Establishing Successful Internship Programs
Establishing successful internship programs is an essential feature of the hiring process for companies intending to provide training for newly hired employees and to deploy the “Succession Planning Strategy”. The beneficiaries of any Internship Program are both – the companies offering such a program and the freshers looking forward to starting their professional careers. This makes Internships very crucial for the service sector.
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Benefits of Internship Programs
As mentioned the benefits of a great internship program are enjoyed by both the business owners and the interns. Let us dig deeper into the details of how establishing successful internship programs satisfy the professional requirements for both categories.
Advantages for Interns
- Practical Work Experience: Internships are usually taken by freshly graduates to acquire work experience in a real work environment outside the university boundaries. It lets the interns apply their knowledge and existing skills practically. Also, an internship develops new skills in the young individual useful for their entire career.
- Preparation for facing the Work-Life Challenges: An internship prepares a freshly graduated student for the coming job hunting phase which can get challenging and the competitive nature of working life. Also, it boosts the intern’s confidence to face and overcome the challenges to come in their career.
- Job Opportunities: Great performance during an internship increases the chances of getting full-time employment opportunities in the same company for the intern. It adds great value to the cv as this chance eliminates the time gap between internship and full-time work creating an uninterrupted work experience for the individual. In case of no vacancies in the company, a recommendation letter can be awarded to the intern. It will be a very useful document for the intern to get employment elsewhere.
- Wider Network: Interns meet hundreds of individuals including colleagues, senior employees, partners, service providers, and clients during the internship. It builds a great networking opportunity for them which can be of great help in long term.
- Setting the Right Mindset: Work experience during an internship set the mindset of an individual right for a professional career. It creates the acceptance of changes, challenges, competition and the differences between academic and professional fields in young workers.
- An Experience for Lifetime: Internships, irrespective of paid and non-paid, provides the interns with an unforgettable learning cum working experience. On one side it gives the excitement of working and adding value to a business and on the other side, it allows learning immensely from experienced ones. As a result, an internship remains the cornerstone of an individual’s career, making establishing successful internship programs extremely essential.
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Advantages for Companies
- Fresh & Unique Talents to Discover: A lucrative internship program attracts talented freshers into a company from which the company gets unique talents that wouldn’t be discovered through traditional hiring. The increasing percentages of paid and non-paid internships converting into full-time employment show that the amount of company benefits generated by the trained interns is higher than by directly hired employees. It’s because the internship program lets the interns learn and get trained with company policies well and understand the exact expectations company holds of its interns. This way they become experts in channelising their productivity as per company requirements.
- Reduced Work Pressure in the Office: Appointing interns and employing them for short-term or easier tasks than critical ones can effectively reduce workload in the office and free up workspace for senior employees handling greater risks and complex tasks. This way a smooth workflow free from interruption can be achieved. Eventually, changes in errors in the overall work are reduced.
- Updated Skills: Young freshers are equipped with updated skillsets acquired from their educational background, the latest academic systems in which they completed their studies and updated syllabus that include more realistic technical and practical training than theoretical information. Also, they are well aware of social trends. They tend to possess an interest in the latest technology and tools and their usage and the latest tools for managing social media. These are added qualities necessary to keep the company updated.
- Cost-Effective Employee Training & Better Retention: Although companies need to expend a certain amount of money to conduct paid internships, the amount of money invested here is very low in amount compared to the outcome. Both Paid and non-paid internships ensure the completion of certain tasks at a minimal or no wage resulting in “Low-Cost Labour” which is profitable for any company. Furthermore, interns opting for paid internships mostly prefer to remain in the company for full-time employment creating better employee retention.
- Updation of Skills in Senior Staff: Through an internship program, senior employees get to polish up their management and leadership skills. By mentoring and managing the newly hired interns, the senior employees get to apply their lesser-used skillsets and learn new things from the young freshers.
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Fundamentals of Establishing Successful Internship Programs
We have discussed the necessity of great internship programs above. Now, let’s have a look into the aspects and practices that make an Internship Program successful and beneficial for all its stakeholders.
- Providing Relocation and/or Accommodation Assistance: Accommodation assistance for interns willing to relocate for the job is a very attractive aspect of an internship program. When providing accommodation is impossible, assistance in the best possible way to help find the interns suitable accommodation is equally appreciated.
- Set-Up List of Goals to be Achieved through the Program: Preparing a questionnaire to point out the expected achievements from the internship, details and requirements of the projects assigned to interns, hiring future, selection of mentor or supervisor etc. will run the entire program in a specific and well-defined way for best outcomes.
- Providing Real Work Experience: Interns should be provided with assignments related to their subjects of expertise in which they can apply their academic knowledge and skills acquired from university. The assignments given to interns should add value to the company. This way, interns will enjoy maximum job satisfaction and become more confident about their work.
- Encourage Constant Skills Development: Providing the interns with essential training for work-related and general skills development and information about relevant crash courses that might increase their employability is important. It will develop new skills and polish the existing ones and can be effectively used for company operations and the professional growth of interns.
- Define the Job Description Well: A well-defined job description with a manual in the form of a guidebook or website can be really helpful for freshers working for the first time and trying to put their best. The outcome will be specific, accurate and wholesome. It will also be helpful for the evaluation process after the completion of the internship program.
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- Collect Feedback: Conducting programs specially designed for collecting feedback from interns after the duration is very crucial. The feedback will help improve the design of the program and provide a better experience for the next batch of interns resulting in better outcomes.
- Flexibility in Work Schedule and Systems: Young students tend to take up internships during their last semester or pursue additional courses while they work as interns. Due to this, a flexible working schedule works best for them. Also, remote working, part-time working etc. are convenient options for many.
- Having an Internship Management System: Having an Internship Management System headed by a dedicated manager can conduct the entire process of the Internship Program smoothly without affecting the mainstream workflow of the office.
- Show Appreciation: Although interns need constant guidance and monitoring for work as they have no previous experience, showing appreciation for their work through different gestures is an essential feature. Also, showcasing work orns in the form of presentations or project work can encourage other interns to outgrow themselves.
- Follow the Law: A set of rules exists for internship programs that fall under the Labour Law. Irrespective of Paid and Non-paid Internships, the company should be well aware of the laws and follow the suggested rules. Intentional or unintentional breaching of these laws can put in high-priced litigation.
We hope, following the above-mentioned aspects, establishing successful internship programs will be easier!
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