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The summer is rapidly approaching, and that means a lot of students are looking for internships. If your company doesn’t accept interns, then now’s a good time to find out what the benefits of establishing an internship program are.
New perspectives drive innovation
Interns come to your company to gain practical experience, but they also have something to offer: their perspectives. Since they’re younger than your team, their frames of reference and their priorities are different. This enhances your team’s diversity, and that can drive innovation and productivity. In the article “Why Hire Interns?” written for The Balance, Penny Loretto advises inviting interns to participate in meetings and brainstorming sessions in order to benefit from their points of view.
Boost your employer brand
Not all internship programs are created equal. If you begin an internship program that clearly establishes each intern’s learning objectives, ensures solid guidance, and objectively measures his or her progress, you’ll provide an outstanding learning experience for your interns. These interns are highly likely to share their positive experiences with other students and job seekers—and that’s a significant boost to your employer brand, especially if they give you good reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.
Enhance employees’ skillsets
Interns need mentors, and those mentors are your employees. Determine which employees could benefit from gaining mentoring experience, and ask them if they’re interested. While it might slow them down for the duration of the mentorship, it’s also an excellent opportunity for them to hone their communication, teaching, and leadership skills.
Foster new talent for your company
In the FastCompany article “These Are the Biggest Skills That New Graduates Lack,” Lydia Dishman reports that many hiring managers find new graduates lacking in essential skills such as communication, critical thinking, and problem solving abilities. By establishing an internship program, you can help interns develop these crucial skills, as well as other industry-related abilities they might be lacking. As a result, by the time they complete their internships, they’ll possess the knowledge, skills, and experience you look for in entry-level candidates. In addition, you’ll know whether they fit into the company culture or not. It’s a win-win situation that could ensure they find employment and you find fresh talent with the right qualifications.
Establishing an internship program is a strategic decision that can help drive innovation, boost your employer brand, enhance your employees’ skillsets, and help you find new talent. So even though it takes time, effort, and dedication, it’s definitely worth considering in order to add value to your company—and simultaneously help you advance your career.