14 Tips for Managing Interns

How Do You Effectively Manage Interns?
  • Start Off on the Right Path. Before your internship program begins, prepare a plan for your intern’s time with your organization. …
  • Prepare Your Staff. …
  • Set Goals. …
  • Assess the Intern’s Skills. …
  • Set Up Learning Experiences. …
  • Give Them Daily Tasks. …
  • Equip the Intern. …
  • Conduct Regular Check-Ins.

Have your interns and their supervisors meet before they begin working to go over the program materials, the objectives you hope they will achieve, and the projects they will be working on. Likewise, find out what the intern expects to gain from the experience. Consider having a contract that outlines these learning objectives and holds both parties accountable be signed by each intern’s supervisor.

How to Manage Someone For the First Time! | The Intern Queen

Why is intern management important?

Any business that prioritizes proactive hiring can benefit from thoughtful internship management. Interns are frequently recent graduates or students who are eager to work in a demanding environment and impart their fresh knowledge and insights. Interns occasionally adopt a more passive role during their internships, spending their time studying workflows, comprehending job descriptions, and learning fundamental job functions. Other times, your company pays interns to complete significant expectations and tasks.

Aligning the structure of internships with your organization’s goals is a crucial component of managing interns. You fully comprehend whether your business views internships as an unpaid educational experience or a paid working experience as an intern manager. Successful intern management makes sure that everyone in your organization treats unpaid interns fairly and that both interns and your company are aware of the nature of the working relationship.

Tips for managing interns

Here are several tips for managing your interns productively:

1. Provide an orientation

Some interns have little experience in corporate or professional settings. They probably want to appear as professional as possible and avoid any professional conduct violations. Host an orientation to explain what your company expects of them and what they can expect from you in order to help your new interns feel confident and at ease in their roles. During an orientation you might discuss:

2. Embrace flexibility

While careful planning is a good idea for internships, keeping an open mind about the specifics of the experience can improve the overall time and effort exchange between your organization and the interns. Ask your interns about their talents, academic pursuits, and career goals to see if you can adjust your program to better suit their unique skills. This could provide an intern with the chance to demonstrate exceptional talent in a particular area, which might then inspire your business to hire them.

3. Prepare supporting documents

Interns are probably overseen by your company to make sure they comprehend their tasks and receive all the assistance they require. However, when interns work independently, properly prepared documents can further remove any ambiguity or confusion regarding an assignment. You might benefit from updating task lists and training materials throughout the internship so interns are aware of their short- and long-term goals.

4. Communicate proactively

Some interns might require some time to adjust to their roles. If you notice an intern is having problems or not performing up to expectations, speak with them to see if there is anything you can do to support them. Sometimes, interns are aware of the problem but are unsure of how to approach it. If so, they likely would appreciate your consideration. If there is no straightforward solution, proactive communication with your manager is also crucial. Your manager may suggest a course of action or record your concerns. In either case, you demonstrate diligence and commitment to properly managing your interns.

5. Schedule check-ins

Check-ins are a great chance for you and your interns to talk about their development. You can hear the interns’ opinions during a check-in and give them your own. The fear that interns may experience about voicing concerns is significantly reduced when there is a set time and location for reviewing how an internship is going. It also shows that your company cares about the results of its internship program and is actively working to make sure interns advance their careers.

6. Offer mentorship

By encouraging mentorship during an internship, you must learn about and encourage the trainees’ professional aspirations. You may serve as their mentor as their intern manager, or you may pair interns with other staff members who will enhance their experience. For instance, if you have interns who are interested in working for a nonprofit organization, you might let them shadow a team member who has experience in that area. Mentors who forge strong bonds with interns are better able to gauge their talents and potential, which helps your company decide who to hire in the long run.

7. Have a big-picture goal

Establish a long-term objective that is compatible with the duration of your internship program. Interns often explore various departments and duties within an organization. Each element of the internship can be given structure and focus by a larger goal.

For instance, if your marketing company hires interns, you might give them a project to complete before their program ends. Your interns would have a better understanding of how your business manages deadlines, deliverables, and client communication to meet deadlines. Additionally, a clear outcome increases the sense of purpose that interns experience, which can increase motivation and attention to detail.

8. Facilitate networking

The ability to network within a company or sector is a huge benefit of internships. By providing worthwhile networking opportunities, you can draw in better intern candidates and keep them interested. Introduce your new interns to as many staff members as you can. Consider hosting networking events where your colleagues discuss their projects and interact with interns directly. Interns’ relationships with employers can be improved by including them in client or industry events.

9. Connect tasks and results

Employees with experience typically comprehend how their daily tasks fit into the overall organization. This relationship might be less clear to interns. Reviewing workflows and organizational charts with them will help them understand how the work they assist with and learn about benefits the company. Consider including a description of how each assignment adds value to the company in your instructions and task lists. During check-ins, you may also share information that reflects the outcomes or results of interns’ work.

10. Share paid and unpaid intern guidelines internally

It’s critical that everyone in your organization is aware of how your interns are classified. You could internally distribute a summary of your internship program that details what employees can expect from them, whether interns are paid, and whether they are. By doing so, you can minimize confusion and uphold the terms of your agreements with interns. For instance, a worker might want to give an unpaid intern the opportunity to complete a practical task. Your employee probably has the best of intentions and only wants to impart knowledge, but if the intern is unpaid, they may not be able to finish the task and may continue to be unpaid.

11. Emphasize good examples

Interns look to you and your coworkers for guidance on navigating the workplace. Make sure to pair interns with employees who most accurately reflect your business and your values. Additionally increasing the likelihood that interns will want to apply for a full-time position with your company is setting an consistently professional and positive example.

12. Make the experience fun

Companies that encourage a good work-life balance and foster enjoyable working environments are valued by young professionals. Share how your company boosts employee satisfaction with your interns. Be sure to let interns know if your office has any group wellness objectives or activities, like running or reading groups. If appropriate, think about inviting interns to social events away from the office so they can get to know your team better.

13. Conduct exit interviews

Exit interviews aid in properly wrapping up internships in the same way that orientation does. Using an exit interview, you can learn what your interns appreciated about their experiences and what they wished had been different. Encourage interns to suggest ways that your company could create a future internship program that is more rewarding, and be sure to express your gratitude for their time and effort on their behalf.

14. Implement improvements

Your company can better understand the knowledge and skills entry-level professionals want to acquire before looking for full-time employment with each new group of interns. You can create an internship program that benefits both your company and interns by regularly reviewing its structure. If your company regularly employs former interns, you position yourself for future success by utilizing internships as a chance to thoroughly prepare young professionals for full-time roles.


What are the top 5 traits successful intern?

DO-IT Ambassador: Here are some qualities of a good intern that my professors from undergraduate and graduate school believed to be important:
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to multi-task.
  • Taking constructive criticism well.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Punctuality.
  • Effective communication.

How do you coach an internship?

6 Ways to Be a Great Boss to Your Intern
  1. Prepare. Before your intern walks through the door, consider what exactly her job will entail and what responsibilities you’ll assign her.
  2. Make Her Feel Welcome. …
  3. Schedule Regular Check-Ins. …
  4. Provide Meaningful Tasks. …
  5. Don’t Assume Prior Knowledge of Anything. …
  6. Be a Mentor.

How do you manage your first internship?

  1. Have an Orientation. Your first task is to set aside an hour or so to speak with your intern, regardless of whether there is a larger, more formal orientation at your office.
  2. Ask (and Observe) His or Her Learning Style. …
  3. Provide a Written Task List. …
  4. Lead by Example. …
  5. Ask for Help.

What interns should not do?

8 Mistakes to Avoid While Doing an Internship
  • Benefits of Completing an Internship.
  • Taking the Internship Too Casually.
  • Avoiding Menial Tasks.
  • Poor Time Management.
  • Not Adhering to the Office Dress Code.
  • Not Learning the Office Culture.
  • Not Taking the Time to Establish Important Relationships.

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