Keys To A Successful Internship
10 KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL INTERNSHIP
1. Have a passion for mentoring
We want KCHS mentors to have a genuine passion for fostering growth in students. Without this desire, it can be a challenging situation for the students and mentors.
2. Set expectations early
If possible, include your intern in an orientation that a regular employee would attend. This will give your intern an understanding of company policies (including technology), behavior expectations, dress code, and attendance. It also provides a sense of belonging to the organization. If you do not have a standard employee orientation, please review the above information with your intern the first week of internship.
3. Be prepared for the experience
There will be plenty of information about start dates, timelines, attendance, and schedules coming to you from the internship coordinator to help you prepare for the experience. For most KCHS interns, this is their first time in a professional environment. Having a plan in place eases their nerves and makes the internship experience more meaningful to everyone involved.
4. Designate a workspace
Your KCHS intern is going to be with your organization for nearly a semester and will be coming four days a week. Be sure your intern knows where his/her workspace is and that it is available each day.
5. Get to know your intern
Developing a relationship with your intern is critical to the success of internship experience. Set aside some time, especially early in the internship, to get to know your intern. This will help you determine your intern's abilities, skills sets, interest, goals, and areas to focus on for growth and improvement.
6. Continue to communicate
Revisit originally stated expectations and provide feedback. Layer-in new expectations as needed. Ask your intern for his/her thoughts. Communicate regularly with the KCHS Internship Coordinator. He/she is available to support you and the intern throughout the internship. And be receptive to providing advice on internship projects.
7. Include your intern
Take your intern to meetings, tradeshows, conferences, seminars, office celebrations, and other events where they can interact with professionals and gain new insights into the world of work.
8. Be there, and make sure they're there
Be accessible. Establish and update schedules. Tell your intern to whom they should report in your absence. Advise the KCHS internship coordinator if your intern is more than 15 minutes late. The student should inform you of an absence, but we need to verify it through the attendance office.
9. Responsibility --Variety -- Challenge
Plan some initial responsibilities for your intern and incorporate what you learn about their skills and desires. Build on the initial responsibilities and projects to give the intern exposure to a variety of departments, co-workers, and growth opportunities. Challenge your intern. Comfort zones are made to be broken.
10. Celebrate successes
Everyone enjoys being acknowledged for their contributions. Positive reinforcement is good management and good mentoring.