What Should Your Organization Consider Before Hosting Student Interns?

Understanding your organization's goals for hosting interns is a great first step in determining how you would like to structure your internship opportunity. Consider the following questions:

  • Are you a small organization searching for additional help on a project?

  • Is your organization growing quickly and having difficulty finding motivated new employees?

  • Are you a nonprofit that doesn’t have funding for a paid internship, but can still provide an interesting and rewarding experience?

  • Is your organization searching out new employees with management potential?

  • Are you looking for meaningful ways to partner and build relationships with local educational institutions and its students?

A careful discussion with management can create a consensus on program goals that can be understood by all involved. The program and internship can be designed to best meet those expectations. As many staffing professionals know, in order for a program to be successful, it will require the commitment of management.

Other Important Considerations:

Your organization’s approach will depend on your specific resources and needs. Think about the following questions and how they will shape internship opportunities at your company:

  • Will the intern be paid? If so, how much?

  • Where will you put the intern? Do you have adequate workspace for them?

  • What sort of academic background and experience do you want in an intern? Will the position be open to high school students too?

  • Who will have the primary responsibility for the intern? Will that person be a mentor or a supervisor?

  • What will the intern be doing? Be as specific as possible. Interns need structure so they don’t become lost, confused, or bored.

  • Will there be special training programs, performance reviews, lunches with executives, social events?

Keep in mind that your interns are walking advertisements for your company. If they have a good experience working for you, they are likely to tell their friends. This can be an excellent benefit, especially in a small community like Tillamook County where word-of-mouth is so important!

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