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Daily Buzz: Develop an Internship Program

Ensure your interns provide value to your organization via these best practices

Considering an internship program? It could be a great benefit to your organization, argues Audrey Del Prete on the Blue Avocado blog.

“Depending on their background, [interns] may be as valuable as paid staff and their main goals are typically finding an opportunity to learn and grow,” she says.

To run an effective program, there are a few best practices to follow. For one, make sure the program is mutually beneficial: the organization, supervisor, and intern should get something out of the relationship.

“The student may have certain educational requirements or their own personal goals. Try to help them achieve those as well as any you set,” Prete says. “The best way to maintain the intern’s passion for your mission is to assign them tasks that actually interest them.”

When tasks are assigned, set clear goals, expectations, and requirements to ensure accountability from interns. Prete suggests scheduling weekly meetings with them to assess progress and make sure their needs—and the organization’s—are being met.

Though it’s good to keep interns busy with real tasks, be careful not to saddle them with all the busy work, Prete warns. And don’t let other staff members assign work that’s outside of the agreed scope.

“If it’s not part of their learning goals or assignments, don’t let others take advantage of you or your intern,” she says. “I know that sharing is caring, but you don’t want the student to get overloaded by doing everyone else’s busy work.”

Please select this link to read the original article from Associations Now.

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