It may be February, but that won’t stop keen students from looking for summer internships!
An internship is an opportunity for a young professional to put the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in their education to use in a workplace. For a student, this experience is invaluable and it’s also a great thing for a business.
What an intern brings your business
Have you ever worked on a problem for so long that it becomes kind of blurry? Then someone from the outside comes in with fresh eyes and helps you see the answer. That’s what an intern can do for your business: be your fresh eyes and fresh perspective.
Since the business is new to them, interns ask questions while they’re trying to get to know your company. By answering those questions, you can reinforce your company’s core values.
As they dive in and begin learning to use systems and practices that you’ve grown accustomed to, interns can often identify new, exciting opportunities or bring new ideas to you and your team. They bring an eagerness and an enthusiasm to learn that can be infectious to the rest of your team.
They can also bring new tactics, strategies and programs to your workplace. They’re learning about the latest trends and practices in school, and in the right environment, an internship gives them a place to apply them practically. Be sure to ask them what they’re learning in school and give them opportunities to flex those muscles and put that knowledge to good use. In the past, we’ve had interns run our social media accounts, quote new business, or schedule and participate in HR meetings and interviews with tremendous success. Giving them real projects to work on (and seeing them succeed) gives interns confidence in their own abilities, and lets them prove to you and your business the value that they can bring you.
Which comes in handy when you’re looking to hire (keep reading for that…)
Ensuring a great experience for an intern (and your business)
For an intern to get the most out of their work experience, it’s important that it is a good one. If they feel comfortable and welcomed by you and your team, they’re much more likely to be open and hard-working. Fortunately, there’s a few things you can do to give an intern as positive an experience as possible.
- Figure out their interests and skills. To ensure they’re a good fit and will have a rewarding experience, ask them what they want to learn and give them projects and tasks involved with that interest!
- Involve them. They’re here to learn, and the best way to do that is with hands-on experience. Bring them to your meetings and get them working on real projects – no menial tasks or filing!
- Ask them what they think. Remember, they’re not as involved in the project or the business as you are – their outside perspective can often be very enlightening!
- Check in with them. Take some time out of your day to ask them how they’re liking things, or what projects they’re working on. Circle back to #1 to make sure they’re involved in the things they want to learn more about!
Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to a great experience for both intern and employer! Which is a great thing to do, because…
An intern could just be your next hire
If your business has room for growth, accepting an intern can be an excellent way of finding someone who’s a great fit for your company. If they’ve had a successful internship and have really connected with your team and your company’s values, then they’ve already got a proven track record of success at your company.
If your company is growing and hiring, consider engaging with local colleges and universities by accepting interns. This kind of relationship often opens up additional opportunities as well – speakers and industry experts for panels or networking and interviewing events! The more you do with these schools, the more your company’s name is out there.
Meet BBD’s interns for 2018
We sat down with each of our three interns to talk about their experiences at BBD so far. Here’s what they had to say:
Craig Stewart, Human Resources
“I feel like a real employee here. I want to grow professionally and put the skills and knowledge I’ve learned in school into practice, and BBD has allowed me to do just that.”
Danielle Dias, Communications
“Everyone was very welcoming and I’m learning a lot about how BBD works and I can tell you that connecting groups with insurance carriers is a lot more interesting than I ever imagined it would be!”
Emily Stewart, Core
“I wanted a placement where I would have the opportunity to be exposed to different aspects of a business environment in order to determine my strengths and interests.”