So you’ve finally recruited your Impact Intern and they’re coming in next week! You have a list of things for them to do and a bunch of people you want them to meet but it isn’t all about what they can do for you. It is time for you to do your homework! Preparing for an intern isn’t difficult, it just takes a little bit of thought and planning. Remember you are trying to make the experience as beneficial as possible and an important step to that is being prepared.
Milaana tries to help you out with this and provides organisations with some handy support documents. These documents includes a full on-boarding checklist when the students are accepted, examples of forms you may need to create and a detailed template for you to fully scope out their project. Here are a few other handy hints that can help you to prepare for you Impact Intern:
1. Make sure you have meaningful tasks for them to do
Most of Milaana’s organisations are community not-for-profits who have a whole lot of tasks that they need help with. If this is you, then you probably need support just as much as interns need experience! The trick is to be clear on the tasks or projects that you want your intern to work on and try not to overload them. Don’t forget that Milaana provides an on-boarding checklist and a useful template for a project outline and timetable to help you out in this process. Thoroughly read the on-boarding checklist before they arrive and fill out a project outline and schedule. This will assist them in knowing what they have to do and when. It will also help you to prepare and get your head around some sort of game plan.
2. Communicate with your intern
Chances are they are going to be nervous about starting their internship, especially if it is their first one! They have probably also received an overload of information in your first few meetings and are having trouble deciphering it all. Help to alleviate the nerves and confusion by communicating with your intern! Don’t be vague with any of your directions and let them know exactly what you want or expect from them. Also try to build a solid relationship where they will feel comfortable discussing any issues they may be having.
3. Send a personal reminder
This goes hand in hand with communication. Send your intern a personal welcome message with the time and date of their first day. Don’t forget to include key information such as dress code and anything they may need to bring along with them!
4. Notify the office that an intern will be arriving
Send an email or have a chat alerting your colleagues that there will be a new face in the office. Tell them a little bit about the intern so that they can have a chat with them on their first day! Also identify any colleagues that might be able to work more closely with the intern. For example, a marketing student intern might want to work closely with the marketing department. Get this relationship rolling by talking to the marketing team about the new intern arrival.
5. Prepare a welcome packet
So you’re almost there! You have some work for them to do, you’ve communicated with them, sent them a reminder and you have notified the office. Now it is time to prepare for their first day! A good welcome packet should include a personal welcome note explaining why your organisation is happy to have them on board, a short overview of the organisation’s missions, values and strategy, an organisational chart, a directory of contacts, confidentiality of information and emergency and health/safety regulations. Email the welcome packet to the intern before their first day and then go over it and discuss it on their first day!
So that is how you prepare for an Impact Intern! Do you have projects that you need help with? Why not head to www.milaana.org and get into contact! Our Impact Interns are mighty helpful and could be exactly what you need!
The next post in our educational series will be talking about how to manage your Impact Intern. Do you have any questions that you would like answered? Well then comment below and start a conversation!