Valued intern experience yields organizational growth

By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on January 12, 2017
Filed under: Blog, Business Development, Uncategorized

How to Utilize Interns to Grow Your Organization

Over the course of my business, we’ve had over 30 interns! This has been one of the best investments in my business.

While interns usually work for free as long (as they’re getting college credit), they’re a great way to invest in someone’s future and your company’s progress.

During their internship, it’s a great opportunity to test someone out, and see how they fit and mesh with your organization. They can often become the best employees. In fact, many of my employees were initially interns.

It’s key to remember that interns are not there to specialize in coffee, run for bagels, or shred papers! Hiring interns is a way to give back and help the next generation, giving them an opportunity to work in a professional setting. The tasks you give them should add value to their college experience.

It’s also important to be strategic in the tasks you give your interns. Don’t create four new programs for them to oversee, or have them build a brand new website that no one will know how to maintain afterward.

Remember, they’ll only be there for a short amount of time, and you don’t want a huge gap in your organization when they leave.

Many companies want a new intern to handle their social media, but this is also not something I recommend. Do you want your interns setting the tone and being the voice of your organization? Probably not! Additionally, if you’ve got an intern tweeting for you daily for three months, will you have the capacity to continue that after they’ve left?

Instead, create tasks for interns that can take a little work off your plate, and also give them a chance to build professional skills.

I like to give them regular tasks they can do every day or week

You can also give them a long-term project to work on over the course of a semester. That way, if you don’t have anything for them to focus on today, they can go back to that project

Here’s a few more ideas of tasks you can delegate to interns:

  • They could draft up blogs for your blog or newsletter, which you can then edit. Getting those ideas down and the first draft created speeds up te process for you.
  • They could do market research and interview your target audience. This information is very valuable in your marketing materials, and often we struggle to find the time to do it.
  • You could have them do an audit of some of your marketing. Do they understand the messaging on your website? Is it easy for them to find what they need as an outside visitor? Do they find the content interesting? If they understand it, chances are that your target audience will too. If not, you know what needs to be adjusted!

Having an intern is a way for your organization to give back to the community. Interns bring fresh energy and ideas from the upcoming generation.

Have you ever hired an intern, or wanted to? How did it go? Write back and let me know!

Photo credit (should be included in photo caption): “Stand Out from The Crowd Unique Golf Tee Game” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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