If You Can Swing It, Hire an Intern This Summer

By Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group

 

Breaking into the design industry can be challenging – particularly for recent graduates with no relevant work experience. And landing an internship doesn’t appear to be much easier: Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) advertising and marketing executives surveyed by The Creative Group said their agency or firm does not offer an internship program.

 

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Given how busy and time-pressed most creative teams are today, it’s not all that surprising that most don’t offer internship programs. It takes time and resources to develop a good one. But the benefits of doing so are two-fold: Interns get a “foot in the door” and a chance to grow their professional network while employers can gain fresh perspectives and additional support during busy times. Interns who excel in the role also make good candidates for full-time roles. Plus, these programs provide current employees with the opportunity to mentor young professionals – a rewarding experience in and of itself.

 

If your in-house team is considering developing an internship program this summer, the first step is to get organized. Firms that attract top candidates are those that have well-defined programs, including thorough job descriptions and an appointed primary contact for all interns. Here are five tips to keep in mind if you decide to offer internships:

 

  • Provide a variety of work experiences that allow interns to see a project through from inception to completion and become an integral part of the team.
  • Expose interns to a broad array of functions and duties by moving them through each department or unit within the company, as appropriate.
  • Appoint a mentor who can answer interns’ questions, offer career guidance and advice, and assist with the resolution of problems.
  • Midway through the internship and again at the end of the program, ask participants for feedback about their duties and the program as a whole. This information can help your team fine-tune the program in the future.
  • Once the internship wraps up, keep in touch with your protégés; they are great connections and could be good future hires for your in-house team.

 

Donna Farrugia is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design and marketing professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at creativegroup.com.

 

 


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