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What are some guidelines for using summer interns?

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John Wilcox

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in Human Resources,The HR Specialist Forum

Several of our managers want to hire college interns this summer. I explained the specific legal and payroll requirements of using interns—that we will probably have to pay them—and the managers are fine with that. What I want to know is, what’s the best way to integrate interns into our day-to-day work, so it’s a good learning experience for the students, beneficial to our operations and a minimal disruption? Does anyone have experience using interns? What pitfalls should we be aware of?—Luke, Ohio

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

The Editors at BMD March 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

FYI you might find this helpful: LinkedIn just created a new job portal to connect recent college grads w/ jobs/internships. "Introducing LinkedIn Student Job Portal: Helping recent graduates/students find jobs easily…providing easy access to entry-level jobs and internships at some of the best companies worldwide." at: http://www.linkedin.com/studentjobs


Chrissy March 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

My company hires interns from the end of May to mid Aug. The recruiters attend career fairs at partner universities during the fall and winter and collect resumes which are sent to the hiring managers for review; if they find one that fits they’ll be notified. The hiring manager establishes a buddy for each intern in their area for the first week; then they are on their own and are graded. Each supervisor is expected to fill out a survey at the end of the season and if they liked their intern they are asked back the following summer. We have interns that worked each summer for three years and the company has hired several. Some have been asked back before the summer to work on specific projects. Most of them are very serious about their jobs and it shows in the performance. Only a few have never been asked back after the first year.


Susan March 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Just a suggestion: look for people on your staff –in all sorts of positions–who would welcome the job of helping to train the interns. When I worked in a Congressional office, we had several cohorts of interns each summer. I was in an entry level position (Receptionist/Staff Assistant), yet they let me train/supervise the interns, take them out to lunch, show them the ropes. It was fun for me and helped me build new skills/responsibilities for my resume. In addition to the work I had them help me with, the interns were also given more interesting projects from the legislative staff, but by having me take them under my wing and teach them the basics of how the office functioned, it meant less training time needed from the higher-uppers. (Admittedly, even sorting mail was interesting in the office of a member of Congress, but you get the idea.) We became good friends and later when they hired some of the interns permanently, we already worked well together.


Beverly March 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

We are very big on using College Interns in our company. Because this is an Internship program and the student/intern is graded on their performance, we get a very good and honest effort on the part of the Intern. It is a good relationship and even a opportunity for the Intern to see if this company/industry is somewhere they would like to work in the future. Finally, there are no commitments to either them or us, if we do not like them or their performance, the Internship is over for them. Easy!


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