So you’re considering hiring an intern. Having interns in your business can be a great experience for both parties, if organised properly. People who take on internships are usually fresh out of university, or mature aged individuals looking for a change in career. Either way, they lack the necessary experience to walk into a paid position. Most creative jobs these days will hire multiple interns in their businesses because financially speaking, it’s a big commitment to hire an inexperienced individual. Every business can run a successful intern program as long as it’s not done because your company is money or time poor.

What you can get from an intern

–          Fresh ideas and point of view. Your new hire will most likely be young and completely green to the practical environment of the work. They might have studied it, but working in the industry is a totally different ball game. This gives them a unique point of view when it comes to the way things are done. You might have been using the same techniques for years and years, but your intern approaches it differently.

–          Someone who is great with all that new technology. We just assume that anyone younger than us will be an expert at gadgets and social media. It’s not entirely untrue, either. The younger generation do have a bigger social media presence in their personal lives than other demographics. They’ll come to your company and be the tech wizard you didn’t know you needed.

–          A bit of energy and inspiration. Whether they’re young or mature, a new face will always come into the fold with excitement and interest. That could be the kind of boost you need.

–          A future employee. Not just any future employee, but one that will know your business back to front and is someone you know who truly knows how to do their job and work hard.

What an intern gets from you

–          Experience. Very valuable experience. This is the main attraction of an internship. It’s incredibly difficult for a post-graduate or someone changing fields to obtain paid employment with no practical work history. Getting the chance to learn the ropes is incredibly valuable. If an intern is willing and able to work for free in order to get something for their resume, then they really want to work for you (or in your industry).

–          Networking opportunities. The people from their university classes would have had just as little experience as them, so how would they know the right people to network with?

The only way to have a successful internship program is if both parties put in the same amount of effort. Your intern will work hard for you, if you provide them a great structure. As with any employee, ensure they know exactly what tasks you need done, and how they need to be done. Regardless of whether the internship is paid or unpaid, treat them exactly the same as everyone on the payroll. Never forget that they are there for guidance, and you are their guide.