Beginning an Internship Program

Andrew E. Schwartz

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CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR INTERN: Specify the number of hours the intern will be needed each week. Will specific hours be adhered to, or will the schedule be more flexible? Applicants want to know up front what they will be paid, if anything. At this point specify whether the intern will be paid by project, by the hour, a stipend, or not at all. Remember that internships which at least offer a stipend will attract more qualified individuals.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR AN INTERN: Responsibilities might include outcomes that may not be apparent at first glance. For example, an intern working in a real estate office may not realize that the computer experience he or she will be getting will be helpful in a later job search. Requirements are your best opportunity to narrow down the field of prospective applicants to what you are looking for. You may want to include a required or preferred background, organizational abilities, any necessary experience, or office skills. Try not to be too selective in asking for experience - that’s what you are there for.

HOW TO APPLY TO AN INTERNSHIP: The application is where you give the necessary information on how and where to apply. Include an address and a telephone number, and whether you will be requiring a resume and a cover letter. Many managers find it is effective to conduct an initial screening by telephone. This enables them to determine if there is a possibility of a good match between the needs of their organization and the applicant’s goals. Candidates who remain then participate in in-person interviews focusing on the intern’s interest, expectations and skills. Each intern’s abilities and requirements will be different, and depending on the individual candidates and the amount of effort and time one is willing to put in, provisions may need to be made to accommodate them. A verbal contract with the intern before the beginning of the internship is the least that should be done. Some managers may prefer a written contract.

Copyright AE Schwartz & Associates All rights reserved. For a free site to look for interns seeking internships: Internships4You and for a Free listing as a Trainer, Consultant, Speaker, Vendor/Organization: TrainingConsortium

CEO, A. E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA. , a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.


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