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5 Ways to Avoid Internship Disasters

Written by Angela Finding

As an employer, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your interns succeed and your business thrives because of it. Check out these five things to consider during your internship process.

  1. Make Every Task Important

It’s easy to inundate an intern with busy work, from filing papers to making coffee, but it’s important to make sure your intern is still getting the experience they need. You don’t want interns to get bored with mundane busy work. Maximize the beneficial results by giving your intern tasks relevant to the job especially considering 60 percent of internships turn into job offers. By keeping your intern interested and busy you’ll increase productivity, knowledge, and ultimately the value of the internship itself.

  1. Hire Someone Who Is Time Conscious

Time is a factor in running a smooth internship. First, you want to make sure your intern is on time for work, events, and meetings without offering up excuses or apologies after the fact. However, being early isn’t the only important facet of being time conscious. A good intern should also excel at time management and learn how much they can do in a day without stressing out and rushing when it gets close to 5:00 pm.

  1. Encourage Interns to Ask Questions

It’s your role as an employer to delegate tasks and convey information, but sometimes important details get lost in translation. Be sure to encourage your interns to be engaged with their superiors and ask questions for clarification. As interns, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Inquisitive interns will learn and succeed more in an open environment where questions are encouraged.

  1. Provide a Well-Rounded Experience

As the employer, it’s up to you to set up your intern for success. A well-rounded experience can be accomplished by allowing interns to participate in the everyday experience of your business, instead of industry-specific niches that they may already learned about in college. Per a 2013 poll, 62 percent of the people questioned believed the higher education system is doing a poor to fair job of preparing college students for the workforce, which is why an immersive internship is important experience for job-seekers.

  1. Listen to All Criticism

Although you’re in charge of your intern’s education, there’s no reason you can’t learn from them as well. Ask for constructive criticism about the internship program itself and see what improvements your interns suggest. Being removed from the internship process skews your view on the effectiveness of the program and interns will be your lifeline to a successful intern/workplace relationship. Ask questions throughout the internship, but also present a brief questionnaire once the internship is completed to get helpful feedback.

There’s a lot of careful consideration and planning that goes into an internship, but these five items will help you create a beneficial program and avoid any mishaps in the future.

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