Interns For Marketing? – Opportunities and Mistakes

Definition of an Intern (In-Turn) is simply defined as an advanced student or recent graduate
undergoing supervised practical training. The In-Turn means “it is a two-way street.” Both the
employer and the intern need to benefit.
Benefits of an Internship (Top six – you pick your favorite three)

1. Potential Talent Pipeline – Internships can serve as a recruitment strategy, giving you
the chance to evaluate potential future employees before committing to a full-time
position. More importantly, given the tough labor market, this could be ideal for some
companies. Finally, 85 percent of companies utilize internships to recruit full time
employees. It is also less expensive for an organization. It is approximately 50% less
expensive to hire an intern rather than fill a position from the outside. This concept also
allows you to “try before you buy.” If it works out great, if not, you have an end date.

2. It can be Cost Effective– Hiring interns is generally more cost effective than hiring full
time employees or a contractor. This allows you to accomplish tasks and projects
without straining your budget, especially for a short-term assignment. This can also help
businesses manage their budget and receive good marketing support.

3. Interns bring a fresh perspective– Interns often come with new ideas, viewpoints,
insights, innovation (new ways of doing things) that can reinvigorate your team’s
creative thinking and offer new or unique solutions to existing challenges.

4. Excellent for Networking (company and for intern)– Encourages interns to interact with
different teams, attend meetings, and connect with professionals from the field. The
interns build valuable networking contacts and you (the organization) have future
contacts/employees/ idea generation. Conversely, interns can introduce your business
to their own contacts and networks, opening up potential new business contacts, clients
or partnership opportunities.

5. Technology Proficiency– sometimes, interns (younger college students) can learn and
teach the organization about a new technology or application. Many interns are savvy
and familiar with the latest digital tools. Their skills can streamline the learning process
and improve your businesses online presence.

6. Your organization will look like a Community Oriented Organization– Hiring interns can
foster positive relationships with educational institutions, build your businesses
reputation as a company that is engaged and “gives back to the community” and shows
support for the local community. It is also a positive PR move for your organization and
positions you as giving back, open to learning and also a mentor of the younger

Some Key Mistakes to Avoid (or the negatives)

1. Not Developing Clear Objectives– One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not
having a well-defined and structured internship program. Make sure to define the goals of the internship, and outline the tasks that align with your objectives. Interns need to know what you expect and what to do.

2. It does require a time commitment on the part of the organization. Some organizations
fail to assign a mentor or a supervisor to guide the intern and provide feedback. A nice
orientation or on-boarding program and training program is needed to help the interns
become familiar with the organization and expectations and assignments. You can’t just
have an intern do some work with out providing guidance and supervision.

3. Don’t assign only menial tasks– treating interns as glorified coffee baristas or trivial
assignments can be degrading and demotivating. Interns need to do meaningful work
which should provide them with a valuable learning experience.

4. Make sure you have a Start and End Date– Having a timeline for the internship is good
for both the organization and the intern. A clearly defined start date and end date will
ensure that if something does not work out, the internship does not have to go on
forever. It also sets clear expectations in case you want to hire the intern or if you select
not to do that.

5. Companies need to provide Feedback or Provide an Evaluation System– you might want
to set up specific timeframes to provide feedback to the interns. This might be the first
couple of weeks, monthly or after the summer. Today’s students need/require a lot of
feedback. This will ensure you are able to provide it.

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