Cultivating the next crop of business professionals is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Not only can you work side-by-side with interns to equip them with the skills they need be successful in your industry, but your business can reap many rewards as well. From identifying new employees to increased productivity with the additional manpower, a college internship program is a solid investment for almost any business.
Most interns arrive at a company with little work-related experience under their belt, but this gives a company a great opportunity to raise the business world’s future talent. Companies can educate, grow, and mold interns to ultimately retain them as their own employees someday.
What is an Internship Program?
A college internship program is an official program offered by an employer to potential employees, usually those within their junior or senior year of college. Interns work either part time or full time at a business for a specific period of time. Internships are most popular with undergraduate students who work between one to four months to gain relevant and practical related experience.
4 Benefits of a College Internship Program
While there are many benefits, here are four that make a big difference: retaining talent, diversity among team members, knowledge of technology, and the opportunity to grow your brand.
1. Ability to Build and Retain Talent.
Internships can be a valuable “testing period” between a business and a student. Throughout an internship experience, interns will begin understanding how the business runs, develop skills to perform their duties, and connect how their duties support the company. If the intern leaves a positive impression and makes themselves of value to the company, the employer may consider hiring on this intern full-time upon graduation. The intern will already be trained according to the company’s expectations, which gives them a potential advantage over external candidates. If the intern does not work out within a specific department, that’s okay too
Although it’s not a requirement that you extend a permanent position to the intern, it is something to strongly consider. If you do not retain the “star” talent yourself, they will take their talents elsewhere—possibly your competition.
2. Provide Diversified Creativity, Perspectives, and Visions
Just like any new employee, interns bring fresh ideas, an alternative perspective, and their own unique vision to a company. Interns can bring new ideas and concepts from their coursework into the office. It’s possible they have learned a modern, innovative way of completing a task that could improve procedures in your business. An intern’s youthful energy can bring a freshness to the working environment that was once lacking.
3. Furnish Increased Knowledge of Technology
Along with education and high energy, interns can bring their own uses of technology to the table. The upcoming generation of students are known for their tech-savvy skills. They’re quick learners and are willing to self-educate by trying out unique approaches and leveraging resources. They know the upcoming trends, especially those related to social media, and will use technology to their advantage.
4. Advocate for Your Business
Whether or not a business intends on their interns spreading the word about their company, it will happen regardless. Securing an internship is something to be proud of and is exciting, which results in interns wanting to be vocal about their professional experiences with family, friends, classmates, and on social media platforms.
Interns are a great way to show that your business is willing to put company dollars towards rising talent, which will encourage more talented prospects to apply to the company. Job seekers are excited to see companies that value development and growth.
So, along with interns being employed for minimal cost, they also provide the business with free advertising. Interns enjoy talking about what they are doing at their job within their college course discussions, with families, friends, and online. Although they may not be in a role of authority, interns do have a voice. Companies should try to ensure that interns are satisfied with their role and that they are having a positive experience. When others hear of an intern’s experience at a business, that brand name will garner more awareness and be more likely to stand out from the crowd. As an employer, do all that you can to ensure interns will recognize your business in a positive way.
The Value of a College Internship Program
- In 2017, The Wisconsin School of Business reported that 90% of BBA graduates completed at least one internship.
- According to data from The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 53% of students reported that they received a job offer because of an internship in 2017.
When selecting intern candidates, look for like-minded students in their junior year of college. A potential intern needs to be resourceful, customer-focused, motivated and adept at professional communications.