Create an Outstanding Internship

First things first: create a well-developed position description.
When developing a successful internship opportunity, companies should thoughtfully consider what will be included in the position description itself. Information about the company, the duties the intern will be expected to perform and any specific skill requirements will ensure that both the intern and the employer have a meaningful experience. An upfront investment of time and energy in creating a well-developed position description is worth it.

Check out five mini case studies of intern experiences and what managers can learn from them in Do Interns Take Lunch Breaks, too? Also, take advantage of the resources offered by Intern Bridge, a collection of nationally recognized experts helping to create exceptional new internships and improve existing internships throughout the country.

Evaluating Student Resumes »
Sample Interview Questions »

Don’t be afraid to THINK BIG when determining what an intern can do for you.
Let's say your time is worth $100 an hour. Consider all the $10 to $12 an hour tasks or projects that demand your attention, that must be done, but that get in the way of what you really need to be focusing on. Do you have lots of great plans for the future but you can't get your attention away from the day-to-day tasks that keep your organizations "lights on and doors open?" When formulating what an intern can do for you, keep in mind that these energetic, educated, young people are great for those smaller projects (not stuffing envelopes and making coffee!) that take up all your time.

The best internships have these characteristics:

  • Offers relevant experience in the student's chosen field.
  • Encourages the intern to initiate projects, ask questions, absorb information and provide feedback as part of their learning experience.
  • Create an internship job description that is structured to simulate an actual job.
  • Assigns an employee-mentor to the intern.
  • Considers assigning a large project as a part of the internship experience.
  • Involves the intern in meetings, lunches and other gatherings to help the intern feel comfortable in the work environment and a part of the team.
  • Introduces the intern to your business contacts.

Want to learn more?
Check out the Columbus Chamber’s events page (search “Interns”) for upcoming informational workshops and webinars to help you get the most from your internship program. One of the most popular workshops, titled, “How to Host an Intern,” features a panel of employers (now internship experts) who answer questions, share best practices and outline the process of achieving outstanding internship experiences that benefit both them (the employer) and the student intern. Workshops and webinars are free for members of the Columbus Chamber and cost $25 for non-members.