Using Internships as a Pipeline for Your Graduate Programs

Posted by GradConnection

Internships are a great way for students or recent grads to try their hand at an industry or particular company that they are interested in pursuing further. While you may view them as a nice temporary addition to your team, interns are also a fantastic talent pipeline to candidates for your graduate programs. We show you why in this blog below.   

1. It’s a Match! 

One of the key benefits of bringing an intern on board as a full-time graduate is that you’ll already have undergone the ‘pre-screening’ process on both sides. Gone is the awkward “getting to know each other” stage - you’ll already have been able to see if they: 

  • Align with your company values  
  • Get along with the rest of the team 
  • Have a dedicated work ethic 
  • Are competent and capable 

2. Do the Hard Work Up Front 

This also means that you’ll be thanking your past self by having done all the hard work up front! You’ll likely get to skip through (at least part of) the whole interviewing and recruitment process, giving you more time to source star talent for other roles.  

3. Bolster Your Numbers 

Transitioning an intern to a graduate position can be a great way to reduce your renege rates. As your intern has ostensibly settled into the company and developed established valued relationships within the team, it will be much harder for them to walk away. See more on how to reduce reneges in your grad program here.    

4. Setting the Framework 

With this in mind, it’s also important to plan ahead and structure your internship programs so they are conducive to treating your intern like they are going to join the company at the end of their trial run:  

  • Give your interns real practical experience and responsibility – including liberty to choose tasks/training they may be particularly interested in 
  • Assign them a project to work on during the internship that they can continue upon potential retention in the company 
  • Provide them with onboarding and training as you would any new employee 
  • Assign them a dedicated mentor/buddy 
  • Include them in team meetings - even if they are at a higher company level 
  • Invite them to any networking or team social events 

See more on ways to build a successful internship program from Development Beyond Learning (DBL) here and how to support your interns in a remote program here. 


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