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Shawna Scott - 7/2/2019

Maybe you’ve never had an intern at your company before, or maybe this is your first time directly supervising an intern. Either way, here are some things to keep in mind to make it a mutually beneficial experience.

Frequent feedback is crucial. Don’t micromanage, but don’t save praise or important constructive criticism until their exit evaluation, either. Your intern will be more at ease if they know they’re performing well, and will also appreciate being made aware if they need to step up their game in some areas.

Value their input. Take advantage of their fresh perspective and ask for their opinion! They’ll be more engaged with your company if you demonstrate genuine interest in their point of view and suggestions.

Remember they’re learning. If you feel like your intern is struggling to understand assignments or complete tasks, remember they’re here to gain experience, not know how to do everything already! Consider extending project deadlines, giving them some practice projects, and letting them take some time to watch tutorials or use other training resources to get up to speed.

Step into their generation’s shoes. Student-age interns tend to be tech-savvy, value work/life balance, and be looking for a challenge. Considering these attributes, some more strategies to bring the best out of your intern include:

  • Giving them a structured orientation at the beginning of their internship so they understand the big picture of the company as well as how their role fits into it
  • Setting clear goals and expectations
  • Making sure to share any unwritten company rules
  • Ensuring they have challenging and meaningful assignments
  • Including them in regular meetings and team activities
  • Being open to new ways of doing things
  • Respecting their time outside of work
  • Providing time for mentoring and answering any career advice questions they may have

Want more info on how to make your internship program a success? Check out our comprehensive Internship Guide.