Connect to Students: Do We Need an Internship Program?
There is so much buzz in the media these days about college interns. Does your organization hire or host college interns? If not, are you considering creating an internship at your organization? Are interns worth the investment of time, energy, and expense? In my opinion – yes!
Given the proper planning, preparation and execution, adding a college intern (or two, or ten) to your team is a great way to achieve your organization’s goals, move your organization forward, save the expense of hiring a full-time professional with benefits; and, all the while train and educate future professionals in your field.
Benefits of Starting an Internship Program
1) Find Future Employees
2) Test-Drive the Talent
3) Increase Productivity
4) Increase Employee-Retention Rates
5) Enhance Perspective
6) Take Advantage of Low-Cost Labor
7) Support Students
And many more – read the full report here from Internships.com.
What is the difference between a volunteer and an intern?
For nonprofit organizations, this is a very common question because our organizations work with both types of roles in our midst all the time. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the professional organization that guides the work of college career centers and the employers who hire college students and graduates, an internship is:
“a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.”
Click here to read NACE’s full Position Statement: U.S. Internships.
Want more advice on hosting an intern? Check out other blog posts in this series:
Hosting an Intern: What Are the Requirements Anyway?
Hosting an Intern: Can I Hire an International Student?
Hosting an Intern: How Can I Get the Most Out of My Intern?
And make sure to:
– Register for Internship Bootcamp on January 9th with ConnectVA, UofR and VCU
– Attend the second annual Regional Nonprofit Career and Internship Fair with VCU and ConnectVA on February 19th to find talent for your organization
– Check out our Connect to Students page for contact information at each local school for internships
ConnectVA Guest Blogger: Joslyn Bedell, Associate Director, University Career Center at Virginia Commonwealth University.