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Internships: An Effective Means to Hire

Fri, Apr 23, 2010

Human Resources

College interns are often willing to work hard and show barrels of enthusiasm for next to nothing. Although the pay is low and they know it, students are mostly hoping to land an internship for the resume experience and networking—not for the money.

But interns can bring much more than enthusiasm and a good worth ethic. Student interns can also bring many new ideas to your office.

“Employers view interns as a “breath of fresh air,” according to Ohio State University’s Career Services Department.

This means that interns may be able to think differently than your average employees and may be able to provide a younger perspective to challenges.

New ideas and perspectives

“Interns bring new and innovative ideas to an employer,” according to The University of Maine’s student co-op handbook. The handbook also adds, “Students tend to be energetic about their work while doing an internship or co-op.”

Besides saving money and collecting a team of enthusiastic students, companies can also speed up the job recruiting process—by hiring interns after they graduate.

Finding Future Employees

“Internships open all sorts of doors for students. Students gain an insider’s view to a possible career path and networking opportunities,” said Experience.com, a job and networking site for students and employers.

Corporations can call upon the highly motivated and highly qualified interns they had the summer before for a full-time job after the student graduates. Since the company has already seen that the student can work well with the existing team and get the required job done, it can speed up its recruiting process and fill a job vacancy quicker.

“Many employers often use their internship programs as a testing ground for hiring future full-time employees after graduation. The benefit is that employers are able to see first-hand what the intern has to offer should they be hired on full-time. Hiring interns has proven to be a much more effective hiring tool than the regular normal interviewing process. Internship programs not only help boost your organization’s productivity today, but can help contribute to future successes,” The Career Services Department at the University of California, Fresno, said.

A Lasting Benefit

“Internships offer students opportunities to gain experience, build a professional network of those who can speak to the value of their contributions and act as references, test drive an employer and a career, explore a career with little commitment, and for the lucky few, internships provide an opportunity to earn money,” Jim Fitch, Associate Director of Career Services at Allegheny College said.

Therefore, both students and employers can benefit from the intern experience.  A good resource for prospective interns and employers is Internprogram360.com, a comprehensive site aiming to help employees and employers succeed in finding and maintaining interns.

Employers who choose to give students a chance can feel a lasting positive benefit when the student follows up a year or more after the intern experience and thanks the employer for helping them get started in the business world. These companies can also feel the benefit when they hire an intern who brings the same good publicity and work ethic they demonstrated when they worked for the corporation previously.

By Kelly McLendon. Kelly is studying Environmental Policy and Journalism. She can be reached at mclendon.kelly@gmail.com.

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