Prepping for the Summer Intern

intern name tagYou got approval to hire a summer intern! Yeah! Someone to do all the stuff you and your team haven’t been able to get to for months, right? WRONG! A summer intern is there to help, yes, but they are also there to learn, ask questions and have a true work experience –  not just do the filing for the whole company. How you prepare for your summer intern is critical to a successful program.

Think about your summer intern as a new employee just learning your business from the ground up. They should take part in a formal on-boarding process including company history, policies, procedures and a comprehensive tour of the facility. Make sure to introduce your interns to those who will be working around them. Help them feel comfortable and make sure they know who their “go-to” person is if they have any questions. A welcome note or company branded item will go a long way towards making your intern feel welcome and part of the team.

Summer interns are excited to work and want to prove themselves. They have no distractions to their work day – other than checking FaceBook and Instagram on their breaks – so they can finish projects and tasks quickly. Be prepared to have specific tasks and responsibilities for them to do.  Be prepared for on-the-job learning you want them to do. Have them read your company blog, view your social media presence, subscribe to your YouTube channel, read the company history story.

An intern is enthusiastic to learn and contribute to your workplace. But remember they’re young. Invite them to lunch with you and some co-workers, make sure they’re included in team meetings to learn about the big picture of what your company does. Give them a chance to interact outside your department and see your company culture. Solicit their input and feedback. And stay connected to them – check in often to see if they have questions and make sure they understand what’s expected of them.

All of these things will contribute to a great summer experience for you, your intern and help you create a culture of Raving Fans. The intern will be a fan and so will their parents-if the experience is a good one!

Do you have a summer internship program? Do you think being prepared makes a difference?

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