Across the nation, interns are gearing up to start internships at some pretty amazing companies for the summer. In turn, companies are preparing for their arrival.
If you’ve already secured and hired your interns for the summer, congratulations. However, chances are they aren’t starting for a few weeks. In order to maximize your internship program, here are some ways to get your incoming interns engaged early on.
Connect them up with a buddy or mentor via email Try to find someone at your company who is close in age to the incoming intern, went to the same university, or was a part of similar clubs and organizations. Have the employee reach out via email just to introduce themselves and say hello. Having an additional friendly face when the intern gets to the office will help them feel more comfortable during their initial days.
Put together a rough first-week agenda After putting together a rough first-week agenda, send it over to the intern so they know what to expect before starting their internship at your company. For some, this is their first experience in the working world and nerves are high. Help settle those nerves by adding an extra level of preparedness.
Plan some fun team building exercises Try to plan some fun activities for team building as well. Even just a lunch out of the office with colleagues they will be working with can be good to build rapport. Other activities you could include are a scavenger hunt of the local area, sporting event, game night (we’re big on ping pong here at Phenom People), or cooking class. Some cities have outdoor events for the summer like yoga or movies in the park.
Let your interns share their stories on social Once your interns start, a number of companies ask them to take part in social media to share their experiences. This helps to build an authentic brand, sharing what the company has done with prospective future interns. Stories of former interns who have created long-term careers with your company can inspire and show your interns what is possible for their future.
Here’s a great example from Comcast.
Or, this example from L’Oreal.
Ask for honest feedback, and allow interns to give it Throughout the summer, ask your interns to share what they like and don’t like about their experiences. Getting honest feedback will not only help you to pivot your program during the summer, but can help you in planning for the future.
When it’s all said and done, host a day of presentations As the summer comes to the end, you can host a day of presentations for the interns to share what they worked on with their internal colleagues. During this presentation, you give interns the opportunity to share what they learned, as well as giving them visibility to other areas of the business that their intern colleagues may have been exposed to. If you have these presentations in the last couple of weeks, you can give other interns the chance to ask questions of the other departments outside of their own – if they have interest.
If you haven’t secured your interns for this summer, don’t stress. Here are some tips if you are still looking to add to the internship team:
- Look for students who are able to stay on campus for the summer or those who are from the local area originally.
- See if you can find students who are taking summer classes but might want to also get work experience. If you can be flexible with their schedule, they will be happy to gain some real-world experience.
- When all else fails, reach out to career services. They might know of students who are still searching for positions or have resume books available.
What cool things do your interns get to experience at your company during the summer?