Tag Archives: Dena Ogden

Building your Internship – Summary and Resources (Part 6 of 6)

We’ve made it, friends!  Six posts later, here we are. As promised, below is a summary of posts, along with some resources to help you down the road.

Part 1 – Laying the Foundation

  • Organizational goals for hosting interns?
  • Departmental goals for hosting interns?
  • Intern duties and learning objectives?
  • Required Intern qualifications?
  • Mentors/supervisors in each department hosting interns, and their goals?

Part 2 – Structure & Compensation

  • Where will the intern(s) work?
  • When will the intern(s) work?
  • How are we compensating the interns?

Part 3 – Recruiting your Superstar Interns

  • Job description
  • Where to post
  • What else can be done

Part 4 – Getting Started on the Right Foot

  • Prepare the Team
  • Prepare the Space
  • Welcome!
  • Help them get connected

Part 5 – Evaluating Performance & Concluding the Internship

  • Let them know measures for success
  • Ask for their feedback throughout the program
  • Hold an exit interview
  • Stay in touch with former interns

Resources

It is my sincere hope that this collection of posts has been helpful for you and your organization. But you definitely won’t want to stop here! Below are suggested resources I’ve shared:

  • US Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act – self-explanatory. Every employer hosting interns needs to read it, and those who are thinking about unpaid positions need to memorize it and recite it back 50 times. Okay, maybe not 50, but at least until you get the idea!
  • NACE  – the National Association of Colleges & Employers, the big daddy when it comes to guidelines, policies, and procedures. A wealth of information. Don’t miss their Postion Statement on US Internships, or their 15 Best Practices for Internship Programs.
  • MPACE – the Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges & Employers, a regional arm of NACE with mostly West Coast & Rocky Mountain members. There are multiple chapters of NACE, MPACE happens to be where I belong.
  • Intern Bridge – self-described as “the nation’s premier recruiting consulting and research firm.” I haven’t had as much exposure to InternBridge as the other organizations above, but the information & research I have seen from them has been helpful. They have eye-opening data on paid vs. unpaid internships and how the differences affect both employers and students.
  • Your local Career Center – Many universities have someone in a position like mine, handling employer relations. You may also see someone in an “internship coordinator” role. These people are a wealth of knowledge and can often share specifics about  your region, your industry, and even the major or student population on their particular campus. Don’t be shy! 
  • Small Business Trend’s “How to Make the Most of an Intern”, which has been my favorite article on this topic so far.

I’ll continue to keep you updated as I come across new resources. In the meantime, happy planning and keep in touch if I can be of further help!

-DBO

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Building your Internship – Evaluating Performance and Concluding the Internship (Part 5 of 6)

In parts 1, 2, 3 & 4, you laid the groundwork and determined your organization’s goals for your internship program, outlined the duties and requirements of your intern, clarified the structure of the internship position(s), determined how you will compensate your interns, then recruited and welcomed your interns. Whew! You’ve been busy!  Today’s post will focus on evaluating and concluding the internship.

Disclaimer: This section will provide guidance for employers building their programs independently of a school/program. In the case that you are partnering with a school or academic department, you may find that there are requirements that you must consider for evaluating your interns and concluding your program.

Let them know measures for success
Back in Part 1 of the series, you determined the goals of your program, as well as the intern’s duties and learning objectives. I recommend establishing just how those two relate to one another, and sharing it with your intern.  This kind of information is not only educational; it can also be empowering (speaking from my own experience as a member of Generation Y).  Then, when it comes time to evaluate their performance, you have clear measures to which you can refer.

Ask for their feedback throughout the program
This idea was brought up during an Internbridge Webinar I participated in a few months ago, and I think it was a fantastic one.  What happens if you only solicit feedback at the end of an internship?  You don’t have time to make adjustments before your interns leave. If you get their feedback and impressions throughout the program, you can shape the program accordingly. Now, I don’t mean making significant adjustment on the whim of someone who’s with you for a short time, I mean simply considering their impressions to see if there’s room for improvement.

Hold an exit interview
Another golden idea from our friends at NACE. With an exit interview, or even a survey, you can get more significant feedback to consider for your next internship cycle.

Stay in touch with former interns
It’s very possible you may want to hire an intern immediately. It’s also possible that you may not have a suitable opportunity when the internship is wrapping up. But what about six months down the road? Or two years down the road? Your former employees/interns can be valuable assets to your organization, so be sure you don’t lose track of them.  They also have the potential to be great advocates and referral agents when you are ready for your new crew of interns.

Phew!  We’ve covered quite a LOT in these last 5 posts. Don’t worry, though –  Post 6 will offer a recap of main topics, as well as fruther resources to help you from here.  Stay tuned!

Building your Internship – Getting Started on the Right Foot (Part 4 of 6)

In parts 1, 2 & 3, you determined your organization’s goals for the internship program, outlined the duties and requirements of your intern, clarified the structure of the internship position(s), decided how you will compensate your interns, and learned how to recruit interns. Today’s post will focus on the next steps, getting ready for their arrival and starting on the right foot.

Prepare the Team
Back in Part 1, you also determined the departments and the supervisors that would be working with the interns, and gave them the opportunity to establish goals. Now that the big day has arrived, everyone invested in your internship program should have a clear understand not only of the topics discussed in Part 1 (here’s a refresher, if you need it) but also how these topics will translate to a typical work day for the intern. This could take the shape of an outline, a handbook, a list, or even simply through conversations with one another.

Supervisors should be prepared to welcome the interns and offer clear, relevant expectations. I also recommend a review of this article by Small Business Trends, specifically Section A for “Authentically Mentor and Coach Your Intern.”

Prepare the Space
Ask yourself a quick question – where will the interns be physically located during their tenure?  If that space (and equipment ) is accessible for them starting on day one, they will immediately feel like they belong (and like their new employer is on top of things)!

Welcome!
Sounds simple enough, right?  Granted, bringing a new body into your work space can be stressful and even nerve-wracking, but I promise you that they are more nervous than you are. Take a moment to look them in the eye, shake their hand and let them know you’re happy they’re here (or that you’re glad to see them…or that you’re excited to work together. Whatever language is the most genuine for you).

Also, keep the rest of the team informed about their arrival. While not everyone will be working closely with the intern, they should at least know about the newcomer, and be prepared to introduce themselves as well. If their new cubicle buddy looks surprised to see them and clearly hasn’t tidied up their half of the desk, the intern will notice, and will likely not feel too good about it.

Help them get connected
The larger your team of interns, the more creative you can get in this area. Facebook and LinkedIn groups? Evening socials?  Weekend service days? Themed days in the office?  Book clubs? Coffee breaks?  The list of things you can schedule for the team is endless.

Coming up in Part 5: Evaluating Performance and Concluding the internship.

To Fair or not to Fair, that is the question…

A common query from employers who are new to student recruitment is “what should I do first?” There are so many options for performing outreach to our campus , that I get why there is some confusion over how (and where to begin).

Often, employers are already familiar with the idea of Career Fairs, and assume that’s where they should begin. For some, that is a great idea. For others, their budget and efforts may be better spent elsewhere. I’d like to suggest that employers considering Career Fair attendance ask themselves the following questions…

  • What exactly are my hiring needs? That’s right, hiring needs. As tempting is it may be, a Career Fair is not a place to come advertise products or services (in fact, we don’t allow it). I recommend that you should be actively looking to hire for at least 2-3 openings/internships in the near future, whatever that means for your organization. The more positions, the better, and the more chances that a student can make a long-term career out of them, the better.
  • Do I see value in having face-to-face interactions with potential employees?  Online/digital applications are very common these days, so it’s no surprise that many of the employers who attend career fairs have electronic apps. In fact, many have to decline paper resumes that are offered to them by students. As a result, when there is no exchange of paper, there is little happening aside from the conversation between the recruiter and the student.  Does your company value such interactions?  Which brings me to…
  • Am I okay with the possibility of talking for 5+ hours? What it really comes down to is whether or not you (or your company’s representatives) can maintain a positive attitude toward each student who approaches your table after a long and tiring afternoon. I have (unfortunately) seen recruiters who wear their exhaustion on their face, and it negatively affects the interactions they have with potential employees.
  • Do I see long-term benefits to having UCI students aware of our opportunities?  You’ll likely spend time talking to students who will be ready for your next wave of job opportunities, but you’ll also meet students who have another year or two of school (or more) to finish before they’re ready to take on work. Are you okay if not every conversation you have results in an immediate application?  To piggy-back on that, there will be students who notice your presence, but who don’t talk to you.  How does that sound to you?

All right, it’s no secret what the answers to these questions should be. What I’m hoping employers understand is that career fairs can be great investments for many, but not everyone. If you only need one student for a part-time opportunity that starts immediately, it’s not your best bet. But if you want to build a pipeline of future graduates and develop long-term relationships, it’s a great way to begin. For those specifically interested in UCI Career Fairs, further details are available here. And, for those joining us later this month (or after), be sure to check out last fall’s Top 5 Career Fair Tips (for recruiters).

-DBO

 

Happy 2012! Here’s what’s coming up…

Hello again from the UCI Career Center! It’s my pleasure to wish you all a Happy New Year. Though we’re still dusting off our keyboards after being away for nearly two weeks, I wanted to give you all a preview about some things to come. Our Winter Quarter highlights include:

  • On-Campus Interviewing, beginning on Monday, January 23
  • Internship & Career Fair, happening on Thursday, January 26 (10am-3pm)
  • Career Fest, happening throughout the month of February!

On top of these in-person events, I’m excited to announce that this quarter, we’re kicking off a new online Employer Relations Newsletter, and that a new blog series on How to Build an Internship is in the works. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year,
DBO

MPACE pictures, part 3 – BTW, or Bears, Trees & Wires.

And, finally, as promised – the final round of MPACE pictures, including the social. We spent the last evening of the conference at the World Forestry Center, which had great exhibits, yummy food, tasty drinks, and Voodoo Doughnuts. No complaints here.

Indoor tree, and an indoor (pretend) owl. The tip of the iceberg of the "northwest-y" decor.

Getting back to my Pacific Northwest roots, posing with an old friend.

Wires from the Canopy Lift Ride - meant to simulate going to the top of a forest.

Did I mention that I'm afraid of heights? That's me and my courageous colleague, Michelle, braving the ride.

It went about twice that high, at a death-defying speed of (I'm guessing) 12 miles an hour. Then, we dangled at the top for eternity.

We're smiling because we survived.*

Birds-eye view of the band rocking out

Very Merry Northwest Christmas decor

Simulated rafting photo. There's me falling off the side, my colleagues saving me, and a constituent from CSULB assessing the situation. Apologies for the blur, but at least it feels like an action shot... right?

ROAR. Last shot of the night.

Bonus photo: I think I was one of the few who took the train out of Portland. I couldn't find Platform 9 3/4, so I took a picture of some windows instead.

*A references to a previous post I did where I got to use the same caption after a real-life rafting expedition, with pictures almost as intense as the one here.

MPACE pictures, part 2 – Everything BUT the social

As promised, here is round 2! As you can see, they kept us busy, but not too busy that I didn’t have time for a few quick photos. I’ll let the pictures (well, and the captions) speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Opening keynote...a few minutes before UCI got a shout-out in front of the whole ballroom!

Who's the girl taking a picture of herself on accident after the session?...Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Action shot of a session #1

Action shot of a session #2

Artsy shot of Shirley Temples in the hotel bar. Mine's on the left.

Beautiful decorations from the mall across the street from our hotel...pretty enough to rival the dangling crystals in my room!

I saw no green pool tables in Portland. Coincidence? Or an Oregon thing?

Bus ride TO the social...the calm before the storm!