Helping Your Interns Succeed

by | Jun 22, 2020 | Employer | 0 comments

Interns no longer exclusively make copies and take the team’s coffee order, they are valuable resources for business. Interns are contributing their level of insight, social media savvy and knowledge of Generation Z. Picking the right candidate to join your team helps everyone succeed. Interns get to build their skills while experiencing a fast-paced work environment. From your perspective, you can hire quality applicants at a reasonable cost and if you picked right, identify a future full-time employee.

However, keep in mind that interns are still students or recent graduates so you need to manage your expectations. Employers need to assist them in their role so that the company succeeds, too. Don’t hire an intern when in reality you need a professional with four years of experience. Be honest with yourself about your needs and what type of exprience you can provide. If you hire with that in mind, everyone will be set up to be successful.

Here are four things you can do to help your interns succeed.

Pay Them

As tempting as asking them to work for free is, it’s often counterproductive. Employers that are only attracting mediocore or substandard candidates are not getting the best of the best because they don’t pay enough. When hourly rates are too low, it is hard to locate quality interns. Students and post-grads have student loan debt, credit card debt and other creditors to appease. Let’s not forget how the cost of college continues to increase. Expecting interns to work for free contributes to an unfair situation where only those with financial means end up with the opportunity.

Resist being cheap. How much you’re willing to pay is a personal and business decision, but you would be smart to set your rates to entice the cream of the crop to the company.

Set Goals

Everybody in the office should have performance and work related goals. Sadly, interns are generally overlooked when it comes to this. Once you give them a job, they are part of the staff, which means they require goals. Developing goals or targets does two things. Firstly, it proves that you’re invested in their future and want them to progress. If you show that you are invested in their success, they will be invested in yours. Secondly, it can ensure that everyone is on the same page about what is expected. Times will get tough, and when they do, it’s comforting to have a plan to understand what they are doing wrong and how to rectify the situation.

Eliminate Waste

An experienced and skilled employee can take months to transition to new processes, especially if they include pointless red tape and bureaucracy. For interns, the job’s politics only adds to the stress and makes them more likely to make mistakes.

From an administrative perspective, tools like, can help streamline things. Rather than asking them to jump through hoops, you can use readymade document templates to ensure their tasks are more accessible. Also, this prevents them from asking you questions whenever they are stuck or need permission to do their job. Clear and consistent communication and instructions puts everyone on the same page and saves time which in turn, saves money.


Any number of unforeseen problems can pop up out of the blue. Interns are often inexperienced and shy and relucant to approach managers as their issues don’t appear significant. As a result, they may continue to make errors and retreat into their shell. Checking in with your interns provides them with the opportunity to speak out and raise questions confidentially. 

Schedule time to meet with your interns regularly. These meetings are a chance for them to ask questions, get feedback, learn and build confidence. Here are four questions you should ask weekly if you need inspiration for those chats.

Hire them pay them well, communicate and lead. Your interns success is your success.

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Written by Sharise

Sharise Kent is an internship expert and freelance writer. She has spent over 20 years in college admissions and career development. As the former manager of a national internship program, she oversaw the placement of 400+ interns with some of the biggest media companies in the world. She holds an MS in Professional Writing and a BA in Public Relations.



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