But be careful! Interns are not there to photocopy all day. Rather this experience is there to prepare students in a field that interests them by providing them with assignments that are adapted to their level of qualification.
For the experience to be constructive for both parties, here are a few rules to respect:
- Preparation, preparation, preparation! All of the intern’s main assignments and targets should be written down. Use reverse planning to establish an action plan for the first few weeks of the internship, which should also be given to the intern on their first day. At the same time, make sure that their desk is ready and that they have everything they need for the big day.
- Plan the on-boarding process with the other members of the team so that the intern can get to know everyone. A team lunch on the first day is always a good idea. From there you should take time to present the company, the different departments, products, everyday work and company rules and regulations.
- Give them time to get used to their new environment and establish themselves in the company. If necessary, propose an observation period for the first 2 days. You should also expect to put time aside to evaluate their level of autonomy during the first week.
- Use a logbook and organise weekly meetings (or even more often if you think it is necessary). This will give you chance to make sure that your on-boarding plan is working and your intern understands everything as they should. Use the logbook throughout the internship to write down what you talk about during your meetings. This information could be used to help the intern write their end-of-year dissertation.
- Encouragement! Your role is to transfer your knowledge, but also be reactive and propose new ideas! Don’t hesitate to give them some responsibility and invite them to meetings. All of this will help them to move to the next step and exceed.