Tag Archives: design internships

Jun11

Questions to Ask During Your Internship Interview

Internship Interview

In many ways, an internship interview is very similar to a job interview. However, there are some key questions every potential intern should ask their interviewer in order to know where they stand in the company if they do in fact get that position:

What is a typical day like?

Some companies aren’t clear about what an intern will actually do day-to-day in their office. It’s important to clearly understand what your responsibilities might be as an intern to ensure that you will actually be learning things that are worthwhile and gaining skills that are relevant to your goals.

Is there potential to extend my internship?

I’ve had internships in the past that ran the entirety of an academic quarter/semester but that I wanted to extend. Thankfully, I asked a couple weeks before my last day if I could stay longer and they said it would be fine, but not every company can accommodate this – some have already hired new interns for the next round. If it’s something you think you might want to stay at, ask during the interview or very early in the internship if extension is a possibility.

Could this lead to a full-time position?

Because of the growing competitive nature of internships in the past few years, it is no longer a given that an intern will gain rights to full-time employment after their term is finished. It’s a good thing to ask the interviewer whether or not they think the internship could realistically become a job if you do the job well. Some companies are too small or cannot at the time afford a full-time employee.

What positions have past interns gotten after completing this one?

It might help you get an idea of what career path this internship could lead you down. And don’t leave it up to the interviewer to tell you about the program. Depending on how large the company is, if you search enough on the Internet you will most likely find an intern review or testimonial.

Written by Diane Ly

May16

Grow Your Business By Creating An Internship Program

Quickstart Internship System_cover

Any size company, even a solo entrepreneur can benefit from creating and launching a quality internship program. The benefits quickly outweigh the initial time investment it takes to create a quality internship program. As an entrepreneur, you will want to customize the program specifically to your business needs.

There are many details to consider when structuring an internship program. Internship programs can be paid, unpaid, for-credit or a combination of different structures. Some companies differentiate their internship programs by providing stipends, completion bonuses and other unique perks but pay alone does not make a quality internship program.

All internship programs should have learning components or learning exercises. Any project or assignment that will teach the intern a new skill and/or allow them to shadow someone performing their job can be considered a learning exercise. Ultimately, learning exercises should add new skills to the intern’s resume and give them a better understanding of their industry. For example, if an intern works virtually part of the time then a learning exercise with written instructions for the intern would be beneficial. In addition, a few moments shadowing someone completing the required task before working virtually could assist in the learning experience.

So what actually goes into a quality internship program? CreativeInterns.com recommends including at least these components:

An internship program mission and objectives

  • Provides direction, goals and outlines other specifics about facilitating the internship program

A formal written program including

  • A recruiting plan to develop talent pipeline relations
  • An intern manual or welcome packet
  • Job descriptions with learning exercises
  • Agreements with internship program expectations
  • Time logs & other academic credit considerations

A support structure

  • Identify one person to be the internship manager/coordinator, solo entrepreneurs usually do this on their own

A formal internship program process

  • On-boarding (orientation), assessments and exit interviews (off-boarding)

Continued development and improvement of the program

  • Evaluations should be completed about the interns, managers and internship program

Adherence to legal considerations for unpaid interns

  • See the Department of Labor requirements here

At CreativeInterns.com, we have seen several start-ups create engaging and robust internship programs that benefit both the intern and business. On the other hand, if you are winging it, then you might encounter a few challenges including but not limited to:

  • You can’t find interns that want to be part of your internship program
  • Interns accept your internship program offer but don’t perform to your expectations or they leave before the internship period is complete
  • You feel like you don’t have the time to train, manage and delegate to your interns
  • Interns do not seem engaged in activities that can build your brand in a positive manner

One solution to creating a quality internship program is to utilize a system that walks you through the process, step-by-step. CreativeInterns.com created a tool for specifically for this purpose called the Quickstart Internship System. The system allows event the smallest of companies to create and launch an internship program in a matter of hours after completing the step-by-step exercises. In addition, Marc Scoleri, Co-Founder of CreativeInterns.com will provide a 60 minute consultation for any company that uses the Quickstart Internship System. Internship programs created with the Quickstart Internship System can help you business realize the following benefits:

  1. Low or no cost labor
  2. Increase productivity
  3. Give back to the community
  4. Interns bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to your team
  5. Interns can bring a continuous flow of ideas into your organization
  6. Employers can boost internal morale by hiring interns
  7. Employers can increase workforce diversity by utilizing interns
  8. Interns are a great resource for projects and can fill the gap during peak workloads
  9. Employers find interns to be great public relations agents or brand ambassadors; students can have a very positive effect on future recruiting and hiring efforts
  10. Offering internships enables organizations to develop strong ties with local colleges

As you can see there are many benefits to having a quality internship program. Once you create and launch your program it will be important to be flexible with the entire process. Working with interns that are still in school will require flexible schedules but if you decide to pay an hourly wage and open your program to graduates too, then you will widen the net of prospective candidates. Either way, helping the next generation of talent grow and develop is a reward in itself. Interested in starting an internship program? Feel free to contact us for assistance in creating a quality internship program.