PPR Strategies


Seeking an intern? 4 tips before you get started

Have you ever considered hiring an intern for your organization?

Here at PPR Strategies, we’ve had many interns over the years, which have helped us with important tasks such as media research, client events, blog writing, storytelling with clients, and more.

We’ve had interns work with us from 2 weeks to 3 months… And at least half of our full-time employees started out as interns!

The beauty of hiring interns is that they’re able to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the table. They can provide you with additional support while they receive valuable job experience in an industry they are considering for a career path.

Not sure where to start when it comes to hiring an intern? Here are a few key tips:

1. Decide on the Purpose and Goals

It can be a lot of work for an organization to bring in an intern, and so it’s very important to know your purpose.

We’ve found that the greatest payoff for us is that working with interns allows us to cultivate young talent and a future generation. It can also be a great way to find new talent that could transition to working as a full-time employee.

The biggest thing you don’t want to do is have an intern start a new project. For example: don’t make the mistake of having an intern start and maintain an Instagram account, only to leave you stuck when their internship ends.

Some projects an intern could work on include creating a content calendar, writing blog posts, doing market research, or even a photography or videography intern who can capture data and build a photo library.

You also want to decide on how long the internship position is for. Internships don’t have to last all summer long. They could just last 2 weeks, which still gives the intern an experience to figure out if this is the business or industry for them to be in.

2. Decide What’s In It For the Intern

What makes this internship an opportunity the intern would like to have?

An intern may want job experience, class credits, or the opportunity to figure out if this field is appropriate and if they like the culture and work environment. Remember: they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them!

Paid internships are going to open things up for a more diverse population. Students need to get paid, and if they are providing a valuable service then they should get paid.

If it is not a paid internship, are they receiving college credits? Is this the job in their field? What will make this a valuable experience for them?

3. Treat Finding an Intern Like a Hiring Process

When hiring an intern, go through the same requirements as if you were hiring a regular employee.

Create a job description that matches your needs, and post it to job sites and share it with colleagues.

Then, interview potential interns to see if they will be the right fit. Be flexible in the interview process as they are trying to make a decision. Their interview also might need to be over the phone or video conference as they may be away at school.

4. Reach Out to Your Local College

While our offices were located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, we were directly across the street from the university I attended. This meant I already had relationships there so it was easy to pick up the phone and call the professors and ask to speak to their students about internship opportunities.

If you don’t have existing relationships at your local college, don’t let that stop you from reaching out to them. Call a specific department or find out if they have an intern coordinator. This can be a great way to find local interns!

If you are a student seeking an internship or an organization seeking an intern, now is the perfect time to begin your search! Many students are trying to get summer internships locked in by spring break, so now is the time to do the outreach.

‘Til next time,

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