Thinking about starting an internship program? Wonderful! But before your company jumps into creating one, there are specific components to keep in mind in order to create a good, solid program. It’s important to make sure that you not only have the resources you need to start a program but also the right kind of personnel.
What makes a successful internship program? Consider the following criteria below:
Student centered. Remember that students sign up and are there to learn. Through this arrangement, the work environment is an extension of their classroom experience.
Learning Objectives. Learning objectives and duties of the students and employers must be clearly outlined before the beginning of the internship experience. Generally, a way to do this is through some sort of project that the student can focus on and get some practical experience.
Transferrable Skills. There must be transferrable skills and knowledge that could translate well into other work environments.
Duration. There must be a defined duration period for the internship and a job description. It’s important to factor where in the academic year you want your internship to take place, especially in consideration to a student’s academic or personal responsibilities.
Supervision. There must be a supervisor who has the background and expertise to provide routine feedback and direction. You want to make sure that you have the right person who can act as a helpful supervisor for your interns.
Compensation. Establish work schedule and pay rates or stipend ahead of time. Make sure that your company allocates sufficient funds for the duration of the internship.
Access to Company Support. Resources, equipment, and facilities must be provided by the company to support a safe learning environment.
If you feel like your company is in a good position to create an internship program, check out the next steps below to learn about the internship creation process at the University of Guam.
Internships can be mutually beneficial to both the students and employers.
Gain a set of experiences and skills that better prepare them for the job market.
Help develop future talent that could set up a successful transition into the company itself.
Acquire competency skills that make them more attractive candidates to recruiters.
Allow opportunities for current employees to develop leadership/mentorship skills.
Build their professional network and connections in the field.
Get the chance to project their public presence and branding into the community.
Get the chance to apply their knowledge and skills into a practical setting.
Gain access to a recruitment pool of effective and often enthusiastic students.
To understand the internship process from the employer’s side, refer to the image below.
Internships are traditionally unpaid. However, we encourage companies to consider providing paid internships where they can, whether through a wage or by providing a learning stipend. Depending on the student’s objectives for seeking an internship, companies may need to complete further paperwork and authorization.
When it comes to recruiting for internship programs, the Career Development Office has specific procedures to better track student success. Career Advising Specialists will work closely to set up this system and provide a basic overview to company personnel in charge of managing Handshake account.
Career Advising Specialists will coordinate with the company on the initial set up of Employer Profiles, Company Profiles, and Job Postings.
Career Advising Specialists will also coordinate with a designated company personnel who will oversee the Handshake account.
After brief training process, the specialist will gradually release Handshake responsibility to the company personnel.
Once company personnel is familiar and comfortable with the Handshake platform, Career Advising Specialist will step back into a support role.
“Not all interns, however, have had the luxury of experience and time, so it is good practice to choose key moments during the internship period to go over your thought process, soft skills, and technical skills. In short, get to the why.”