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Recruiting and hiring interns: Resources and practical tips

Written by Angela Finding

Northeast Ohio is fortunate to have many outstanding educational institutions. When starting the intern search process, it is recommended to begin with career centers at local universities, local high schools for high school interns. The following list provides practical tips and ideas for recruiting and hiring interns.

  • Online recruitment efforts – There are no shortage of online job boards both local and national sites. It is recommended to start with NEO college and university job boards to connect to local students. For a list of NEO institutions, visit
  • Do you have or need a university relations plan? University relations plans are the framework companies use to manage their relationship, goals, timeline, budget and other strategies, with colleges and universities. NACE put together a great checklist to determine if a formal university relations plan can help with your early talent needs.
    • Identify any talent gaps in critical functions and businesses,
    • Determine if university hires can help minimize these talent gaps,
    • Categorize geographical locations with early career hire needs – you must take into consideration the location of schools, if their programs and graduates’ skills align with your needs, whether relocation would be necessary, etc.,
    • Identify sponsors in key business and geographical units to champion your program, and most importantly,
    • Determine if there is funding to pay for the hires as well as the UR program activities. A formal recruitment plan will likely incur cost. What is your budget for this?
  • Reach out to peers at other organizations who have experience developing, implementing, and measuring the success of their university relations or recruitment plan. Get their advice on what works and what they have learned along the way.
  • Connect with faculty – Build a relationship with the faculty at the schools from which you are recruiting students. You can do that by reaching out directly, participating in discussions or information sessions, etc.
  • Connect with community internship programs – There are ways to connect with students outside of schools that include community organizations that offer internship assistance and ways to recruit students. These are a few in Northeast Ohio:
    • Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) – SOTC is a unique summer internship program open to students from our eight partner schools: Case Western Reserve, Colgate, Cornell, Denison, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Smith, and University of Chicago. The program brings together 50-70 students for an intensive summer immersion program designed to help interns explore the professional, civic & social offerings of the Cleveland area.
    • Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U) – Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) is a nonprofit workforce development organization based in Cleveland, Ohio that serves teens and young adults ages 14-24 living in economically distressed areas in Northeast Ohio.
  • Career Fairs – Career fairs are often the flagship event for career services offices on most college campuses. These events provide an opportunity for students to meet with prospective employers and test their professional skills. For employers with a robust university recruitment plan, career fairs are considered a staple.

For more information on recruiting students, or growing your program, visit

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