Most entry-level positions for any industry require 1 to 2 years experience in the field – if you’re wondering what kind of experience the description is referring, it’s from an internship (or two, or three!).
You could even say that internships are the new entry-level job, or at least makes finding a permanent full-time job easier. A 2011 survey of 1,000 U.S. working adults revealed that 57 percent recommend being in an internship program to make finding a job less difficult. Unfortunately, not all internship programs are made to be as instrumental, which tends to give a popular perception of internships as menial labor.
To challenge that misconception, Jennifer King of Software Advice interviewed two employers of interns to talk about what elements makes an internship program successful. Here are some key takeaways:
- Internships must benefit both the intern and employer, in terms of performance and expectations
- Internship programs require much time and energy to maintain favorable among candidates, in return companies can build a talent pipeline for future positions
- Let interns know that they’re making a contribution to the company’s mission and let them produce meaningful work
Other topics discussed included the benefits and challenges of having an internship program. To learn more, check out the complete interview:
Jennifer King is an HR Analyst at Software Advice, a company that reviews employee evaluation and recruiting software. She blogs about technology, trends, and best practices in human resources, recruiting, and talent management.
What do you think? Do you think internships are necessary? How else can companies build a successful internship program? Share your thoughts in the comments below!