Can you feel the summer coming? Oh yes! And the university students in Poland can feel it as well. This time of the year is especially busy for them, as they take their final exams and the very end of their university education is approaching. No more courses to take, no more exams, other than life exams, exciting!
For many young people, the summer time will not mean full-swing vacation, but instead the months of their first and very important experience in their professional lives – the internship programs.
The very young professionals are ready to take on their new adventures, they are more than willing to work hard, learn new skills, and most definitely they would look for help to find out the direction of their careers. It’s the give and take transactions as for employers the internship program is a chance to find bright minds that will bring talent and fresh perspectives to the table.
Now, let’s see what factors the students and new grads take into consideration when choosing a company and the internship program. What are they looking for? First of all, the company reputation is very important, Many of my friends asked around what company is worth applying to. They checked the Internet, asked their friends, and attended job fairs. Dear Employer, if you are looking for young talent – remember that your brand and reputation is very significant and may be a determining factor in choosing your company over another.
How to create the good opinion? It is very simple – dear employer, treat your interns as a living and feeling human beings. There are legends about humiliating tasks being assigned to new interns. Nobody wants to become an expert in just making good coffees and printing piles of documents. I believe the worst is leaving interns all alone on the very first day at work. You can see opinions that giving that much freedom at the very beginning is a great test – will your intern sit and do nothing all day? Or be proactive and find something to do?
First day is always very stressful, even for experienced employees. Is it really so brilliant idea to perform behavioural test on your interns for the very first day? I don’t think so.
Interns must have guidance – in many companies you can experience a “buddy institution”. A Buddy is a person responsible for welcoming an intern to the team and making sure, that first days at work will not be traumatic. The Buddy shows also what is the culture in the company – where is everybody going for lunch and what are other small traditions in the office. This person makes sure that intern will have all necessary training and tools. Apart from all that formal duties, the buddy provides also emotional support.
Another important part of internship is the duties. Interns need time to learn but it doesn’t mean that they are not working the whole day and just watching online trainings. Every week the new employees know more, remember more and finally they have not only skills but also enough self-confidence to work on their own. An Intern is an efficient employee and the employer needs to give him/her a chance to learn and encourage to be independent.
In Poland there is still discussion going on – should interns receive salary? Many employers think that since inters mostly learn, they should not receive any money – why pay someone who is not actually working? In my opinion this is not the right thinking. At some point during the internship our intern will be experienced enough to work as efficiently as a regular employee. Paid internship is also part of employer’s brand – we hire the best grads and we treat them well, because we believe in them.
Is internship good for grads? Yes, of course! It is a chance to start career in a friendly environment.
Is internship good for employers? Yes, of course! You as an employer have a chance to ‘mould’ a new employee that will fit in your company, the perfect match we all want to experience both as an employer and employee.