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In episode 12 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan discuss internships with special guest Chris “The Brain” Hoyt, owner of Apprenace, a company that specializes in creating meaningful internship programs. Topics include unpaid vs. paid internships, how to get started on creating a great internship program, and the three core reasons companies have interns.
When internships are done well they can create tons of success for the intern and the organization, but people often don’t know what to do with interns, how to train them, and what they can and can’t give the interns, and whether the internship should be paid or unpaid. Unpaid internships can’t be used directly for profit; it needs to be a community engagement activity that gives the intern some kind of education and experience. Interns also can’t just be doing the same thing for less – there has to be an education component.
There are three core reasons that companies have interns, and each calls for a different type of program:
- You’re testing the market for future full-time hires.
Internships can be a great way to grow your team, so play “intern survivor” and use it as a way to determine who you want to hire.
- You need help and interns are an inexpensive way to get it.
This can be a dangerous reason to have an intern; you need to make sure that while you’re getting the help you need, they’re getting legitimate experience for their resume.
- You’re being nice – someone’s child, neighbor, etc. needs something to do.
Do they just need an internship or are they really looking to start a career? Based on the answer to that question, they fall back into one of the first two programs.
When you’re creating your internship program, there are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Never imply that a job is guaranteed or likely as a result of the internship.
- Don’t expect the intern to be good at being a professional, but need coaching to learn the skills for the job; it’s normally the opposite.
- Don’t assume a candidate’s degree and college makes them a fit for you; they often pick their major or career direction without much coaching and haven’t figured out where they fit yet.
In this episode’s listener mail, Sharon in Iowa was offered a voluntary severance program and handed an intimidating legal-looking agreement. JoDee and Susan give her advice on whether she should have an attorney look it over before she signs it. Then, they discuss an Indeed survey showing that the number one reason people move is because of a job, and those who turn down job-related moves typically do it for personal reasons.
Mentioned in This Episode:
, a local college that has a great career placement office
- The Intern, a movie that JoDee and Susan love, about a man in his 70s becoming an intern
- “How HR Can Support Reverse Mentoring”, an article in SHRM’s HR Magazine about companies formalizing relationships where the younger person is mentoring the more experienced person
- Indeed’s Domestic Migration Survey, which asked 4,000 Americans why they did or didn’t relocate when given the option