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Creating an Internship Program Best Practices. Barry Shiflett, Director, CBA Career Management Services, FIU. What is an Internship?.

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Creating an Internship Program Best Practices

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Creating an Internship ProgramBest Practices

Barry Shiflett, Director, CBA Career Management Services, FIU

What is an Internship?

  • An internship is any carefully monitored work or service experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what she or he is learning throughout the experience.

Internship Program- Why?

  • Pipeline of candidates to fill needs at a minimal cost (reduced cost per hire)

  • Intern recruiting aligned with college recruiting efforts

  • Dollars saved by off-setting some campus recruiting

  • Outstanding source to meet diversity objectives

Internship Program – Why?

  • Interns act as advocates in recruiting other students

  • Opportunity to evaluate and screen students prior to making a full-time offer

  • Rapid assimilation into full-time employment (less learning curve)

Value Proposition – Interns

  • Job experience

  • Competitive compensation and benefits package

  • Professional development, social and volunteer activities

  • Intern Program Web Site

Robust processes needed in

  • Intern commitment and assignment management

  • Manager and mentor training

  • Recruiting, assessment and selection

  • Orientation and assimilation

  • Career development and performance management

  • Training and development

  • Senior Conversation

Internship Success Factors

  • Structure program with conversion in mind

  • Eliminate “ just an intern” mentality

  • Partner with personnel executives, line managers and staffing leads

  • Ensure positions are included in line’s staffing forecast

Internship Success Factors

  • Link program to campus recruiting strategy

  • Promote corporate brand

  • Centralize internship program management

  • Initiate process early

Internship Success Factors

  • Conduct Training

  • Continuously raise the bar

  • Establish program parameters

Internship Program Design

  • Funding

  • Size

  • Paid versus unpaid

  • Time of year

  • Geographic location

  • Type of position(s)

  • Rotations if any

Internship Program Design

  • Sources and partnerships

  • Team alignment

  • Intern qualifications/requirements

  • Graduate/undergraduate

  • Current Associates

  • Classifications

  • Intern benefits

Internship Financial Benefits to Consider

  • Competitive salary

  • Signing bonus

  • Paid time off

  • Holiday pay

  • Scholarships

  • 401K

  • Transportation supplement

Internship Work/Life Balanceto Consider

  • Mentor program

  • Social and professional development activities

  • Executive networking

  • Community service activities

  • Recreational activities

  • Intern web site

Program Marketing

  • Kick-off communications

  • Business and staffing partner meetings

Commitment Process and Requisition Form

  • Timing

  • Program goal

  • Manager role

  • Financial commitment

  • Time commitment

  • Link to full-time opportunity

  • Job description

  • Approvals

Sourcing, Recruiting and Selection

Sourcing and Partnerships

  • Campus

  • Web Site

  • Referrals

Recruiting Process-How?

  • Career site postings

  • Targeted campus postings

  • Campus visits

Selection Process

  • Resume screen

  • Campus and/or telephone screen

  • Hiring manager interview

On-boarding (Example: For Summer)

Checklist for Managers

  • Prior to intern’s arrival

  • First and/or second day

  • Week one

  • Weeks three to five

  • Weeks four to six

  • Weeks six to eight

  • Weeks eight to twelve

On-boarding (Example: For Summer)

  • May 1 Mailing

  • Welcome letter

  • Local intern Champion information

  • List of acceptable documents needed

  • City links

  • Directions for First Day Welcome

  • Dress Code information

  • Manager, recruiter and mentor contact information


  • Intern First Day Welcome

  • Timing

  • Format

  • Materials

  • Giveaways

  • Icebreakers

  • Agenda

  • Other Cities

  • Student pick-up

Department Orientation

  • Departmental structure

  • Systems and processes

  • Calendar of events

  • Performance expectations


  • Kick-off

  • Social

  • Professional development

  • Brown bag lunches with executives

  • Networking

  • Community service

  • Career Fair

  • End of Summer

End of Summer Presentation

  • Format/Guidelines

  • Content

  • Attendees

Career Development

  • Career Development Plan

    • Goals and objectives (The “What”)

    • Competencies (The “How”)

  • Mid-Summer Discussion

    • Assimilation

    • Pulse check

  • End of Summer Evaluation

    • Quantitative review

    • Developmental feedback

    • Future employment discussion

  • Performance Improvement Plans

Conversion ProcessTracking and Reporting

  • Identification of senior interns and/or graduates

  • Performance information consideration

  • Campus recruiters

  • Benchmark conversation rate

  • Feedback to/from Career Services

Keeping in Touch

  • Ongoing communication (holiday cards, e-mails)

  • Part time work (solicitation, process, benefits)

Measuring Success Metrics

  • Time to fill

  • Hire ratios

  • Offer/acceptance rate

  • First-round applicants hired

  • Cost per hire

  • Returning intern retention

  • Job posting response and success rates

  • Cancelled positions

  • Diversity

  • Performance

  • Conversion rate

  • Long-term retention

Surveys at end of Internship

  • Intern

  • Manager

  • Mentor and business partner

Continuous ImprovementBenchmarking

  • Network

  • Other companies

  • Asking the right questions

Annual Review

  • On/Off-site

  • Survey results

  • Metrics

  • Partner feedback

  • Benchmark data

  • Workforce trends

  • Line of business forecast

  • Project plan

Table of Content for Company Internship Manual

  • Intern Program Management Team

  • Contact Information

  • Intern Program Goal and Benefits

  • Benefits

  • Intern definition and other classifications

  • Intern program statistics

  • Intern Program Partners and Sources

  • Organizations, Golden Key, etc

Table of Content for Company Internship Manual

  • Roles and Responsibilities

  • Business partners

  • Intern Manager

  • Mentor

  • Local Intern Champion

  • General Expectations of Managers

  • Manager Commitment

  • Financial Commitment

  • Conversion

  • Intern Program Calendar and Key Dates

  • Payroll and Benefits

  • Summer Objectives and Performance Evaluations


  • Managing Generation X and Y

  • Developing Others

  • Intern Manager’s Checklist

  • Intern Sample Summer Plan

  • Intern Performance Plan & Evaluation Form

  • Organizational Chart

Local Intern Mentor/Champion Manual Table of Content

  • Intern Program Management Team

  • Contact Information

  • Intern Program Goal and Benefits

  • Intern definition and other classifications

  • Intern program statistics

  • Intern Program Partners and Sources

  • Golden Key, Clubs, Schools, etc.

Local Intern Mentor/Champion Manual Table of Content

  • Intern Program Roles and Responsibilities

  • Business Partner

  • Intern Manager

  • Mentor

  • Local Intern Champion

  • First Day Welcome

  • Logistics

  • Delivering First Day Welcome

  • First Day welcome agenda

Local Intern Mentor/Champion Manual Table of Content

  • Intern Events/Activities

  • Sample Activity Agendas

  • General Policies and Procedures

  • End of Summer Banquet

  • Budget

  • Submitting expenses

  • Miscellaneous

Local Intern Mentor/Champion Manual Table of Content

  • Appendix

  • Energizers/Icebreakers

  • Meeting and Activity Suggestions

  • Managing Generation X & Y

  • Developing Others

  • Sample Calendar of Events

  • Organizational Chart

Summary - Tips

Ask yourself some realistic questions

  • Can you provide meaningful work assignments?

  • Are you prepared to invest time in interns?

  • Is there a professional staff person to supervise interns?

  • Do your top managers and employees want to have interns on-site?

  • Can you provide financial support?

  • Do you have sufficient office space?

Summary - Tips

Create Effective Position Descriptions

  • The quality of students attracted to your listed positions sometimes depends upon the quality of your announcement.

  • In addition to the position title, hours, salary, and location describe the duties, qualifications and application instructions in terms that will attract students.

  • Provide enough detail to identify specific academic disciplines and learning objectives. One-line descriptions are not sufficient.

  • Reference descriptive material such as your website which may include descriptions of the type of equipment they will use.

  • Identify the contact person. This should be the professional designated to coordinate the company or department internship coordinator.

Summary - Tips

Select carefully the Intern and Site supervisor

  • Is this a professional member of your staff who is committed to and capable of developing people?

  • Does this person have the time to supervise interns?

  • Work with the Internship Coordinator in the College

  • Review resumes and/or applications and interview students

  • Do not automatically accept interns without conducting interviews

  • Respond to all candidates

  • Keep the Career Management Office updated and report all hires

Summary - Tips

Prepare for the Interns to start

  • Discuss start and end dates with the selected students

  • Agree on days and times they will be expected to be on site

  • Provide interns with information regarding work attire

  • Notify your permanent employees when the interns will be starting and provide them with background information about the assignments interns will be doing

Summary - Tips

Supervise Interns Carefully

  • Orient students and get them started on assignments

  • Provide any necessary training

  • Meet with the interns on a regular basis to provide feedback and insure projects are on track

  • Evaluate the intern’s performance at the end of the internship using the Student Evaluation Form

Summary - Tips

Seek and provide Feedback

  • Ask interns to complete the Employer Feedback Form regarding their experience with your organization

  • Ask interns to discuss their performance with your organization

  • Identify improvements to your internship program and make revisions

Contact Information

  • Barry Shiflett..305-348-7395; [email protected]

    MBA/MS internships

  • Dawn Lazar…305-348-0025; [email protected]

    Undergraduate Accounting & Finance Internships

  • Sammi Rosin..305-348-1232; [email protected]

    Undergraduate Business Internships

    other than Accounting & Finance

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