Re: managing interns

Subject: Re: managing interns
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 17:24:24 -0500

The best first step is to make out a training plan or work plan that details the tasks they will be involved with during their internship. State their roles and responsibilities, and some measure for evaluation, including periodic progress meetings. Include how they will be supervised, assigned to tasks, and provided with feedback. What learning objectives will they have during their period of work? What are the manager's and company's expectations about their behavior, work habits, and so on. Maybe not all of this gets put into a plan, but these things should be thought through. How do you see them growing during their work term?

I find the plan is useful for helping everyone involved know what will be going on with the interns while they're there. It is also a useful document for presenting to them and gaining their understanding of what is expected of them. You may want to finalize it after you have discussed the plan with the interns themselves, so that you can incorporate whatever learning goals they might have that you can accommodate but didn't think of.

I also like to assign my interns a "buddy" -- someone who is not related to them in the org chart but who can help them integrate into the corporate culture, and answer general questions.

A good internship opportunity is rewarding for both the company and the interns. Kudos to your company for offering this valuable learning opportunity.

Julia Cemer wrote:

Does anyone have any good resources (articles, books, etc) or ideas
about managing interns? I've been told my company will be hiring two
interns for my documentation team this summer. I'm currently a team of
one and will be going on maternity leave in June. I feel like I need to
start organizing a program so things don't turn too chaotic while I'm
gone, but I don't know where to start. I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416.491.5050 x3133


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managing interns: From: Julia Cemer

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