If your company doesn’t offer internships, you may be missing out on much more than just some additional individuals to train. While most businesses avoid them and startups are notorious for staying clear of them, every type of business, organization, and startup can greatly benefit from an intern.
You may be dodging them for several reasons, reasons you feel will only drive your company into the ground and digress your momentum. You likely fear they will be too costly, too time-consuming, and garner talent that doesn’t meet your standards. But a solid internship program may be just what your company needs to take it to the next level.
You may have used the excuse that you can’t fathom another body to be responsible for on your team, you can’t make the extra office space, or can’t handle the additional expenses. (Yes, more and more companies are beginning to pay their interns, and for good reason.) But until you consider the many ways a few interns can drastically improve the success and culture of your company, you may never realize the full extent of how internships can elevate your success.
Here are a few assets your company may be lacking if you’re still avoiding internships:
Great, fresh perspective. Interns bring new ideas, styles, and methods to the table. It’s normally not until you bring an intern on that you’re able to see the great scope of knowledge and experience these young people can carry with them.
A way to stay lean and grow fast. Bringing on a few, or even just one solid intern can be an effective way to meet deadlines without the extra costs. One or two additional minds and hands may be the difference that allows your company to get ahead and meet all those goals this year, without the expenses of new hires. While for years intern was synonymous with free labor, this is no longer always the case. More businesses, including startups, are making room in their budgets to bring on anywhere from one to several paid interns.
Immense exposure for your brand. Particularly for media companies or those with markets across the nation, you will be quick to learn how the right interns can help bring light and attention to your company. With the rise of lifestyle and social media integration, you’ll be hard pressed to find an intern thrilled for the opportunity who won’t be looking for ways to Instagram their shot at working with you.
A strong company culture. At Facebook, internships include offsite events, weekly Q&A sessions with executives, and even office hackathons. Internships are an incredible way to engage new, young individuals in the workplace and fresh approaches to learning and teambuilding, which will drastically improve communication on your team and the overall morale for your company.
A prime way of seeking out new hires. Interns are a low commitment, yes, but they are also a safe and practical way to seek out new employment and better gauge the personality and skills that will suit your company. According to GE, which offers internships in 83 locations across 43 countries, they are a great pipeline into full-time employment.
If your company has yet to explore the potential of internships, you may be cutting your team (and yourself) short. Businesses and organizations that fail to explore the possibilities interns can offer, will miss out on the growth and inspiration you may not even realize you are lacking.
You also never know, your next best hire may be just an intern away.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the President of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and is the author of “Framework Leadership.” A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the president of one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. As president, Ingle founded the American Center for Political Leadership at the university and is also a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming Southeastern’s president in 2011, Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Ingle is the author of several leadership books and the creator of the Framework Leadership podcast. He currently serves on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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