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Building an Internship Program for Your Small Business. . Defining an Internship Program. This document will help you build an annual internship program at your organization (vs. simply recruit one intern for one semester/summer).

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defining an internship program
Defining an Internship Program
  • This document will help you build an annual internship program at your organization (vs. simply recruit one intern for one semester/summer).
  • An Internship Program includes, the plan, resources, and processes to bring on an intern(s) Fall, Spring, and Summer that can contribute to the organization’s goals, accomplish pre-defined tasks, and receive experience, supervision, and expertise for their time and energy

benefits for employers
Benefits for Employers
  • Build capacity and bench strength
  • Access to new expertise, trends, and educated talent
  • Opportunity to evaluate and screen students for full-time positions
  • Consistency of intern(s) each semester
  • Fresh ideas and energy

top intern positions
Top Intern Positions
  • Social media
  • Online and other marketing
  • Research (grant, market, trends)
  • Graphic design
  • Programming (web and application)
  • IT support (desktop)
  • Sales support
  • Administrative
  • Copywriting

benefits for students
Benefits for Students
  • Job and workplace experience
  • Resume builders – project-work
  • Class or internship credit to graduate
  • Various financial incentives
  • Build a network/get exposure to industry
  • Potential for increased starting salary
  • Faster ramp-up with first full-time job

processes recommended
Processes Recommended
  • Establish program parameters and goals
  • Set expectations and define interests upfront
    • Complete orientation and onboarding
    • Create discrete projects intern can complete
    • Have a Mentor or Buddy for the intern
    • Conduct performance reviews/feedback
    • Develop training and development opportunities
    • Assign a single supervisor/manager
    • Perform regular checkpoints

internship success factors
Internship Success Factors
  • Eliminate “ just an intern” mentality
  • A formal welcome for intern to the organization
    • Clear roles, responsibilities, goals and tasks
    • Intern commitment and management support
    • Explain how internship relates to business goals
  • Find the proper incentives
  • Schedule time for transition & documentation
  • End of semester presentation/wrap-up
  • Staying connected after the internship

available incentives
Available Incentives
  • Performance bonus
  • Commissions
  • Class credit (students will know the process)
  • References/connections/networking
  • Mentorship
  • Professional development
  • Unique experiences
  • Unique contributions

on boarding checklist
On-boarding Checklist
  • Welcome announcement to all employees
  • Discuss start and end dates
  • Define work hour and on-site expectations
  • Provide dress code and day 1 directions
  • Provide buddy and supervisor information
  • Define list of projects & owners/contacts
  • Ensure intern has proper supplies/resources
  • See Sample Orientation Outline for more

daily operations checklist
Daily Operations Checklist
  • Orient students and get them started on assignments
  • Explain bigger picture – why project matters
  • Provide regular training and development
  • Meet weekly to provide feedback/check status
  • Have them document their work/processes
  • Have them develop a transition plan
  • See Sample MOU for an Internship

end of program checklist
End of Program Checklist
  • Have them present their findings/projects
  • Transition the role and material to new intern
  • Conduct an exit interview
  • Identify improvements to your internship program and make revisions
  • Have the intern Complete Employer Eval
  • Complete the Student Eval
  • See Sample Exit Interview for more

for more information
For More Information
  • If you have any questions, contact us at:
  • To find any of the forms referenced in this presentation check out Internship Forms on our Employer Resources page at