So much of the information on intern relationships is focused on what organisations are looking for in an intern but we presume you have a good idea of that already. Milaana believes Impact Interns have so much to offer your organisation but are also expecting a little bit of reward back. Here is what Impact Interns are really looking for from your organisation…
1. Real world experience that is a match for their degree and career objectives
Smart students want that little bit extra than a degree. They want to prove that they know more than the theory so when looking for an internship, students want to put those key required skills to good use! When applying for internships students are anticipating a boost in their experience and skills, ultimately giving a wonderful face lift to their CV. As an organisation, you can’t be a match to every degree and profession. Think about the skills that you are offering your interns and how they might relate to their degree. This might also help you to decide the type of students you are after. For example, knowing that you specifically want a graphic design student is helpful when you are promoting the position. Also always think about how you can help add value to their experience? What other skills and tasks can you give your Impact Intern to help them gain experience?
2. Responsibility and meaningful work
Give your intern just the slightest bit of responsibility and watch them go full steam ahead! Impact Interns love working on meaningful tasks and will go above and beyond to prove that they can do it . So don’t hold back and don’t underestimate their potential! It also doesn’t hurt to give your interns the room to experiment with different ideas, letting them decide what works and what doesn’t work. After all, isn’t this how we learn? Also be sure to assign a set of deliverables to your intern so that by the end of their time with your organisation, they have something to show for their efforts.
3. An increased network of colleagues and the chance to be part of a team
Students understand how important it is to know people and to have contacts in their industry. They see internships as the perfect environment to establish these networks.
A good intern will thrive when they are treated as a real part of the team because after all, they ARE a real part of the team! Never exclude an intern or make them feel like they aren’t an important part of the work environment. Encourage them to build relationships with people within your organisation by including them in team meetings and social events and keeping contact once the internship is over. Tips for doing this include adding your intern to your LinkedIn profile, writing them a recommendation or agreeing to be a referee for their CV.
4. Supervisor support and mentoring
Interns are very likely to be feeling a little overwhelmed when they first start at your organisation but with a little support your interns will become confident in no time! Try to create a comfortable environment where your intern feels confident enough to express any ideas or concerns they might have. If an intern is having trouble, provide as much support as possible.
When working with Milaana to hire an Impact Intern, we will provide as much information as we can to help you to support your intern. This includes a very handy on-boarding checklist that outlines a variety of things you can do to help be a mentor to your Impact Intern.
This could be as simple as preparing a ‘Welcome Packet’ for when the intern arrives at your organisation or completing a ‘Weekly Update of Process’ as the internship progresses. Remember the main aim of the relationship is to facilitate learning.
5. Good sense of direction
The role of a supervisor also involves assigning tasks and providing week-to-week direction to the intern. These tasks should include a number of assigned deliverables that the intern must turn in on a specific date. A deliverable is a tangible document that you can clearly identify, describe and evaluate. This helps to outline and emphasise the main tasks that the intern should be focusing on as well as allowing the intern to make a significant contribution to your organisation. Providing a good sense of direction is much more than telling an intern what to do and also involves support and encouragement. The amount of direction and support you can provide your intern will greatly impact the quality of their work.
6. Working for a cause that they care about
The president and CEO of Change.org recently spoke about the importance of meaningful work in an interview with Renegade Collective. She said “One key lesson is that regardless of where people work, whether it’s at a non-profit, a tech start-up or something in between, chances are they share a common desire to do something meaningful”. This is especially true for Gen Y interns who are attracted to jobs tied largely to community and looking to ‘do well and do good’. If you are working with Milaana, then chances are you are already well equipped to provide students the opportunity to work for a cause that they care about.