Six Benefits of Starting an Internship Program

If your company is growing now, or is planning to expand in the future, a strong, well-planned internship program should be part of your strategy. Whether your business is a startup, major corporation, or somewhere in between, internships can be developed to help your teams meet important short- and long-term goals.

Here are six ways internships benefit your organization:

Get Work Done

Interns can increase your teams’ productivity on day-to-day work, provide support on special projects, complete seasonal projects, or help you finally check off that long-term project that keeps dragging on. With forethought and prior planning, internships can be set up that allow students to complete a lot of work without the need for task-by-task micromanagement. Students are eager to prove themselves. If you create an attractive opportunity for students to learn by doing, you’ll be able to engage these highly-motivated team members at a relatively low cost.

Test-Drive Talent

If you set up your internship correctly, your interns will be doing work that allows them to learn and helps you complete valuable tasks and projects—again, without constant manager supervision. However, you’ll not only be getting the immediate value from that work. Internships create the perfect opportunity to assess entry-level candidates, who are otherwise typically unproven, before you extend an offer for regular employment. You now have something tangible with which to assess her/him for future hiring potential, and you have a few months if working together to determine cultural fit. In the end, the goal of test-driving talent with internships is to reduce the number of bad hires for your entry-level roles.

Develop an Entry-Level Talent Pipeline

As you work to create your internship program, recognize the fantastic branding opportunity it gives your company on college campuses. Students talk with friends constantly about their experiences and work experiences are not immune. Use internships to create a positive image of your culture, products or services, and the opportunities within your company. Not only do your best interns make for great future hires, they undoubtedly associate with other bright students who may be interested in working for you.

Gain New Ideas and Fresh Perspectives

Students absorb information incredibly quickly and thrive on new knowledge. The best students pursue new information on their own. They are full-time learners.  As interns, they not only bring this mentality with them, they provide a totally new perspective to old challenges.

Community Reputation and Impact

Internships both increase students’ awareness of your brand and grow your reputation as an active member of the community. Internships are a great way to add value to the community because they support the development and retention of the future workforce. As students participate in your internship program and go out into the community, they become strong storytellers for your company because of the investment you made in their growth.

INFLUENCE EDUCATION AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Internships are an essential element in closing the skills gap and fully preparing graduates for the workforce. By starting an internship program, you put a classroom inside your company and become co-participants in the education process. Students will learn by doing real-world work under the guidance of real-world professionals. You’re not simply creating a talent pipeline: you are influencing, enhancing, and participating in the training of your future team members months and years before they’ve even graduated.