You Have Your Summer Interns Picked Out – Now What?

How Summer Interns Can Pack a Powerful Punch in Your Organization’s Growth

Summer is coming - and with it, a new crop of interns eager to join your organization. You’ve conducted the interviews, selected the candidates - now what?

The surface benefits are clear: free - or fairly cheap - college-educated labor you can use in several ways to suit your needs or larger organizational goals, a defined ‘test-drive’ period with no obligation or commitment, and the opportunity to mold the next generation of professionals in your industry.

But what other, larger advantages can a strong internship program bring you?

  • Fresh, Outsider Perspective. Summer Interns by definition are outsiders, not bound by the same restraints, obligations, or even fears that full-time employees are. This provides you, the employer with a unique opportunity to glean valuable feedback to challenge old-fashioned or heavily-entrenched, yet inefficient processes and attitudes to drive greater organizational impact and boosted morale.
  • A New Generation of Talent. Leveraging your internship talent is a fantastic way to gauge the interests, potential, and future growth opportunities of the next generation of professionals in your industry. It’s important to connect with them regularly, engage them, and have candid conversations about their interests, what they love (or don’t) about what they are doing - and how higher management can help them grow.
  • Create Brand Ambassadors! One of the best ways to spread positive word about your company and its work is to hire - and cultivate - interns. Their positive experience working with your teams will lead to powerful first-hand impressions and testimonials that they will share with friends and on their social media networks. Here, while the positive power of this is obvious, it’s important to consider the opposite - ensuring interns are exposed to positive experiences vs. negative ones they will share just as readily.

Summer interns are truly a gold-mine of opportunity and potential for you as an employer, and your larger organization. While most of the dialogue tends to center on the perspective and goals of the intern themselves, the benefits and impacts to you are clear - and often even more far-reaching. Build a strong internship program with enticing responsibilities is the first step to attracting the great talent necessary to maximizing the value you derive from your interns - and summer is a fantastic time to start!

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