NASE Blogs

Need Help? Hire An Intern

Aug 25, 2009
Posted by Molly Nelson - Just because summer is almost over doesn't mean that you have to wait a whole year to implement an internship program at your business.  As this Wall Street Journal article notes

"Large employers have slashed the number of internships by around a fifth this year as part of recession-related budgets cuts. At the same time, demand for internships is rising among students facing a tight job market where employers are increasingly putting a premium on work experience."


From someone who had a few internships during college, I think the following paragraph makes some great points about an internship program:

"Setting up an internship program doesn't require a large investment of time or money. To get the best results, business owners need to find appropriate candidates and screen them to make sure they have the skills needed to get the jobs they want done. Once hired, providing regular feedback is important as it should be a learning experience for the intern. Offering to act as an advocate in support of an intern's career search is another selling point."

One of the most valuable internships I had during college was with a small, independent publishing company here in Washington.  I gained a large amount of valuable experience there that I know I don't think a larger firm would have been able to offer.  

While a paid internship is nice, many qualified internship applicants will jump at the chance for an internship regardless of pay if it offers the experience they are looking for.  Although a paid versus unpaid internship depends on what your firm can afford, something that might seem nominal to you but that could make a difference to your unpaid interns especially is to reimburse them for travel expenses.  

Unsure of where to advertise your internship program?  Look into internship fairs at local colleges.  Some schools also might have online databases where you can post internship listings specifically for their students.  Asking current interns for recommendations of other students they know can also be a good way to find new interns.