STEPS TO GET THE BEST OUT OF AN INTERN
Cara Jenkin finds how interns can help themselves and the business
1 TREAT THEM LIKE ANYONE ELSE
‘‘ Even though an intern is in the workplace for a temporary period, treat them just as any other regular employee,’’ Gamble says. ‘‘ Make them feel a full part of the team.’’ INTERNS are a valuable resource for companies, not just a community service or a cheap staffing option.
Rohan Gamble, founder and managing director of financial comparison website Mozo.com.au, outlines how workers can get the most out of interns during their time in the workplace that will help the intern’s development, as well as the company’s.
Try to balance routine tasks with interesting projects.
‘‘ The easy option is to dump mundane tasks on interns, leaving you to focus on your higher level work.
‘‘ But if you can take the time to show interns how your systems work and give them some simple training, they’ll be much more useful and productive,’’ he says.
FIND THEIR SKILL
Interns may also have existing skills that could benefit your company.
‘‘ A specific talent or interest, such as writing skills, social media prowess or even digital photography can be used to your advantage,’’ Gamble says.
‘‘ One of our recent marketing interns (Shaun Leung, pictured) had web and graphic design skills and redesigned our website home page, boosting conversion rates by 20 per cent.’’
4 HARNESS THEIR INSIGHT
New people always bring fresh insight and ideas and a different perspective.
‘‘ Companies struggling to understand younger customer demographics have an instant, free focus group on hand,’’ Gamble says.
‘‘ Ask your interns what they honestly think about your business. As potential customers, what changes would they like to see occur?’’
GIVE THEM A VOICE
‘‘ Don’t hide your interns away,’’ Gamble says. ‘‘ Having young, bright people on staff can be great for your company’s image.
‘‘ At Mozo, we encourage interns to blog under their own names, rather than strictly controlling the corporate voice to senior employees only.’’
Gamble says an internship can lead to a permanent position if the intern proves their worth.
‘‘ You have a potential employee who is tried and tested, knows your company and is already a valued team member,’’ he says.