Building an Internship Program

An internship provides students with the opportunity to integrate their course work into their job duties. Therefore, intern projects should be substantive and challenging, requiring problem solving and critical thinking skills, not just filing or making copies. The position should challenge a student beyond his or her current skill set.  In addition, a great internship program provides:

Access to Contacts and Networks
Interns appreciate opportunities to meet a wide variety of professionals within your organization, attend professional meetings with their supervisor, and referrals to contacts in other organizations.

Recognition and Appreciation
When students begin their internship, introduce them to the staff, include them in social activities when appropriate, and most of all give them consistent feedback.

The Right Tools
Amenities such as a designated work area, office supplies, the use of a computer and phone, and a company email account should be available to the intern if appropriate.

Excellent Supervision
Excellent supervision includes a regular meeting to allow the intern time to ask questions, discuss the internship, organizational culture, etc.

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