MayeCreate interns Carley Hummel and Allison Spence.
Interns are a staple in the MayeCreate company culture. I find myself encouraging more and more of my clients to hire an intern to help with their marketing efforts. Though many are leery, not knowing where to find an intern with the necessary skills and interests or which tasks interns are capable of handling.
- Make sure your intern’s work area is ready when he or she arrives for work.
- Example: If you plan on providing a desk for your new intern, then make sure it is cleared off and prepped for their work with office supplies.
- List out intern tasks and responsibilities.
- Example: Tasks and responsibilities can include filing, beta testing, social media maintenance, blog writing, analyze and compile data, research, etc.
- Create process documents or training videos to clearly explain the tasks at hand. This makes onboarding go much faster.
- Example: Here at MayeCreate, we have a process document for everything, from how to write a blog post to taking a website live.
- Have interns set goals and share expectations of what he or she wants to gain from the internship and, then set your goals and share expectations for the interns.
- Example: If your goal for interns is to establish an online presence for a social media account, then share that with them right off of the bat! It is also nice to be aware of what your interns would like to accomplish during their internship.
- Make sure new hires understand the office environment and everyone’s roles.
- Example: Beginning an internship in a new environment can be a bit intimidating; give them a tour of your office and introduce them to the other employees.
- Check in early and often, even micromanage a bit more than a normal employee at first, remember he or she is settling into the workforce.
- Example: Walk hand in hand through one of the intern’s responsibilities, that way they will know exactly what you expect from them.
- Train on how to manage day-to-day activities. Attending school, juggling a part-time job and homework still doesn’t prepare people to manage their day in an office.
- Example: Provide your intern with a desk calendar or a pocket planner and demonstrate how he or she should schedule tasks and meetings.
- Anticipate a learning curve, point out the things your intern does well and areas for improvement.
- Example: The first couple of assignments from your interns will be rough, but after you give them constructive criticism, they will produce better work that is more pleasing to your liking.
- Keep daily tasks or projects specific. Try not to make them juggle as much as a full time employee. Your intern’s time is limited and it’s likely he or she doesn’t have a fully developed skill set for problem solving in your work environment. Those skills build with experience.
- Example: Don’t ask for an article about the Olympics when you really want an article about the U.S. Olympic standing in the overall medal count.
- When hiring for school year interns consider on-boarding during the summer when they have less distractions and keep them on throughout the school year.
- Example: Students are typically free in the summer in comparison to 15 hours of school work during the semesters, therefore summers are great for training.
Supervising an intern is the key to a successful internship for both you and the student. If given proper guidance, interns can be an exceptional addition to your workforce, bringing problem solving skills, completing work around the office and even generating new ideas.