Getting the most from an Internship and doing it legally
Internships have always been the most respected form of volunteer work, the work for free program is an investment in the work experience security bank. Internships have been recently comically portrayed in the new movie, The Internship, where Google is the place to be, and there is no shame or discrimination in the free workforce marketplace. Internships are legit and work for both an employer and intern for many reasons. Honing a skill or broadening your knowledge is an intangible benefit in getting ahead of the competition, which there is plenty of in the unemployed category.
Making sure you are able to get the most out of your intern and take care of them like your own employee is an area that not many employers are well versed. Knowing what to expect and you’re your interns expect from you is the only way to take advantage of “free” help. Having a clear plan and knowing the laws relating to utilizing interns is the first place to begin. According to the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, the environment provided must be an extension of a learning curriculum and is primarily a benefit for the intern, something easily forgotten. Clear standards of expectations include no guarantee of employment following the completion of an internship. All internships must also be set for a pre established duration and time period(s) and if your business is in the “for-profit” sector make certain that the Fair Labor Standards Act criteria are being met.
By brainstorming a list of activities and assignments before recruiting an Intern you will ensure that you are able to keep them busy and get the most from their time. Tasks that are time intensive and continuously being dropped on the “high priority” list are a perfect place to start. Based on the type of tasks or jobs you would like completed by your intern you will be able to refine your search based on interest or education, making for a better performance opportunity for both parties. Tailoring the position or even creating a position for your intern, in Marketing and Social Media, is a creative way to expand your company without the initial expense. Conducting targeted marketing and using the “fresh eyes” of your intern are resourceful ways to get feedback and react appropriately, making changes if needed.
If you ever changed your major in school you know that the focused commitment to one specific skill set can cause indecision. A day at work, regardless of our trade or industry, requires varying tasks to avoid being mundane. After all, we are not robots, that’s why we have the water cooler. Breaks, changes in scenery, and changing tasks are critical in maintaining performance. With interns or employees it is important to keep an open mind to observing hidden talents. By trying various tasks we are able to gain experience, receive more enjoyment from our individual talents and contribute to the success of the organization where we spend our working time.