Why Your Company Needs an Internship Program

Gone are the days of coffee-grabbing, underpaid (or unpaid), and overworked lowly interns. Before you write off an internship program at your company as just another project or assignment, consider these benefits to adding interns to your team. 

More hands on deck

A recent NACE survey found that only 8% of intern tasks involved clerical or non-essential work responsibilities. The other 92% spent on higher-level tasks like data analysis, problem-solving, and logistics. While they will require some training and mentorship, most interns are enthusiastic about their assignments. Interns will make real contributions to your team’s productivity. Along with helping to carry the burden of full-time employees, they can take on side projects and even after some time, real clients. 

Personally give back to college communities

Hiring and training interns is a very personal way to give back to those just starting their careers. Not only can an internship program increase your visibility on college campuses, you provide invaluable experience to students looking desperately for ways to get their foot in the door. 

Internships are a great help for students looking to network and discover their interests. It is difficult to choose a major and enter a career that you have never actually had much experience with. Internships help those just starting out recognize what they like, what they don’t like, and what they’re good at.

 

Gain a fresh perspective

Interns can also be very helpful brainstormers. With less training and career experience than the rest of your team, they offer an invaluable view into what your clients might be feeling. One article explained that bringing in interns “gives you the chance to rejuvenate the energy circling within your company. Interns, more often than not, bring an infectious enthusiasm and energy that can spark a positive effect among your entire team”. Helping interns feel welcome to participate is key to effective brainstorming. These novel perspectives can strengthen your company by making needed changes obvious and breaking up the status quo of your routine. 

Enthusiastic, low-cost labor

Without demeaning them to the stereotypical temps, it is true that an internship program can provide very inexpensive help. The average hourly wage for interns was $19.05 for 2019, much lower than the approximately $27.90 national average for full-time employees. Without unemployment, severance packages, and other costs, that’s about a 30% discount. And what’s more, while their pay may be modest, interns often represent some of the most enthusiastic members of the office. 

 

Find future employees

One study found that at the one-year mark, interns who become full-time employees are almost 30% more likely to still be at your company than are other full-time hires. Hiring interns is a year-round recruiting tool. Past interns come already familiar with the company and pretty much fully trained. If they are returning for a full-time position, they understand your expectations, company culture and values, processes, and clientele. Reduce the costs of recruiting and hiring by choosing from your pool of star interns to fill open positions. 

Convinced yet? Hear from Brittany, one of our own intern-turned-employees at Big Red Jelly:

“Internships are beneficial because they give you real-world experience. You take all that you learn from your college classes and finally get to see how it all works together. It’s important to take internships seriously. They are real clients and real companies. If you put in your best effort and constantly seek to learn and grow, you may end up impressing the employer and be offered a job upon completion. From an employer’s perspective as well, they didn’t hire this person yet. Internships are like a trial-run so that both the intern and employer can see if it’s the right fit.”

There are likely local students and recent graduates who would love to join your team right now. Whether you want to add more hands to your team, give back to college communities, add enhanced perspective to your brainstorming sessions, or for financial or hiring purposes, starting an internship program is a no-brainer. Give interns an exciting opportunity and give your company a boost today.

Hannah Rigby

Author Hannah Rigby

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