Hiring an intern may be a questionable decision for your company. It can seem unnecessary; after all, your company is getting along just fine without one. However, giving this opportunity to a local student comes with latent benefits for both the employer and intern. Here are a few reasons why your company should consider starting an internship program:
Benefits for the employer:
Sharing Knowledge: As a professional in your field, it can be easy to get dragged down by the monotony of your work. Having a fresh face working alongside you can be a reminder that everything you do was exciting back in the day. Seeing the intern learning all the tips and tricks that you’ve picked up over the years can help reinvigorate your enthusiasm for work. In addition, the satisfaction of passing on this knowledge can make you feel better about how you give back to your community.
Enhances Company Image: When hiring an intern, you’re opening yourself up to the public. Bringing interns along to work events and introducing them to your colleagues will allow other companies and citizens to see that you are giving back to the up-and-coming professionals in your city. A friendly, community-minded company will always be more attractive to consumers and garner more support due to their commitment to the welfare of the area.
Expanding Customer Base: Bringing a new person into your company often times leads to increased publicity through their friends and family. Hiring an intern assures that they will talk to their friends and family about it and increase public awareness of your business, which often leads to an increase in sales or clientele. For example, a college student who is interning at a bank will likely gain trust in the company by seeing the dedication of the employees to their work and clients. This trust will make them more likely to become a patron of the bank and then recommend their friends and family to do so as well.
Potential Employee Pool: Hiring new employees can be a tedious process on a good day. Instead of screening applicants, reading resumes, conducting interviews, and examining social media posts, employers can go back to past interns. Having this pool of interns can greatly simplify the hiring process by eliminating unqualified applicants. The interns have already proven their competency, previous work at the company, and ability to fit in at the workplace. By selecting an intern, employers eliminate the risk associated with hiring a stranger who has yet to prove themselves.
New Perspective: After years of having the same employees working together, brainstorming sessions can turn into the same few ideas repeated over and over. When a few people spend so much time together, they can start to become complacent within their role and rub off on the people around them. In an environment where so many people are alike, an intern can be a much-needed resource to shake things up. An intern often knows what the situation looks like from the outside and can pass that information on to the insiders who have lost sight of the big picture. Since interns tend to be young, they can also provide valuable insight to the way the company is perceived by younger audiences and help keep the company up-to-date on current trends.
Benefits for the Intern:
Gaining Knowledge: Many students have very little information and access to the industry they want to pursue a career in. By applying for an internship, students learn about the application and interview process and get practice in important skills such as resume writing and interviewing. Once they get the internship, students get to spend time in their chosen field and gain the experience of working in that area every day. In addition to information on their specific field, students get experience working in an office environment and following the rules and procedures of a typical 9-5 workday.
Networking: Coming straight out of school and into the professional world can be daunting when you have few contacts in your community. Through the course of your internship, however, you will likely come into contact with the connections your employer has already made. Building these professional relationships early can jumpstart your career by providing you with a network of professionals in your area. The internship process will also provide you with good references and mentors that will be there for you as a support system throughout your career.
Get a Feel for the Industry: When students begin to learn about their chosen field, they can often overlook or be ill-informed of the requirements of the job or industry. An internship during high school or college is vital to the student’s career path because while in school, they still have the opportunity to change professions. For example, if an aspiring lawyer goes into their internship and discovers that they don’t enjoy writing, they have time to go back to school and change their major. An internship can be viewed as a way to “test the waters” in a particular career field before making a commitment.
Now that you know the benefits of hiring an intern, don’t hesitate to jump at the next opportunity. It could inspire your company and the young professional alike to grow and succeed in your field.
By: Abbie Johnson and Amanda Kott