How do I know if I need an intern?
Talk to managers in your company to assess your needs. Could you use help with a specific project, task or research? Would a new, fresh perspective boost an area of your organization? Do you have a technical need, such as updating your website? Would any employees be more productive if they had some assistance? Look for more ways to determine your intern needs.
Do I have to provide health care for interns?
No, most students are covered by their parents’ or guardians’ health care plans, or they obtain coverage through their school.
How long are internships?
Typically, internships last 10 to 12 weeks and run on the same timeline as semesters: fall (September through December), spring (January through May) and summer (June through August); however, your internship program can be customized to fit your needs. For example, if you have a two-month project that calls for additional help, search for students who want to work in that timeline.
Can I hire an intern as a full-time employee at the end of their internship?
That’s one of the great advantages of an internship program. It gives employers the opportunity to employ talented young professionals before they graduate. Once they graduate, or even before, you may offer the intern a permanent full-time position at your organization.
Do interns receive compensation?
We strongly encourage employers to compensate interns. Learn more.
Tips for creating a successful internship experience for college students and your organization:
Assess your business needs – where can an intern make an impact? Could you use help with a specific
project, task or research? Would a new, fresh perspective boost an area of your organization? Do you
have a technical need, such as updating your website? Would any employees be more productive if
they had some assistance? Brainstorm with colleagues to determine intern needs.
Create a robust job description including what the intern will work on, learn, and deliver. If possible,
include an alumni testimonial with the job description. Is there flexibility in the hours and days?
Include what is relevant for both parties.
Offer a paid internship
Keep communication on-going with the intern between day of the offer being accepted and the first
day of work. This will help both parties remain enthusiastic and engaged.
Hold an orientation session – identify expectations, dress code, and introduce interns to the corporate
culture (ideally this could be covered in the interview process).
Can you assign your intern a “buddy” or “mentor”? A buddy could be an employee close in age to the
intern who can help facilitate the transition to the company and answer the questions relevant to this
age group. You could have the buddy reach out prior to start date to help the new intern understand
what to expect. A mentor could be a more senior person with extensive insight into the industry,
company or functional role. It could be a combination of a buddy and a mentor also. Some companies
use the “reverse mentor” concept also. For example, a young intern may be able to help a seasoned
employee create their LinkedIn profile or offer tutorials on Snapchat or Instagram.
Assign a supervisor – who will give this intern expectations and feedback? This could be an opportunity
to give management experience to a current employee also. It is critical that communication is clear
and the “in-house” manager has support from top down for this management role. There should be a
formal process for checking in and getting feedback. As with all great managers communication will be
the key to success. Feedback should be in real time and not after the fact when it is too late to change
or learn from it.
Ensure there is real work to be done - you have to give legitimate projects and real work experience in
order for the whole thing to be worthwhile. Will the intern have value added responses to the question
“what did you learn on this internship?” “What are you taking away from this experience?” “How can
this internship help you to continue on your career path?”
Ensure beyond the pay there are opportunities for networking, mentoring, and access to senior
executives (maybe via a lunch and learn series?)
Depending on geographical location of the company, provide examples or suggestions about housing
from prior interns. If your company offers housing, be sure to promote that up front.
Utilize the internship experience as the 10-week interview to full time hiring. More and more
companies are going this path: Recruit once – hire twice!
Hire Bentley students!