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Summer Interns Make $ense! May 10, 2007

Posted by David Dirks in Summer Interns.

dirksphoto.jpgOne thing many of the Big Dogz do is find top notch and inexpensive new talent. Of course, they do this do that they can identify potential new hires well before graduation day. The better Big Dogz find ways to make their summer interns productive and profitable by assigning them meaningful projects and work assignments.

You should be tapping into this resource as well. Want to get your finances organized better than they are today (you know how you like to keep you finances current…ugg!)? Want some extra thinking on some creative projects that have been languishing around the office or store? Your resource and solution is not far from your place of business.

Do you have a community college nearby? Four-year university? Then you have a way to tap into some excellent talent who can really help you improve your business.

There are a couple of things you’ll need to do in order to make the experience rewarding for both you and your intern.

1. Check with your local colleges and see what internship programs are already being offered by local businesses. Find out how the college/university helps to promote summer internships and promote them on campus.

2. Give you summer intern some really meaty things to work on. Don’t expect them to be too motivated if your only wish is to have them do filing and clean the bathrooms. Interns will be attracted to your posting if they know that they’ll be able to really gain some valuable work experience.

3. Match projects and work assignments to their college interests. Hiring a marketing major to work on projects that are not even remotely connected to marketing is a waste of your time and theirs. Finance majors might be interested in working on a new bookkeeping system for you rather than something unrelated. Take advantage of that college education that someone else is paying for!

4. Interview all candidates carefully and fully. Make sure that you are hiring the one(s) who have the best aptitude

5. Don’t be cheap and pay them competitively. While hiring an intern is generally less expensive than hiring someone and paying him or her benefits, etc., don’t cheap out on the summer wage. Not only are they working for the experience, but they need the money too!

6. Make your intern feel special during their time with you. Take them out to lunch once in a while and be sure to celebrate their successes as they complete work assignments. You may want them back the next summer and a great work experience will make them eager to come back again.

Creating valuable work experiences for talented college interns is a great way to enhance our business without spending a fortune on talent.