Lynn Applebaum at City College of New York wrote an excellent post which gives guidelines on having interns.
These are Lynn’s top five ways to manage an internship program successfully:
- At the time of application, provide a written description of the internship, including the skills required and nature of the work.
- Assign a supervisor (not in human resources) to oversee the intern on a regular basis.
- Once interns have fulfilled their assigned responsibilities, allow them to interview staff (within reason), to either expand on the knowledge gained in their assigned area or to learn about new areas.
- Definitely don’t wait until the end of an internship to offer feedback. Give constructive comments after the first month (preferably in person) and discuss with the intern what he or she would like to do to benefit from the experience. Note to interns: Have your list ready!
- If you can’t pay a salary, consider covering commuting costs or picking up lunch in appreciation for the work the interns do.