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So, you think you want to hire an intern?

Written by Angela Finding

You’ve made the decision to create an internship program for your organization and are excited to get started. All you need to do now is find the interns, right? It’s not quite that simple. Creating a valuable internship program that provides ROI for your organization, and a rich, learning experience for the student is much more than hiring an intern or two and putting them right to work. There are steps that need to be taken and decisions made before you start looking for your next rising star.

Interns will bring value to your organization in many ways such as completing real work projects, bringing fresh new ideas and perspectives, assisting with different assignments, and more. The first step in determining whether an internship program makes sense for your organization is to identify what your business needs are for the internship(s) and if you have the time and capacity to invest in creating and managing a successful internship program. It will save you a lot of backtracking, time, and effort if you figure out those two key elements before you begin developing your internship program. Creating a successful program does not have to be daunting, but you do need to be thoughtful and committed.

Below are essential first steps you need to take when creating an internship program. Think of these steps as pre-internship work.

  1. Identify your business needs. Select the departments or areas of the organization that could benefit from an intern and think about which skills the intern will need in order to work within the selected departments.
  2. Know what you want your internship program to accomplish and set realistic expectations. What are your measures of success?
  3. Determine if the internship will encompass one major project or several ongoing projects and assess whether the departments and team you selected has the capacity to manage an intern.

Once you have those items finalized, you are ready to begin creating your internship program and internship job descriptions. There are several more steps to finalize before you begin recruiting.  To review these steps, internship program best practices and recommendations, visit the GCP Internship Central Employer Guidebook that will walk you through each step of creating a quality internship program that will ensure your organization and the student have the most valuable, successful experience possible.

For more information or guidance about internships, contact Angela Finding at

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