Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

top 10 concerns of interns

1. Give Us Real Work!
It cannot be said too many times that interns want to work and learn. An internship can help you with projects and assignments that may not get accomplished otherwise.

2. Do What You Say, and Say What You Do!
Be honest with your interns about what they can expect during their internships. If the job will require stuffing some envelopes, then make that clear. If you tell the intern they will be researching a project and they spend 90% of their time doing grunt work, bad feelings develop. Honesty shows the interns you respect them.

3. We Like Feedback!
Remember that interns are students, and they may not have the skills that you take for granted. If your intern makes a mistake, use this as a “teaching moment” and pull him or her aside and explain how the situations should be handled in the future.

4. We Want to be Included Too!
Is there a staff meeting they can attend? Can they quietly tag along to that next project meeting? Headed to lunch with a couple people from the office? Please include them in the daily life of your workplace.

5. Please Explain.
When you assign work, make sure you give a detailed explanation. While the work may seem obvious to you, it may not be to someone new.

6. I Want a Mentor!
Make sure that interns have mentors or supervisors to provide guidance.

7. A Minute of Your Time Please.
The best mentor in the world is useless if he or she cannot or will not spend the necessary time mentoring. As newcomers, interns may not speak up if they are feeling ignored, so the burden of making sure they are okay is on the mentor. If the busiest person in the office wants to be the designated mentor, they should schedule regular times to meet.

8. Be Prepared!
That wonderful day has arrived and the intern begins his/her internship only to learn that no one knew they were coming, and there is no place for them to work.

9. Um…I Need a Chair.
It is amazing how many employers hire an intern and do not think about the fact that they will need a desk, chair, phone, and a computer to perform assigned tasks. It is no fun, and not efficient to move an intern from desk to desk as people are out one day to the next. You need to supply the intern with the tools to get the job done.

10. Show Me the Money (as best as you can).
While each internship is different, and each industry has its own personality, remember that interns have expenses. Your organization may not be in a position to pay much, but anything can help. Maybe you can help pay for their parking, take them to lunch every so often, or develop some other creative ways to assist them.