As a recent college graduate, my internship experiences are still very fresh in my mind. The summer after my sophomore year of college, I had my first marketing internship before I had even taken my first marketing class in school. I knew absolutely nothing on my first day – I didn’t even know what the term “C-level” meant or how I was supposed to go about “scrubbing” a list! On the last day of that internship, however, I walked out feeling like I had taken ten classes all at once.
School will be back in session soon and, although you may not be walking around with what feels like five hundred pounds of books crammed into your backpack anymore, there are ways that you can utilize interns to not only lighten your own personal load but also to give them an experience that will prove valuable for their professional careers. Here are reasons why you should take your company “back to school”:
• They want to help. Interns will fervently approach any project or task because they want to learn more about what they’ve studied, and it will benefit your company’s productivity.
• They know way more about technology and social media than you probably do. While creating a company Facebook or Twitter page may seem daunting to you, an intern who spends a large majority of their time on those sites every day will probably find the task to be easy and entertaining. They are “in the know” when it comes to trends, useful technology tools and even working magic on your complicated Excel spreadsheets.
• They approach work differently. Since an intern will not be familiar with the ins and outs of your company, they will ask a lot of questions and approach their work with a fresh perspective. They may find ways to expedite a long and complicated process or may offer great suggestions that you would never have thought of before.
• They are inexpensive. Let’s face it: Interns will perform most tasks for a low pay simply because they need the experience. While the majority of the intern’s work may be administrative, remember to include them on a few projects that relate to their field of study.
• They change your work environment. Interns are young, courteous and eager to impress. The extra spark of energy that they bring to the office fosters a positive work environment. Plus, who doesn’t love that great feeling when you get to help someone out?
If you are looking for a free or relatively inexpensive way of gaining an outside perspective on your business, its marketing effectiveness or how to better improve a business plan, you can also benefit from contacting the business school of any local university to see if you can work with students on a class project. This is often more beneficial for companies who do not necessarily need an intern but would like to either gain assistance in a particular project or receive information, such as consumer survey data, at lower costs than hiring an outside resource.
So, this school year, try something new and hire an intern! You will help them to get to the top of their class, and they will help you to get to the top of your success.