Top Tips for Improving Your Internship Management

By Aaron Swartz on June 10, 2022

Internships have become more and more common in the last few years, and it’s no wonder why! Interns are a great way to expand your business, attract new hires, and find great new people to add to your permanent staff. However, internships have their own unique hurdles, and it can be difficult to even know where to start. Here are a few tips for managing interns to make sure your new hires are eager to be a part of your business.

via Pixabay


Plan their responsibilities

It might seem simple but don’t undersell it: know what you want your interns to do. Some internships place interns right in the thick of it immediately, learning on the job and getting some excellent work experience. Others take a more passive approach, spending more time watching how business is carried out and later involving interns in smaller ways. These are both great options, but make sure you know what you want interns to be doing in your business. Define their responsibilities, and plan what you do and don’t want your interns involved with. Make sure your interns know what their job involves too. The better informed they are the smoother the internship will run.

Have an orientation

The first day on the job is always stressful no matter what your background or experience, but it’s doubly so for interns. Running some kind of orientation is a great way to start getting your interns settled in and comfortable in their new roles; it’s a chance for them to meet the staff they’ll be working with, as well as other interns in the same position, which can be a great way to foster community and build bonds. Lay out their responsibilities, the goals you have for your business and for interns specifically, and how they fit into the larger scope of the company. It’s honestly pretty simple: make sure your interns are oriented and ready to get started.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

It is impossible to stress how important communication is in the workplace, and for internships, it’s just as crucial, if not more so! Many interns will be stepping into your field for the first time, or maybe into the workforce as a whole. They’ll have questions and it’s your job to answer them. Make sure interns have a way to contact you, or know who to reach out to if they have a question. Welcome them at the start of their internship and wish them well at the end. Being communicative with your interns will mean they’re better informed on how to do their jobs and will be able to do their jobs better, so be open and reach out proactively.

Ask questions

Your interns aren’t the only ones who should have questions: you should too! Talking to individual interns and finding out where they need assistance can help them get settled in and comfortable at your company. On a larger scale, getting feedback from your interns is a simple and effective way to improve your internship program and your business as a whole, creating a better working environment and an internship program people will be clamoring to enter.

Provide reference documents

Your mileage will vary depending on the work you do, but reference documents are an incredibly useful tool for your interns. Basic informational documents — such as company guidelines and best practices — are important to make available to your interns, if for no other reason than you have a place to point them if they have any questions. However, you can also use reference documents to give interns basic training information, important contacts, and tasks to complete. Furthermore, if your interns are dealing with writing, providing them with sample documents and writing guidelines can help them learn what the standards for written work in your organization are without forcing them to fumble around in the dark. A good set of documents can work wonders for your interns’ experience.

Consider a mentorship model

There are many different ways to conduct a successful internship, but one model worth considering is the mentorship model. In this form of internship, interns are paired directly with senior staff, who provide guidance, answer questions, and help guide interns during their tenure with your company. Mentors can be incredibly helpful for interns, and they can also help improve the quality of work they output, making it a positive experience for you too. The downside is that this method is much more hands-on and requires a more significant time investment than other models of internship. Whether or not you decide the mentorship model is right for you, it’s at least worth considering.

Foster a community

Humans are social creatures. We like to interact with others, be involved, and feel included. Some internship programs keep interns largely separate from the rest of the company, which leads to a lackluster experience for interns. Instead, try incorporating your interns into the business as a whole. Involving them in the community will make them more eager to continue to work for you and they’ll be more confident in asking for what they need.

Interns have a lot to offer you, and you have a lot to offer them. With these tips, you should be able to provide a great experience for your interns all while reaping the benefits of including an internship program in your business.

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