and material to new intern Conduct an exit interview Identify improvements to your internship program and make revisions Have the intern Complete Employer Eval Complete the Student Eval See Sample Exit Interview for more
  12. 12. For More Information If you have any questions, contact us at: To find any of the forms referenced in this presentation check out Internship Forms on our Employer Resources page at
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