After a hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, internship programs are back and present an opportunity to select and develop future talent. According to ASE’s 2022 Salaries for Co-Op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey, 88% of the 105 respondents maintain a formal internship program.
A typical internship:
- Includes developing intentional learning objective goals that are structured into the experience and supervised by a professional with relevant and related background in the field
- Promotes academic, career and/or personal development
- Includes learning objectives, observation, reflection, and evaluation
- Balances the intern’s learning goals with the organization’s needs
- Typically lasts three months. May be part-time or full-time
- Involves industry related and soft skill development
- May be carefully monitored and evaluated for academic credit
- Provides adequate supervision in a reasonably safe environment with the necessary tools to perform the learning goals agreed upon for the duration of the internship.
An internship is not:
- Free help
- Meant to replace an employee
- More than 20% busy work (i.e., filing, covering phone, errands)
On average 66.4% of interns convert to full-time employees. To create a successful internship program, you should answer the following questions:
- What does your organization hope to gain from the program?
- Is your organization looking to fulfill a need on a specific project? Will this internship(s) encompass one major project, or entail a variety of small projects?
- What are the tools and workspace necessary to provide the student?
- What talents, academic background, and experience do you want in an intern? Decide on qualifications early on to help you select the best candidate.
- Who will be primarily responsible for the intern(s)? Will that person be a mentor, supervisor, or both?
A recent article from NACE – National Association of Colleges and Employers listed the 15 Best Practices for an Internship Program. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Provide interns with real work assignments.
- Hold orientations for all involved.
- Offer scholarships.
- Offer flex time or remote work arrangements.
- Have an intern coordinator in your company.
- Bring in speakers from your company's executive ranks for lunch & learns.
- Conduct focus groups and exit interviews.
Feed your full-time hiring with a top-notch internship program.
The 2022 Salaries for Co-Op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey is available free of charge to ASE members (located in the ASE Member Dashboard) and for $525 to non-members. Non-members can request to purchase here.