An internship is a monitored and interactive learning process designed to provide students with real-world experience related to their specific educational path / degree. The internship should consist of meaningful work that enhances the student’s classroom instruction and reinforces the accepted methodologies and theories of the profession. Without mentorship and instruction, the position is not an internship, but rather a part-time job.
Everyone knows the benefits of an internship to the student, but have you considered the numerous benefits to your corporation? Internships play a critical role in workforce development and can have a significant impact on workforce retention within the company.
- Recruiting & Retention: Internships are a great recruiting tool and provide an ongoing source of future employees. Internships are the most effective way to evaluate potential employees and determine their compatibility with the company and coworkers. Employers are able to avoid many hiring “mistakes” by interacting with the potential employee before they are hired.
- Cost Savings: Internships help reduce cost normally associated with recruitment and hiring. Companies are able to evaluate potential employees during the internship process and select only the most talented and highly capable, eliminating costs and risk associated with direct hires. You know what you’re getting before you commit.
- Productivity: Interns provide additional talent and allow employers to take advantage of short-term support for special projects. Interns can also help free up time for permanent employees, thus allowing them to focus on higher level tasks and projects.
- Creativity: Interns bring a new prospective and fresh ideas, especially to smaller companies or organizations. This is especially true in terms of technology; most interns are versed in the latest technology and can help “spruce up” the branding of a smaller company.
- Return on Investment: According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) survey, 67.7% of interns were offered fulltime positions following the completion of their internship and 35% of new college hires come from an internship program. More importantly, those college hires resulting from an internship are 40% more likely to stay with the company for five or more years.
- Support to the Student: Allows students to gain experience, develop skills, make connections, strengthen their resumes, learn about a field, and assess their interest and abilities. Regardless of your decision to hire the student after the internship is complete, the internship is a critical benefit to the student and ultimately to the community.
Well planned and managed internships provide long-term numerous benefits, both in terms of time and money.