Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Put Interns to Work for Your Company

If the idea of having college interns working for your company makes you roll your eyes, perhaps you haven't yet developed an effective program to capitalize on their skills and expertise. College students bring energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and a fresh perspective to their internships. Consider the ways you can maximize the use of interns in your organization.
• Turn them loose on a video project. Let your interns create a lighthearted video promoting your company. Feel free to set out whatever ground rules are appropriate for your company and industry. You can also talk to them about the "story" you want the video to tell about your company. Perhaps you want a video that shows a different side of your company or a segment that gives a behind-the-scenes look at your staff. Then, step back and let them get creative with this fun project. 

Image Courtesy of Flickr

• Let them whittle away at your wish list. Almost every manager has a wish list of important but not urgent projects and tasks that regularly get pushed off. Why not select projects from that list and let an intern handle them? Some of the tasks may be simple enough that, with a little training, an intern could get them done in a matter of days.
• Ask for their ideas on improving your company's social media presence. Set aside time for your interns to brainstorm new ways to engage existing and potential customers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media venues. They might have ideas for promoting your company to new demographics that your marketing team hasn't yet considered.
• Use them as an informal focus group. Your sales and marketing staff can learn a great deal about how college students handle their money and make purchasing decisions by talking to your interns. During the focus group, you can learn whether they think saving money is important, whether they handle financial emergencies with installment loans or by asking family members for money, and how they spend their discretionary funds. Improving your staff's understanding of this demographic, its buying power, and how it views money will help them develop strategies for reaching this age group.

Image Courtesy of Flickr

• Capitalize on their talents. If you have interns who are talented graphic designers, let them compete to create a new slogan, logo, or ad campaign. You could even post their designs on your Facebook page and ask people to vote for their favorites. Interns who are adept at web design may suggest useful widgets or features for your website—and then design them!

For managers who are willing to expand the opportunities available to interns, there are many benefits. Some are tangible, such as having a viral video featuring your company, while others are intangible, such as the energy and vitality they will bring to the office each day. Share some interesting projects you let your interns do.


About Me

Work-At-Home Mom who quit years of corporate life to take care three kids full time. Fond of cooking, reading books and determined to master housekeeping. Created this blog to share about career, job, human resource, hobbies, sports and travel

Blog Archive