It’s internship season again and if you are looking for ways to help your company become better, hiring an intern could be the answer. Here are a few benefits of hiring interns that might persuade you to start an internship program:
A Fresh, Outsider Perspective. As the saying goes, “sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.” Having someone looking in from the outside, and having that someone as part of your team (at least for the summer), can pay huge dividends. An intern’s point of view can give you a valuable glimpse of how customers, investors, and the public in general might see your company. They can also bring a breath of fresh air (or a jolt of awareness) when they challenge the prevailing “this is how we do things” mindset and open new and possibly better ways that the company can operate or brand itself.
Stress-Test Potential Superstars. While they make for a great extra pair of hands, or as a surge of zeitgeist energy, interns eventually become job-seekers. Your internship could be a valuable trial period when you and the student can test the waters, and could lead to something more. Internships can be a smart way to measure the potential of a student or recent graduate while in actual work conditions. You can put their skills and work ethic to the test, and may just discover a future, stellar hire.
Complete Deferred Tasks or Projects. Besides gaining meaningful work experience, one of the best things a student could hope for from an internship is accomplishing something they can use on their resume, add to their portfolio, or in future interviews. That being said, it’s a win-win to delegate an easy but relevant project that you have been wanting to do to a bright intern who will also leave knowing they accomplished something of relevance.
Get Tech Savvy with a Digital Native. We now have the first generation to have never lived without the almighty internet in the workplace. For a great majority of them, social media, computer programs, and iPads are as much of a given as electricity and indoor plumbing. With their help, get your tech up to speed and your social media on point, and maybe even get some pointers on apps that could help boost your productivity while lowering costs.
Cultivate Brand Champions. Internship and word of mouth can be a double-edged sword, but if your intern has a positive experience with you and your company, then you have gained a very valuable asset. In this age of consumer-generated marketing, individual, ‘human’ reviews are often more trusted than advertisements and other traditional marketing media. Making a fan out of your intern means an agile, visible advocate (see #2) endorsing you to their peers, friends and family members – free advertising through word of mouth!