Last Updated 27 Mar 2020

3 Common Problems with Internship Programs

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3 Common Problems with Internship Programs & Suggested Solutions Many internships programs are plagued with problems. From not planning correctly to sometimes leaving an intern in the dark, a lot of companies do not take proactive measures to ensure the intern has a meaningful experience. However, this not only makes the internship unfulfilling, it may also leave a bad taste in the intern’s mouth, which could lead to company bashing or deterring others from applying in the future.

The good news is that many failing internship programs can be salvaged. Here are three common problems and how to fix them: The internship is one-sided. Many interns commit to an internship with the promise of creating relationships with the members of the organization, as well as establishing contacts through networking. However, some interns find that programs are very one-sided and benefits like having a mentor are almost non-existent. However, the whole point of an internship is to learn from more experienced professionals.

So, you may want to think about spending more time mentoring your intern by asking them what you can do to assist them with their goals and helping them grow from intern to young professional. Think about creating an internship plan, meeting with your intern on a regular basis, and keeping them informed on company news. The more feedback you give them, the more your intern learns. Tasks are unrelated or irrelevant. We’ve all heard the internship stereotypes, like coffee runner, cabinet filer, or document copier.

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While these tasks obviously need to be done by someone, it probably shouldn’t be the highlight of an internship program. For example, if you work in an architecture firm and need an intern, their tasks could include things like assisting in creating blueprints, suggesting additions to site planning, or helping to manage a client deal. These are real experiences. After all, you’re only discrediting your image and the image of your company if you continue to dish out menial tasks. If you’re not going have a meaningful internship program, what’s the point of even having one?

The “just an intern” syndrome. Many of us have had the “just an intern” syndrome. It happens when the intern doesn’t feel like a real part of the team or a real asset, so they glide through the program with little to no experience. However, this is not just a waste of time for the intern (and frankly, for your company). It could lower your rate of production and the quality of work since there may not be an incentive, either through pay or appreciation. So, what can you do to flip the “just an intern” mentality?

How about giving your intern real responsibilities that will contribute to the well-being of your team and the organization? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. By giving someone an actual reason to perform at their highest level, you could make them feel important, thus increasing the chances of efficiency and putting their work to a higher standard. Ultimately it comes down to appreciation. We all want to feel like we positively contributed to a job and were credited for it. Make sure your internship program reflects this as well. Sources: www. internadvocate. com

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