Traditionally internships are known to be a path towards graduating college. A sometimes-arduous semester of work at a company is intended to teach you some valuable skills that you will use in a paid job someday. Essentially, for many students it’s a 12-to-16 hour week slave labor program where companies put kids to work for nothing. It’s free labor for companies, but the catch is that many companies are actually doing the entire internship thing all wrong. What are they doing wrong? In many cases, it turns out a lot of things!
Organizations Often Don’t Employ Interns Properly:
Interns can often be helpful to companies and help boost the company’s productivity. Interns offer a supply of “fresh blood” to the office workplace. These fresh minds also provide fresh ideas that the company may not have thought of with just their traditional employees in the workplace.
These ideas can be priceless in helping move companies forward, and helping them develop new ideas to keep the company fresh and thriving well into the future. So, allow your internship employees some creative say in things, and in return you may get some ideas that no one else at the company ever thought of. This may help the company move forward in new, positive, and creative directions.
Lack of Challenges Can Make Internships Feel Like a Joke:
The biggest complaints many students cite in their internships is that it’s boring, monotonous entry-level work. The employers offer the intern no challenges and don’t really let them grow in their role. It’s the same redundant entry-level work day after day without much change in the job. It’s more than boring and monotonous, after a while many students feel demeaned and just plain bored. They quit putting their best effort forward because nothing changes and they are getting nowhere in learning something new or moving towards a paid position. Once an intern has lost motivation and no longer feels a desire to work hard, it’s very difficult to bring that desire back. At this point, the company has probably lost all hope of getting that employee to be productive again.
Interns Are Not Coffee-Fetching Document-Scanners:
We have all heard the stigma of the unpaid intern who waits on the boss’s every beck and call. The intern that is kept around for nothing more than fetching the boss’s coffee and scanning his documents is long gone. Interns today require and desire meaningful work that makes a difference within the company. Interns want a chance to learn and grow within their role so that when they get full-time jobs they can grow and help the company improve with the skills they acquired. If students are not learning and growing during their internships, then they are not developing much of anything to help them later in their careers. Give your interns some responsibilities and meaningful tasks, and you will be amazed how much they improve and help the company in return.
Proper Utilization of Interns:
Tasks that interns often state wanting the most are tasks that have meaning and involve some ever-growing level of responsibility. Interns want a place in office meetings such as for brainstorming. Their presence and participation encourages them to provide feedback on the products and services that the company is offering. Seeing them as part of the team and valuing their opinions is going to reward your company.
Interns want to be a valued part of your team, not just someone kept around to do menial, repetitive tasks all day long. Giving interns some responsibilities and stake in the game can help them be motivated to work harder. It means you get more out of them in return as well. An investment in quality interns is an investment back in yourself!
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