Are you looking to hire a university student as an intern? Do you want to make sure you can make the most of this opportunity to shape and mould an eager young mind? While it’s exciting, the idea of finding, and then training and monitoring a young student for a few weeks or months can undoubtedly be a complicated thing to consider – at least at first.
While many university students are hard-pressed to find the right textbook store, many other uni students are extremely accomplished and ready to maximise their learning opportunities. And, with a few key moves, you can make the most of this opportunity and put you and your intern onto the best possible path.
We have brought together some of our top tips for making sure that you and your intern get the most from this exciting opportunity.
Set your expectations
One of the most important things you can do for your intern is to set a clear expectation for how they are supposed to behave at work and what they are required to do. Let them know how their performance is going to be measured so that way there are clear boundaries in place.
For many students this will be their first working experience, and so you’re going to need to be very exact about what you expect so as to not be disappointed later.
Have a plan in place
While you might think your intern isn’t going to need all that much direction, the fact is that they’re likely going to need a whole lot more than you originally thought. Make sure you manage any potential mishaps with your intern by having a clear plan in place for how to manage communication, tasks, discipline, rewards and workloads.
It’s very important that take the time to define the tasks that you want your intern to do. And you also need to set out timeframes for these tasks to give your intern a clear goal. Make sure you anticipate possible questions that your intern is going to have and set our common Q&A issues in a book for them to use.
Remember, if this is your first intern and it’s a successful placement, you may want to get more interns in the future so any work you do now is not wasted.
Keep them occupied and interested
While your intern is going to be there to work you want to make sure they are learning how to be a great employee even as they’re helping you with the filing. You must treat them just as any other employee would be treated and give them the same rewards.
If you have Friday drinks make sure they’re scheduled to work at least some Fridays (if they’re not full time) so that they can engage with the fun side of being in your business. Make sure you have plenty for them to do and don’t expect them to ‘know’ what to do at any point. They are there to learn from you, so use this time wisely.
Give your intern projects that get them in contact with a whole range of people in your business. Don’t just restrict them to one type of work – because you want to give them as much exposure to as many parts of your business as possible and help them to learn about your workplace culture.
Stay in touch
When your time with your intern comes to an end you don’t want to let that connection go – be sure you stay in touch and keep connected using social media like LinkedIn. Even if you don’t end up having a position available for an intern straight away but you want to hire them later, staying in touch is a great way to keep that bridge connected.
What other things can you think of to get the most from your interns?