The beginning of the new year is always a good time to start planning for summer internships for college students. Local colleges are planning recruitment or career days to put companies and students together. Students are contacting companies on their own to inquire about summer internship opportunities. As many college students finish their semester studies as early as the end of April, it’s never too early to plan your strategy.
In fact, Walsh College, Troy campus, is hosting The 2017 Internship Connection on Wednesday, February 8 from 4-6 p.m. Employers can register by calling 248.823.1237.
Internships can be a win-win situation for companies and college students but beware the pitfalls. Read our timely blog “The Intern, Students in the Workforce and You.”
Start Planning Now
Among the questions to consider when planning your internship strategy:
- Is it a good fit? Which student majors/minors and career goals would align best with your business?
- Have you figured out the details: internship duration dates, hours, potential pay (see our blog “The Intern: To Pay or Not”) assigned mentor(s), appropriate workspace and access to office resources, communication access (email/social media)?
- Have you consulted the legal requirements for interns? Review DOL’s Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Also known as the “Intern Fact Sheet,” it is a list of six criteria employers can use to “test” whether or not their intern should be covered under FLSA and considered an employee.
- Will the intern spend time in various departments/locations of your company? Who will coordinate the schedule? Who will make introductions? How will you encourage staff interaction?
- Do you have any perks that might make your internship stand out from others?
- To avoid wasting everyone’s time, which tasks would be important for the intern to learn and which tasks will help you the most? Which regularly scheduled meetings would be useful for the intern to observe? Develop a detailed scope of work.
- Will staff members attend events or webinars during the internship that would be informative for the intern to also attend? (Register soon).
- How will the intern communicate with a mentor/supervisor or other managers? How often, when, where, etc.? How will feedback be offered and received and how will evaluations be structured?
- Are there any plans beyond the internship, should the intern prove to be a valuable asset for potential future employment?
Start now to build your strategy for a successful summer internship.
Have you had experiences with summer internships? What else would you add to this list?