Eight steps to effective internship programs

March 2007 » Business Briefs
Summer internship programs can provide an excellent return on employers’ recruiting investment, according to an article in the December 2006 NACE Journal, published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Author Sherri Gong Taguchi, principal of Career Inspirations, says that well-planned programs are most effective in helping employers identify and attract interns who will eventually become full-time employees. She outlined the following eight steps employers can take to develop a new internship program or strengthen an existing one:

Summer internship programs can provide an excellent return on employers’ recruiting investment, according to an article in the December 2006 NACE Journal, published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Author Sherri Gong Taguchi, principal of Career Inspirations, says that well-planned programs are most effective in helping employers identify and attract interns who will eventually become full-time employees. She outlined the following eight steps employers can take to develop a new internship program or strengthen an existing one:

  • clarify the program’s purpose;
  • integrate the program with other efforts at targeted schools;
  • offer real, meaningful work to the interns;
  • use the company’s best people as recruiters and mentors;
  • create opportunities for the interns to interact with key people across the organization;
  • give interns an up-close look at and feel for the company;
  • provide timely feedback and offers; and
  • incorporate interns into the company’s on-campus recruiting efforts.

According to Taguchi, a successful internship program can help an organization’s college-hiring efforts in a number of ways, including increasing the organization’s visibility, brand awareness, and allure on campus, and giving the organization an opportunity to gauge how the students perform on the job. And, strong internship programs reap results: Respondents to a 2006 NACE survey reported that 30 percent of all their new college hires from the class of 2005 came from their own internship programs.


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