Building your Internship – Laying the Foundation (Part 1 of 6)

So, you’re interested in bringing one or more interns into your organization – great idea!  Let’s talk about that…

First off, I’d like to point out two outside resources with which familiarizing yourself is imperative. NACE, or the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and their position on interships, along with the DOL Fact Sheet on Internships.  You’ll find that many guidelines relate to unpaid internships, but I recommend that you consider them universal. Your internship will be well-structured, fair, and ahead of the curve in a number of areas. You will also notice that both have a permanent spot in “Employer Resources” here on this blog, should you ever need to know where to find them. 

After you’ve reviewed the NACE website and the DOL guidelines, I suggest that everyone in your organization who has an investment in your future intern(s) discuss the following areas:

  1. Organizational goals for hosting interns
  2. Departmental goals for hosting interns
  3. Intern duties and learning objectives
  4. Required Intern qualifications

And lastly,

    5. Assign mentors/supervisors in each department hosting interns, and allow mentors/supervisors to establish goals.

You can nail down these topics in a single meeting, in a series of meetings, over email, slowly over time, or any other way that you see fit for your organization. However you decide to approach these topics, the more thorough you are at this stage, the better off you will be in the long run.

It’s also at this stage where opportunities to measure success (however your organization defines it) will become clearer. We’ll touch on that in Part 5!

Coming up next: Part 2 – Setting up Your Program

Until next time,

DBO

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