By Brian Dainis
In today’s tough employment environment, every single advantage a candidate can get helps put them ahead in the race. One of the greatest advantages students can get is to participate in internship programs.
With the number of post-secondary education options in and around Philadelphia, there is a treasure trove of potential interns available for companies to choose from. Even here, in Chester County, students graduating from Technical College High School can be great resources for the summer, and even throughout the year.
The advantages to the students are pretty clear – on the job training, a job in their field of interest, and in the case of paid internships, some money in their pockets.
But what are the benefits for the company? Believe it or not, interns are as good for you as you are for them.
Five Benefits of an Internship Program
- Increase your productivity: There are lots of tasks within your organization that are constantly pushed aside for higher priority tasks. Maybe you need an email template built for your newsletter, or updates to your website have been waiting on a resource. There are many tasks that an intern can handle that may seem simple to you, but gives them exposure to how real companies work.
- Find future employees: Have you ever put someone through your interview process, and they seem great, only to find out after they are hired that they don’t mesh with your company culture? Internships are like test driving talent. You can see how well they fit in, where their strengths and weaknesses are and what value they bring to your company. As an added bonus, bringing on a former intern fulltime means a shorter recruiting cycle and less HR time, which in turn leads to a cost savings.
- A new perspective: Interns can give you a new set of eyes on your products, services and even your internal processes. Don’t be afraid to ask your interns for their opinions. They may see something from a customer’s perspective that you missed simply by being so close to your own product or service. And when it comes to internal processes, an intern can help you understand what makes sense, and what seems ridiculous to someone outside your corporate bubble.
- Cost savings: Let’s face it, even if you’re paying your interns they are still cheaper than a full time employee. And you should consider paid internships over unpaid. You’ll get better candidates and open up the field to economically disadvantaged youth who don’t have the luxury of working for free.
- A warm, fuzzy feeling: Last but not least, you’ll know that you’re helping to guide and mold the career of a young person as well as helping to build your community. It can even help you build stronger ties with universities. And by working with their placement offices, the universities can the guide you to candidates best suited to your organization.
Brian Dainis is the founder and CEO of Curotec. He has worked with hundreds of companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500’s. Using technology to solve high impact business problems is Brian’s passion which is what led him to found Curotec. In addition to Brian’s leadership role with Curotec, he sits on the board of directors for Liberty Valley Initiative, a 501(C)(3) non-profit geared towards fostering and promoting the technology ecosystem in the Philadelphia region.