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Running an Effective Internship Program

How important is an internship program? For many businesses, it’s a vital tool that connects employers with young aspiring talent. It also provides students with real-world training in their potential fields.

For more than 10 years, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has hosted some of the brightest and best students from the state and across the country. Each summer, 180 new faces participate in our internship program, which provides hands-on experience in a professional space. Students contribute to projects across multiple departments including IT, communications and public health.

While giving interns the opportunity to work in a corporate environment, we cultivate a pipeline of early talent. It’s a mentorship consisting of real assignments that challenge and inspire. As a collaborative effort, internships can help businesses stay ahead of the curve.

Benefits of an internship program

New perspectives: Interns bring new ideas, experiences and points of view to the table. They’re often inundated with the latest technology and industry trends – two elements all companies need to remain relevant. Their different perspectives can bring business solutions that are less costly and more effective.
Future employees: In 2017, the intern job offer rate was an impressive 67 percent. Why? Because it’s a winning strategy that delivers ready-made employees. These individuals are trained, vetted and proven assets to their respective teams. As a hiring practice, it saves employers time and money typically spent on outside recruitment.
Increased productivity: Interns are eager to learn and acquire new skills. When they take ownership of assignments, it alleviates the workload for regular employees. This reduces tension and the chance of staff burnout. It also promotes balance and increases overall productivity.
Encourages employee leadership: Working with interns gives full-time employees the chance to develop leadership skills. By mentoring, they’re more likely to practice patience and empathy, which builds morale and improves company culture.

How to set up an internship program:
Before establishing an internship, several questions must be asked:
• What are your business goals?
• What is your program design?
• What are the legal requirements?

The answers will influence the program’s potential for both students and employers. By laying a solid foundation, businesses can make the most of the educational opportunity. Visit Chegg Internships for a detailed step-by-step process for setting up an intern program.

For more info on mentorship and company culture, check out these blogs:

Employee Wellness for the Millennial Workforce
Tips on a Great Company Culture
Mentoring Benefits Companies and Employees

Photo credit: Ridofranz

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