There are many reasons people seek internship opportunities and unlike popular belief, are available to people of all ages and experiences. They offer great benefits to both the employer and the internee. Creating and implementing an internship program can open numerous doors to your business including increased employee retention, quality candidate pools, increase productivity and presence, and foster leadership skills, just to name a few.
Gain work experience.
While internships aren’t necessarily age-restricted, they typically target recent college graduates. In doing so, college graduates are able to establish skills that help set them apart from other potential candidates. Internships are resume builders for those either just entering the workforce or perhaps looking to start a new career path.
Internships provide invaluable hands-on experience that cannot be taught in a classroom setting or textbook. Internships expose the day-to-day operations and expectations of roles within their respective field. While learning job-specific skills, other mobile skills like communication, teamwork, and computer proficiency can be beneficial upon entrance into the workforce post-graduation.
In the process of being groomed for the field, internees typically receive feedback from supervisors and other established industry professionals that can assist in developing and refining skills. They are also great resources for invaluable lessons and wisdom for making the most of the internship experience. Between the feedback received and hands-on training, internships allow internees to experiment and gain confidence in their abilities.
Chance to explore.
Internships provide a platform for college students who wish to explore a different career path, gain an understanding of their field of interest, and determine if they wish to pursue that career path. This can lend confidence in a student wavering between two fields in their decision. It can also provide exposure to potential problems or shortcomings of the field that they may not have expected or discovered until they entered the field.
A great reason to implement internships is the chance to network and connect with established professionals in the field. Networking with people in the field can open doors to future employment and advancement in the field. For example, if a college graduate’s greatest aspiration is to be a project manager, attending network events, such as seminars and business expos for related fields would be beneficial for the college graduate. It could present an internship opening or other advancements, such as a connection and developing a relationship with an established and/or leading industry professional could be a foot in the door for a full-time position. Nurturing the connections made through networking during an internship is critical for future prospects in the field.
Not all internships are paid, but for the ones that are, can serve a dual purpose. College graduates are typically eager and willing to work for lower wages to grow their professional repertoire. For example, the 2019 national average wage for interns was about $19, whereas the average wage for full-time employees was about $27. Paid internships offer greater incentives for internees to take advantage of the opportunity and earn money (or extra spending money) while building skillsets and knowledge. Internship programs could offer a higher quality candidate pool to choose from.
Internships can also lead to a potential job offer. Most employers utilize internships as a means of both grooming future employees, as well as trial runs for future employment openings. It can save them money and time they would spend in training. However, even though a job offer isn’t guaranteed, impressionable interns could receive an offer at a later time or their experience obtained with internship company could lead to employment prospects at other companies.
Benefits of an Internship Program
Increase presence and productivity.
Creating an internship program is a mutually beneficial relationship between an inexperienced individual looking for ways to build their skills and knowledge, as well as connect with professionals in their desired industries, and the employer looking to groom a future employee and offer resources to aid the growing talent pool. An internship program can also create a stronger presence within the communities you serve. For example, local colleges and universities may look to you as a competitive internship and as a result may garner more interest from prospective employees or clients. It showcases your dedication to both serving your community with invaluable products and services, as well as your commitment to aiding college graduates.
With current students and recent college graduates filling internship roles, you can test technology solutions as many will be tech savvy and eager to provide any insight that might improve them. Another forward-thinking solution internship programs can offer is fostering leadership. Many people who lead the internship programs need leadership skills to provide all the facets of resources needed in internships. For example, an employee can mentor the intern and thus gain leadership skills through feedback from both the intern and company leaders to improve future processes.
Through implementing an internship program, you’re offering students and young professionals the opportunity to gain experience in their field(s) of interest. This can help close the skills gap for particular fields that may lack quality candidate pools. In bringing in younger generations, interns can provide ways to build social media presence and lend perspective on outdated or ineffective business models and strategies for landing prospective clients. Internships can create new avenues of conducting business, as well as ensuring you stay competitive in your respective industry.
With all the advantages internships can provide, you definitely do not want to miss out on what it can bring to your company. Eager to incorporate an internship program, but not sure where to start? Harbor America specializes in PEO solutions such as human resources management, which can include onboarding, compliance, employee handbook development and more. We value our community and understand the impact an internship program can offer. Call Harbor America today to discuss ways we can help you give back to yours.