Tag Archives: creativeinterns

Oct22

Startup Tips From Techweek NYC

Aspiring entrepreneurs, digital media specialists, investors and all-around tech lovers gathered at 82 Mercer Street on October 17th for Techweek, the first to launch in New York City (it was originally founded in Chicago in 2011). This NYC edition was full of summits, workshops, the LAUNCH startup competition and fashion tech runway show.

It was great to see so many passionate people following their dreams and who are eager to become their own bosses—many of them students or recent graduates. So this was definitely an event to take notes if you’re thinking of starting your own company, not to mention a great opportunity to network like crazy. Here’s a quick list of some of the key points that I learned from spending the day surrounded by such innovative and inspirational people with contagious entrepreneurial spirits.

1. Collaborate.

A great way to get your company out there is to work with other like-minded businesses. Whether that may be through some special cross-promotions or creative partnerships, there are so many different ways to do this. Think outside the box. This is how you can set yourself apart. An awesome example of a company coming up with cool collaborations is  Warby Parker, the affordable and stylish eyewear company that also helps others (for every pair that is sold, a pair is given to someone in need). One of their most popular collaborations was with the Man of Steel movie franchise, bringing the iconic Clark Kent-style frames to life. They’ve also teamed up with Ghostly, The Standard Hotel, and Pencils of Promise just to name a few. Through these projects, they’ve been able to put themselves on the map and are becoming a go-to eyewear destination, both online and off.

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Tim Riley, Director of Online Experience at Warby Parker

2. Be open.

I think the best way to thrive in such an innovative environment is to have an open mind. Sure, you have this fantastic idea, but always remember that things can change quickly. Zack O’Malley Greenburg of Forbes said it best during his panel on making it in New York City, “Don’t get married to your idea, be open to redesign.” He wrote Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office, a book that takes a look into how the hip hop mogul took the business world by storm. Great ideas take time to develop and sometimes you have to go through quite a journey before reaching the final product—Jay-Z is no exception. Having an open mind makes this process much smoother.

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Kelly Reid (left) interviews Zack O’Malley Greenburg (right)

3. Build up a strong team.

Yes, you want to be independent, but everyone could use a solid support system. When starting up your own company, there’s a lot of planning (and stress) that goes into it, so it’s important to put together a reliable team of people you can depend on to help follow through with your vision. The co-founders of Hukkster, Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan, agree that “when you start your own thing, it’s constant pounding the pavement. When you have a team, it’s nice to have people helping you along the way.” Hukkster is a shopping app that aims to help customers find the best deals. They formed their team from a network they created and got references of people who would be fitting for the company.

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Hukkster co-founders Erica Bell (centre) and Katie Finnegan (right)

For more info on Techweek, be sure to visit www.techweek.com

Jul02

Intern Spotlight: Nicole Diane Girten

DSC_0375Interviewee Name: Nicole Diane Girten

Intern Position Title: Editing/Social Media Intern

Company Name: TrendSeeder

Company URL: http://www.trendseeder.com

Location (City/State): New York City, New York

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a rising sophomore at the Florida State University pursuing an English major with concentrations in Creative Writing as well as Editing, Writing and Media. I’m currently the Campus CEO for the TrendSeeder Campus Leadership Program at FSU, leading a team of six in TrendSeeder objectives on campus and within the Tallahassee area. I also blog and act as a photo-shoot set assistant for an on-campus fashion magazine called Diverse World Fashion, which publishes an issue every semester. I previously worked as an assistant and sales associate for Miami-based jewelry designer, and Project Accessory runner-up, Nina Cortes. It was under Nina’s apprenticeship that I became inspired to pursue a career in the industry. This summer, I’m working as an Editing and Social Media Intern for TrendSeeder at their headquarters in New York City. I write weekly articles and contribute to TrendSeeder’s social media presence. While in the city I also took the opportunity to work as a set assistant for a Harper’s Bazaar Latin America shoot for three days.  I plan to continue building my portfolio and working towards my goal of writing freelance in fashion.

What steps did you take to land this internship?

I started my internship hunt last December, just looking through the careers tabs of websites I really enjoyed and started sending applications out. I was talking with a friend about my search and she told me about TrendSeeder’s Campus Leadership Program and told me to apply and see what happens. I originally intended to just be a fashion editor for the program, but decided to take the jump and go for the CEO position, which included a summer internship at the TrendSeeder headquarters in New York City. A few weeks after filling out the application and taking a phone interview, I got the call saying I would be summering in the city and writing for the TrendSeeder Editorial. To say the least, I was ecstatic!

What attracted you to this company?

TrendSeeder promotes and creates a platform for emerging designers, and having worked with emerging jewelry designer Nina Cortes, I was familiar with the perspective TrendSeeder was reflecting. I felt I would be able to use my previous work experience to my advantage and could better express the company’s point of view in my writing. I also wanted to work in fashion, and I saw TrendSeeder as an amazing opportunity to do so.

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What skills are you learning while at your internship?

I am learning the ins and outs of the fashion industry, as well as the world of editing. I am getting to experience hands-on the work that goes into every aspect of fashion—from marketing and strategic partnerships to creative content and social media, I’m learning what goes into running a fashion company.

Can you describe what a normal day is for an intern at your company?

On a normal day I come in around 10, get settled with my laptop and a cup of coffee and start working on the article assigned to me that week. I will also start posting on a variety of different social media sites, and I normally like to flip back and forth between the two. I’ll do one Polyvore post a day on average and post products to sites like Wanelo as well. I also keep up with the TrendSeederFSU social media, so I’ll intermittently do posts on that Facebook page and Twitter as well. In the afternoon we’ll normally either have a marketing meeting or a collaborative discussion about whatever project needs attention. Sometimes the team will even make mini field trips to sample sales on 5th Ave or take meetings with editorial writers. Every day holds a new possibility!

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Wonderful! Avani, TrendSeeder’s CEO, is really dedicated to making the work environment friendly and cooperative. All the executives are very approachable and want to collaborate with, or get input from, the interns in many different aspects of the company. It really makes for a positive place to work.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

Find what you love and attack it full force. This sounds incredibly cliché, but with determination and a pinch of luck, you really can make anything happen. Do not waste your time and energy trying to excel at something you hate. That takes twice the effort with an emotional toll to boot. Push yourself, but realize that you are not going to necessarily succeed at everything at first. You are going to stumble and fall eventually, and accepting this off the bat is important; try to land as gracefully as possible, dust yourself off and keep on your way. Be opportunistic. When you see a door, do not hesitate to throw yourself through it. Every time a potential something crosses your path, even if you feel it might be out of reach, jump at it. New experiences are chances to grow and this reflects well on a resume. Work hard, keep your chin up and magic will happen.

What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

Being in New York City has been an inspiration overload. From street style, to the architecture, to park performers, the endless possibilities and the variety of people here are what currently drive my creative efforts. I also find a lot of inspiration online with sites like Tumblr and Wanelo by just scrolling through and seeing what my eye is drawn to. Seeing the eclectic array of posts varying from typography and quotes, to graphic design and fashion campaigns is always a good way to get the creative juices flowing. I also love to practice yoga to help keep both mind and body in check. A clear head and a healthy body are personal needs to keep myself in tune creatively.

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What’s next for you?

I am going to continue working on my English major, keep up with TrendSeederFSU and Diverse World Fashion on campus and keep my eye out for new opportunities! I definitely want to come back to the city next summer, so I will either intern again with TrendSeeder or explore other options, but that decision is still a few months out. I’m also starting to look into grad schools, though this is a decision I have even longer to make. I’m just mostly trying to focus on the present, whether it is school or work, and push myself to do the best I can.

What’s your dream job?

I really would love to write freelance in fashion. Whether it’s for blogs or the major magazines, I really want to have my work in a multitude of publications. I think I would like the flexibility in the hours and the freedom to work where I please, though I do realize how insecure a career it is in comparison to a 9 to 5. Of course, I am young and my career path will probably shift here and there, but above all I really just want to be constantly surrounded with artistically-minded people. I think if I find an environment where I feel creatively motivated, I will be set.

Jun18

Startup Spotlight: RocketHub

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Anyone can be an entrepreneur these days. All you need is a great idea, motivation, and a strong support system. With companies such as RocketHub, Kickstarter and Indiegogo out there providing a platform for crowdsourced funding, any idea can be made into a reality.

Brian Meece, ukulele player

We chatted with RocketHub CEO Brian Meece, who gave insight into the story behind his company, some exciting projects and advice for budding creative entrepreneurs.

About Brian:

He plays a mean ukulele and is the CEO of RocketHub, one of the world’s top crowdfunding platforms. He has lectured on crowdsourced funding at SXSW, TEDxBrooklyn, Columbia University, Makers Faire, among other colleges, conferences and institutions. His goal? To teach entrepreneurs how to leverage the crowd for funding their endeavors.

Where did the idea for RocketHub come from?

My background before RocketHub was in creative media.  I went to undergrad for film and have been playing in bands since high school.  As a creative, I recognized a pattern that was popping up with many of my colleagues using their communities to fund projects.  In the late 1990’s, I heard about Darren Aronofsky using the crowdfunding model to raise $60,000 from his community to make the movie Pi.  That blew my mind.

Crowdfunding was already starting to happen in the world of art, but I wanted to bring it into the mainstream and to new verticals.  So, in 2009 we launched RocketHub, and in the last 3 years we’ve seen massive growth of the crowdfunding movement.  RocketHub is a world leader in the space – and we’re proud of that.

What are some recent exciting developments at RocketHub?

In conjunction with A&E, RocketHub just launched Project Startup in April.  A&E reached out to us last summer – and right away I enjoyed connecting with their team.  A&E’s perspective was all about adding value to the RocketHub community. They did this by addressing the two key needs our project leaders have: the first one being how to raise more money, and the second being how to get the word out for their ideas.  These two components are at the core of the A&E partnership.  This partnership is historic in scope and elevates the RocketHub platform to a whole new level.

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What will Project Startup offer creative entrepreneurs?

Project Startup takes the stories of our project leaders and dials them into A&E’s wide audience.  Our project leader’s now have a chance to be showcased across A&E’s multitude of platforms – over 100 million TV sets, web access, live events, as well as A&E’s magazine.  In addition to exposing project leaders to a wide audience, A&E is also giving funds to crowdfunding projects on RocketHub.

Is there any particular advice you’d give creative grads who are looking to launch their first ever crowdfunding campaign?

Crowdfunding is an online event that harnesses a community for funding, awareness and feedback. This event has a beginning, a middle and end to it. It’s very different from the standard ecommerce play where you open up a store and sell stuff online. And it’s different from a donation play where there’s an online tip jar. Crowdfunding is very much an event that galvanizes communities to participate within a very specific amount of time.

The way our platform works is that a project leader comes to RocketHub, uploads the title of their project and what they’re looking to do. And they’ll typically have a pitch video talking about themselves, their passion for the project, and a detailed project description. Then, they’ll set a goal amount – what they’re looking to raise along with rewards they can give back to funders.

The three core components we find successful projects have are:

  • An awesome mission spearheaded by awesome people;
  • An audience of core supporters
  • Cool “goods” to offer in exchange for the financial contribution

Those three things together are the “secret sauce” for successful campaigns.

To succeed a project needs to sell the experience. This funding model is about the relationship that these funders have with the person spearheading the project. It’s about the relationship that those fuelers have with this person and that they have with each other – their ability to connect and communicate. It’s really about how communities participate with the funding, how they connect with the campaigner and the other funders and what they get back in exchange for the financial contribution. It’s a very different phenomenon from just going to the store and buying something. It’s very impactful when done correctly. I encourage folks to check out the “Success School” on RocketHub to learn more.

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Have you interned before?

While I have not formally interned, I have made a point early on to be around folks I could learn from – and I’ve benefited from their advice. Coming into any organization with an attitude of “how can I add value?” mindset can generate an offering of opportunities.

So take Brian’s advice: get out there and make it happen!

Jun13

Let’s Get Visual

The days of using a generic resume template from Microsoft Word are becoming a thing of the past with the increase of creativity floating around cyberspace. Many employers are now looking for a URL to an online portfolio or even your Twitter handle to get a better sense of who you are.

So how can you fully reflect yourself and everything you have to offer on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper? That’s where your creativity kicks in. And with so many different tools out there, it’s easy to get started.

Indiana University student Lauren Jerdonek saw this as an opportunity and jumped on the chance to help others create resumes that would help them stand out from the crowd. She launched Précis Resumes as a resource for young professionals to get their feet in the door with a resume that would catch any employers’ eye.

Lauren Jerdonek

CreativeInterns: What made you want to start your own resume writing business?

Lauren Jerdonek: I was so frustrated when I was applying to jobs in New York City. I was sending my resume to hundreds of employers and not hearing back from anyone. I knew that I was well-qualified for the positions and I was sure that if I could personally hand them my resume they would be able see that. I knew that wasn’t possible so I decided to create a resume that was mature, but was also infused with my personality. I re-sent my resume and heard back from dozens of the same employers that had previously ignored it within hours. I knew I was onto something.

CI: Why do you think it’s important to break the traditional resume format?

LJ: Sending out your resume is essentially the first interview — you’re just at a disadvantage because you’re not there to defend yourself. I think it’s important to have your resume reflect your professional personality 100%. Whether or not that reflection is traditional or not is up to you.

CI: What is the best way for students to get noticed in this creative industry?

LJ: Create your own opportunities. So many students come to me and want to know how to even get content for their resume on top of an internship and the answer is to create opportunities for yourself. Always put that 120% effort in your classes, not for your grades sake but for your portfolio’s sake. Team up with friends or local businesses who have different talents but the same ambitions and create something to show of it—a photo shoot, a campaign, website. Exchanging your talents for one another’s benefit is a free yet amazing resource. When you have experience to show your future employer, and that experience is self-made, it shows your ambition. Plus, you can talk about your trials and errors as a leader which is something every boss wants to hear of their new hire. Don’t go the extra mile, go the extra ten miles.

CI: Has your revamped resume led to any cool opportunities?

LJ: Having a show-stopping resume got me in the door to a lot of amazing brands and companies. Being able to sit in a room with some of my industry idols were surreal moments for me.

CI: When you’re designing a resume, what’s the process like?

LJ: Before I do anything, I like to have Google+ Hang Out with my client. I like to see them & get a feel for their personality before I begin to craft something that’s supposed to represent them. I ask them about their ambitions, where they see themselves in ten years and silly questions, too. Immediately after that, I put together an inspiration board with colors, images and fonts that serve as a baseboard for that particular piece. I get a draft ready and my client and I work on fine-tuning it to their satisfaction.

CI: What tips do you have for college students when writing their own resumes?

LJ: Choose your words wisely. Avoid the dull trigger words like “organized,” “responsible” and “assisted.” Scouts read those words six-hundred times a day and phrases with those words in them make you seem boring and robotic…you’re not! You don’t need to make it obvious that you used the Online Thesaurus, but try to incorporate impact words like “accelerated,” “created” and “orchestrated.” It’s amazing how powerful your positions can sound by just choosing better action words. Another tip is that some things are better left off your resume. When you craft a resume you want to appear as the perfect candidate—don’t put work or jobs down that make you appear less than what you are in that moment of time. If you’re in college, leave all high school experience off your resume. If you have three similar internships under your belt, pick and choose different aspects of each you felt you were strong at doing rather than being redundant in your descriptions. It’s important to remain concise in conveying your work. The third tip is to be honest! Transparency is the key to building to a good relationship with your employer and if you’re unable to live up to your initial words it looks poorly on you, your boss, the department and the company…your contribution isn’t the ant you think it is! Aspiring employees put too much value on what they aren’t and less on what they are. Be different in saying “Hey, I know this area isn’t my strong point, but I can do THIS area better than anyone you’ve met and I’ll work day-and-night until my weak areas improve.” Be eager, keep your head down but be the hardest working employee or intern in the whole building.

She’s living proof that putting the time and effort into making a stellar resume can get you one step closer to your dream career. She’s a budding entrepreneur working with different fashion brands on projects in New York City this summer. Need resume-building inspiration? Check out Precis Resume at www.precisresumes.com.

May30

Intern Spotlight: Jamilla Pipersburg

 

Interviewee Name: Jamilla “JM” Pipersburg, International Marketing BBA Class of 2014

Position Title: President, Ad Club

Company Name: Pace University

Location: New York, NY

Tell us a little about yourself…

I am originally form Chetumal, Mexico. I currently attend Pace University where I am studying Marketing with a concentration in International Marketing and a minor in Economics. Besides from the serious stuff, I love going to the beach and practicing yoga.

How are you developing your leadership skills while still in school?

I currently am the President of my schools Advertising Club. In this position I gain leadership experience because I am constantly required to interact with please in the industry, but also our club membership which is roughly 280+ people.

Tell us the steps you taking to land internships or entry-level positions?

To land an internship or entry level position I am developing a personal brand. I have my own website, I am connected through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, CreativeInterns.com and other social media sites. I also try to attend local events or conferences when I can. Networking and being able to introduce yourself is the most important skill to have when starting out.

How did you hear about CreativeInterns.com

I heard of CreativeInterns.com through Dr. Larry Chiagouris. Add him on Twitter or LinkedIn, he has great advice for young people starting their careers.

What is the most important lessons you’ve learned about the work world thus far?

I have learned to Be Open. You never know who you will meet or how a small opportunity can lead to a bigger one. Also, never take things too personal, in the real world people have many things on their minds not just you and your needs.

What skills did you learn or improve while acting as the President of the Ad Club?

I am learning to speak to a mass of people and be comfortable. I also learned how to manage situations and making them work. Not everything happens as planned, but having a back up plan or strategy goes a long way.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship or entry-level job?

Start working on your personal brand. It will take time, but it will definitely pay off.

What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

My family and friends of course, but I also love art and design. I use those things to let my mind wonder and also relax. My best ideas come when I’m relaxed.

What’s next for you?

I took a proactive approach by directly contacting a company I wanted to intern with. They responded and I am scheduled for an interview within the next week. Hopefully I will be working there soon.

May28

Stay Sharp at Your Internship

Image credit: Novartis AG

Since most internships last an average of 3-6 months, you don’t have time to waste! In that short amount of time, you’ll want to squeeze in as much knowledge and experience as humanly possible.

In order to keep your ideas fresh and sharp, here are some tips I’ve found useful at my internships:

Brainstorm: If you have weekly meetings with your team, take advantage of them. This is your chance to bounce ideas you have off of others to see what sticks. This is especially useful if you’re responsible for a weekly task, such as blog posts, since you’re bound to run into at least one roadblock. Asking others in passing for ideas is simple and pays off.

Read the news: I found a lot of my blog and social media content through internet inspiration. Staying on top of current events gives you an extra edge because the content you write or ideas you suggest are relevant and interesting to others – some may not even know about it yet and you get to be ahead of the curve.

Observe: All too often I realize that I’m spacing out rather than observing my surroundings. By being aware of what’s going on around me and studying human behavior, nature, new architectural developments I’m able to gain inspiration from very unlikely sources.

Do new things: This one is a double whammy. Obviously you can learn something new and shed light on a world you’ve never experienced before. The kicker is that you can also learn something about yourself you never knew before, which can have a dramatic affect on your thinking. For instance, when I started taking kickboxing classes, I discovered that I’m able to withstand a lot more physical torture than I had previously thought, and that truly shattered the invisible barriers I had set for myself.

Written by Cathy Qiu

 

May11

The Secrets Behind the Interview Process

Image courtesy of val.pearl

Conducting an interview is a long and complicated process. Often times the hiring decision is made in an unexpected way. Here are some secrets that employers won’t tell you during the interview.

You didn’t get invited to interview? That doesn’t mean you are not good enough.

While it is true that employers select candidates who they think are the best fit, sometimes companies make decisions based on other unchangeable factors such as location or graduation date. A company I knew once had an immediate opening for an entry-level position, and there were over 200 applicants in a single month. Since this was an immediate opening the hiring manager filtered the candidates using two simple criteria: the person must have already graduated and the person must have at least one working experience related to the field. A lot of great candidates with excellent experience did not even get considered because they were still enrolled in school and the company needed someone who could start work as soon as possible. So don’t feel bad if you don’t get an interview at the company you want to work for. It may have nothing to do with your skills and capacity. Be confident in yourself.

The decision is usually made right after the interview.

Yes, you are told to wait a week or two for a decision. However, it’s often the case that employers have already made up their mind right after the interview. Research shows that employers only spend 4-5 minutes before they make an initial decision on whether you fit with the company. They estimate a longer time only because the company has other candidates scheduled to interview after you, and they will need to make some comparison to make sure they choose the right person. The evaluation of you is mostly done during your interview.

Performance is only one part, personality and cultural fit-in are also important.

Your performance at the interview is definitely a crucial element in determining your chances of being hired. However, employers make hiring decisions not only based on your performance. Having a good conversation with the interviewer is one thing, and determining if you are a good fit for the company culture is another. This is especially true for entry-level positions since those positions do not require a lot of experience. Cultural fit becomes key. After all, you will be working with people who you need to get along with to get the job done. So keep in mind that employers want to choose not only the best qualified, but the most suitable candidates for their company.

Written by Cathy Qiu

 

Apr26

WeIntern Emerging Talent and Employer Mixer

Talent & Employer mixer

Talent & Employer mixer

On April 24th CreativeInterns.com partnered with WeWork to host WeIntern: Emerging Talent & Employer Mixer. This exclusive event gave employers, hiring managers, and recruiters the opportunity to meet emerging entry-level talent and interns from several New York colleges and universities. The goal of this event was to connect emerging talent with innovative employers.

Employers reserved table space at the WeWork Soho Lounge where they were able to display business cards and promotional materials. Each employer gave a 30 second pitch to the group about their company and the positions they have available. Some of the internships/entry-level positions pitched were blogging, design, marketing, and social media.

WeIntern6Among the list of employers looking for talent were:

Aretove, a social media company

Built By The Factory, an Interactive Agency that creates digital brands

Gabello Studios, specialize in video and animation production

Stanmore Media Group, provides solutions for real time bidding and creative & web design

After the employers’ pitching session, talent was able to approach the employers of their choice and engage with them to express their interest in the positions pitched. Students and recent grads had the opportunity to network with prospective employers, hand out resumes, and show portfolios. The talent consisted of students and recent grads with skills related to account management, communications, graphic design and media arts to name a few.

“It was the best WeIntern Event to date, a packed house, with over 50 talent and 22 employers in attendance”, said Marc Scoleri, CEO of CreativeInterns.com.

In the creative industries it is sometimes difficult to find talent with the specific skills employers need. This event provided the perfect opportunity for students and recent grads looking for internships or entry-level employment to meet face to face with employers that are specifically looking for employees with their skills.

Written by Monique Skinner

Apr16

Benefits of Having an Internship Program

StudentsThere are many benefits of having an internship program. It doesn’t matter if you are a startup or a big company, having good interns can benefit your business in many ways.

Hiring interns is probably the best way to find future employees. An internship program can be a year-round recruiting process. For many that process can drain company’s resources but if you use your sources wisely it can be pretty simple and enjoyable. You can use different online job posting sites like CreativeInterns.com for getting word out to a wide crowd; as well as individual college career services departments.

Once your company completes its first round of an internship program you should be able to identify the kind of changes and improvements to make to your program. If you already have a developed internship program with learning exercises, word about your internship program could spread between students quickly. Soon you will have many students contacting you and asking for new opportunities.

Emerging talent looking for full-time work often apply to well-known companies. But when seeking internships, learning is the main motivation. Some students feel they’ll get more hands-on training and mentoring opportunities with smaller organizations. Internship programs can help smaller businesses secure quality talent while still in school. One great thing about hiring from an intern pool is that you can test skills and get to know them before offering a full-time position. In addition, interns will have a chance to understand the company culture and decide if it is a good fit for them too.

An intern can be a great extra pair of hands with a fresh, eager mind full of new ideas and creativity. Interns are also inexpensive source which is great advantage. Salaries of interns are much lower than full-time employees and their motivation is extremely high. After you find your perfect intern you might notice an amazing increase in productivity.

As a small business, you likely rely on community support. Creating an internship program is an excellent way to give back. Hiring interns not only helps students in your community get started, it improves the local workforce as a whole. Internships also provide students numerous benefits such as: industry experience, skill development, new connections and a chance to build their resume.

Offering a paid internship is extremely beneficial to emerging talent because it enables economically disadvantaged youth to participate. Students who have to help fund their own education will need a job, regardless. Providing an internship makes it easier to get job in future.

Written by Ana Komnenovic