IIE Internship Program - Intern Employers Resource Center
Make Interns a Part of the Organization
Give interns responsibilities and ensure they understand that people are counting on them. Discuss and clarify your expectations for them and what they hope to gain from the experience.
Integrate interns into the organizations; make them a part of the team; include them in company communication and meetings.
Communicate the importance of feedback by being open and approachable.
Apply the same feedback protocol for interns as full-time employees and ensure interns know that their feedback is valued.
Provide frequent consistent feedback, originated in goal-setting, and completed in their outcome evaluation.
Assign interns a supervisor and, if possible a mentor - someone they can go to who is more accessible and less intimidating than a director or supervisor.
Set Interns Up for Success!
Invest in their engagement. The beginning days of an internship are often its defining days. When interns are given their first tasks, they are being signaled what can be expected in the future. If they are given nothing or very little to do, it sends a message that this job will be easy — and boring. Interns don’t want that, and of course, neither do employers.
The internship program will likely be the single most important influence on an intern’s impression of their employer, and thus the chances that he or she will come back or choose to work with them in the future.
The sooner and more interns understand what an organization does, it’s goals and strategy, and how it operates, the sooner they can assume assigned responsibilities, become productive, and operate more independently.
Some things to consider, to the extent possible and depending on the size of the organization, during a student’s internship experience:
Work with the intern to create objectives or goals, set expectations. and give points for future feedback.
Take interns on a tour of the facilities and introduce them to other employees.
Give interns company materials to read such as newsletters, annual reports, organization charts, or emails or memos.
Encourage interns to spend breaks and lunches in places where employees gather.
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings or “check-ins” to give and receive feedback.
Give interns opportunities to observe or participate in professional meetings.
Allow and encourage interns to have discussions with company personnel.
Encourage interns to walk around and observe others at work.
Monitor Intern Progress!
Supervise: Interns need a designated supervisor for their internship term. Intern supervisors use all the skills necessary in any effective supervisory relationship: leadership, motivation, delegation, communication, development, training, and evaluation.
Mentor: Students need a mentor, if possible, who will be accessible and approachable. Since the internship is an extension of the learning process, having a mentor provides opportunities to bridge the two experiences. Meeting with interns regularly provides an opportunity to receive as well as provide feedback. During these meetings, students can report on the status of projects, ask questions, learn how work contributes to the organization, participate in an evaluation of their strengths, discuss areas needing growth/development, and get a sense of what kind of work lies ahead.
Explain: Circumstances and needs will change, particularly in startup organizations. Being flexible and pivoting as necessary are realities and important lessons for interns. However, explaining this in advance and when things change can make for greater understanding, accepting, and adapting on the part of the intern.
Evaluate: Take time to give constructive feedback to interns. Evaluation provides an opportunity to coach, counsel, and reinforce positive attitudes and performanceEncourage: Help interns keep notes and, if appropriate and possible, a portfolio of work accomplished during the experience. This provides a sense of accomplishment and a basis to discuss intern professional growth.
Candidate Review and Selection
Contact the IIE program director at 307 766-2681 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the program.
IIE will contact you with decisions and recommendations.
Revise the position description as recommended.
Review candidate resumes and identify to the program director those you wish to interview
Interview the candidates (in person if possible or via Zoom).
Provide your hiring decision and offer and feedback (including for candidates to which you do not offer a position, if possible) to the program director. The offer should include
Start date and end date
Mentor (if different than the supervisor)
Plan and arrange for intern first day:
Orientation and familiarization
Explanation of relationships with supervisor and mentor (if different)
Outline of duties and responsibilities in general
Assign first task
Meet frequently (no less frequently than every two weeks) with the intern to review progress and results and to both provide and receive feedback. These meetings do not need to be elaborate or long. But they should be frank, constructive, and mutual.
Sign the intern’s timesheet at the end of each calendar month.
Complete and review with the intern an interim progress report using the Progress Review and Report form in time for the intern to gain some level of confidence and the opportunity to improve performance, in any case, no later than the midpoint of the internship. Ask the intern for any feedback, in particular any opportunities for greater learning, experience, or support for improved performance. Email a copy to the program director.
Conduct an exit interview with the intern. Complete and review with the intern a final progress report using the Progress Review and Report form. Email a copy to the program director.