13 Ways to Set Up a Winning Internship Program
If you’re going to put together a top-notch internship program, what better place to start than by taking inspiration from organizations that have already taken that step? That’s exactly what attendees of the “Ask the Pros” session held during the 2018 Cleveland Internship Summit had the opportunity to do.
- MacKenzie Hawes, talent acquisition and employment programs associate with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District;
- Kelly Diamond, recruiting program manager at Hyland; and
- Jennifer Cowles, leadership and executive programs leader at KeyBank.
Read on below for the 13 takeaways these panelists provided during the panel discussion. And scroll down to the bottom of the article to listen to a full recap of the session.
How do you identify potential internship candidates?
1: Focus on the degree programs that most closely match what you’re looking for.
2: For summer internship programs, it’s ideal to begin your intern search in the fall and to have candidates identified and hired by winter break.
3: Set up partnerships with schools in the region and have a presence at program-specific recruiting fairs (such as one held just for engineering students if that’s the kind of skill you’re seeking.)
4: Try setting up a table at a college quad or work with professors to give a quick pitch for interns at a classroom setting.
What should the interview process look like?
5: Conduct a phone screen to ensure the candidate has the basic requirements for the job. If the basic requirements are met, move on to manager interviews and an online assessment if needed.
6: Consider also sending a business case in advance, if applicable, for a candidate to evaluate.
7: Think about holding an “Intern Day” where you bring in all of your candidates for a full day of in-person interviews.
8: Don’t forget to conduct a background check.
How do you prepare the intern’s supervisor?
9: About a month before the internship is to start, meet with the manager to determine the intern’s project timelines.
10: Review expectations for the intern with the intern’s supervisor.
11: Encourage the manager to select mentors to also work with the interns.
What’s the best way to include career development into the program?
12: Provide opportunities for the interns to learn about other departments or lines of business within the company.
13: Keep the interns engaged during the program by hosting functions such as lunch-and-learns that can focus on topics including resume building, interviewing tips and how to leverage LinkedIn during a job search.
There is a whole new set of valuable internship topics slated for the 2019 Cleveland Internship Summit. Review the agenda here.