10 Ways to Make Your Internship Awesome

If you are a college student, you’ve probably considering completing an internship. If you aren’t, you should. There is an abundance of evidence that an internship is perhaps the most important activity college students can complete outside the classroom to support their future career.

Here are 10 things you can do to help your internship reach its full potential:

  1. ASK QUESTIONS! I put this in all caps because it’s the most important thing you can do. Your supervisor doesn’t expect you to have all the answers – that’s why you’re interning. Spend more time soaking up as much information as you can and less trying to impress everyone in the office.
  2. But ask all of your questions at once. Don’t interrupt your supervisor 5 times each 4-hour shift. Write down your questions as they come up during your time in the office each day. Once you have a few on your list, ask your supervisor if he has a minute and get all of your answers at once. He’ll appreciate that you’re being considerate of his time.

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The Employer’s Guide to Internships, Part Two

This is the second half of a two-part series about what you, as the employer, can do to ensure a positive experience when hosting an intern in your workplace. This article will focus on tips for managing  your intern and dealing with the inevitable bumps in the road. See part one to find out what you can do to prepare for your intern before they even start working, and to read more about my credentials in this subject area.  I will provide tips for employers and illustrate each one with a personal example of how I’ve applied my own advice to my work managing Pegasus Creative at Oglethorpe University.

Once your intern starts working:

#5: Give and receive feedbackPegasus midterm questionnaire

Providing opportunities throughout the semester to provide structured feedback and asking your intern to reciprocate can be a very beneficial exercise for both parties. It allows for you to assess what the student is doing right, and where they could improve. Many samples of intern evaluations can be found online, and usually offer a point system for rating students in areas such as teachability, reliability and initiative. Asking the student to answer several questions about their experience thus far gives them the opportunity to voice any concerns they might have. Be as honest as possible and encourage your intern to do the same. Halfway through the semester is the perfect time to re-evaluate and make adjustments to the position or assignments so no one becomes disgruntled. Completing an end-of-term evaluation also provides closure for you and the student. Continue reading

The Employer’s Guide to Internships, Part One

This is the first installment of a two-part series about how you as the employer can ensure a positive experience when hosting an intern in your workplace. This article will focus on what you need to do to prepare for your intern before they even start working (steps 1-4). Next week I’ll follow up with the second half, which will focus on tips for managing  your intern and dealing with the inevitable bumps in the road.

Why should the employer have to prepare?

There has been a lot of talk lately about benefits of hosting an internship in your office, and the ethics surrounding such an undertaking. More and more pressure is being put on the employers to offer beneficial experiences for the intern, and not simply use them as a personal assistant. Here are a few quick reasons to put in the little bit of extra effort to provide a positive experience for your intern: Continue reading