How to Plan a Prized Internship Program in the Age of “Multi-mesters”
When the temperature drops and the scarves come out, it can mean only one thing – it’s time to shift focus to internship recruitment. Applications for internships traditionally open around June each year for programs that run over the summer break (from around early December), so get ready!
This year employers are finding themselves with more trimesters to navigate, shifting processes for internship recruitment and management. Not to leave you hanging in a potential crisis, here are our top considerations to help you plan an evolving intern program.
Things to consider before you hire:
Navigating the mix of semesters and trimesters
You don’t want to miss out on attracting quality interns because of timetable conflicts, so you’ll probably need to re-consider your program’s schedule and timing.
Trimesters have thrown a teensy spanner into the intern / vacation placement program works, which might mean being more adaptable to accommodate both trimester and semester-based students. Consider flexible or rolling start dates, length of time, and desired learning experience outcomes to shape your program.
Specifying learning outcomes
Will you provide a formal internship program, or will you simply place interns in suitable teams with a mentoring focus? Understand the kind of tasks and learning experiences you can provide to design a more beneficial internship experience.
It will also help during recruitment if you can specify the intern’s learning outcomes – when interns can see how your opportunity meets their learning needs, they’ll be more likely to apply.
Things to consider after you’ve hired:
Designing an impressive experience
Internships are an effective way to pre-screen future employees for your graduate program. But your interns are also screening you for your suitability as their employer of choice! Experience is everything.
- Do you onboard your interns the same way you onboard all employees?
- How can you make your intern feel welcomed and part of your workplace?
- What kind of 1:1 mentoring and career planning support will be provided?
- How can you make sure your internship meets the needs and expectations of each hire?
Creating a talent pool
You might not be in a position to make a formal offer to high performing interns that secures their employment with you upon completion of their studies. But you can create a talent pipeline and nurture these relationships.
- How can you continue communicating with interns after their placement is finished?
- Can you invite them as a guest to corporate events to maintain connection with your business?
- If you offer them employment in your graduate program, how can you maintain connection with them post-acceptance until graduation? It’s also worth considering how to keep successful grads engaged if they have earlier completions due to trimester timetables.
Talent nurturing should be high on your priority list – considering last year we saw a 47% increase in the number of offers accepted by interns into subsequent graduate programs!
Ready to promote your internship opportunities?
Create an employer profile on GradConnection and start promoting your internship program.
Get in touch with Dan via [email protected] if you need help putting your campaign strategy together.