The Benefits of Hiring an Intern

What Interns Bring to the Table

College interns working in a business office

FatCamera / Getty Images

More and more companies are discovering the benefits of internship programs. Some of these companies will be offering paid programs while others will stick with the seemingly traditional, unpaid internship opportunities.

How Businesses Benefit From Internship Programs

Your company will benefit from an internship program if it’s a priority for your business, structured, and provides students with the supervision they need to be successful. By also providing adequate training before the program begins or hosting an intern orientation, you’ll see even better results. The more resources your company is willing to put toward the internship program, the better it will be. The better the internship program, the more competitive it will be. And the more competitive the program, the stronger the applicant pool. If you have a great program, you’ll attract great students.

Interns Give a Fresh Perspective

Drawing perspective from anyone outside of your industry, team, or day-to-day operations often courts surprising inspiration. Properly-executed internship programs are no exception. Bringing in students who don't see your company from the inside every day opens up an opportunity for fresh perspectives on your business, strategies, and plans. To maximize these potential benefits, make sure to include interns in brainstorming sessions and encourage them to speak up in meetings. Attending brainstorms is often a favorite among interns, so it’s a win-win for both parties.

Enhances Your Social Strategy

It’s no secret that each generation brings with it greater tech-savvy than the last and each brings its own unique social approaches. Take the opportunity to involve your interns in your social strategy and seek their feedback. These interactions provide young people the opportunity to incorporate what they’ve taught themselves about social media into the real world and their internship, often to the direct benefit of your company's social presence.

Interns May Become Entry-Level Hires

Why hire people who’ve never worked at your company before? Why not hire young people as interns, teach them your business and how your company runs, and hire them when they graduate college? An internship can feel like a test period. It’s a great opportunity for you to test out this new working relationship and vice versa. Many Fortune-500 companies retain over 80% of their interns as entry-level hires.

Extra Set of Hands

An intern provides an extra set of hands that can often help accomplish goals or finish projects. As long as the project will indeed help a young person learn a new skill, learn more about the industry, and give them a great learning experience—interns can work with other employees in the office on specific projects. Just make sure they are supervised and always given feedback on their work.

Mentorship Opportunities

Many employees look to mentor young people. An internship program provides an opportunity for your current employees to connect with these college students, meet with them, speak with them, and ultimately, mentor them. This mentorship program will be helpful for your business’s culture as well as the student’s well-being and continued learning.

Reiterates the Importance of Strong Leaders

Being afforded the opportunity to carefully teach a crop of young people how to complete tasks and accomplish goals often provides powerful personal motivation for employees to hold themselves to a higher account and act as stronger leaders. Encouraging employees to guide and educate others can build strong morale and multiply effective leadership within a business.