Questions to consider when exploring internships

During (an internship with) Jim…I learned many new things about myself–who I am, my strengths, my weaknesses, what I value–and the future I wanted to have. I was able to look at my life and where I was headed and set concrete goals for myself. Jim helped me process what it was I wanted to do and who I wanted to be…

DJ Morgan, Design and Media Coordinator, Experience Mission

 Before starting or rebooting an intern program you might want to build an evaluation process using the following questions:

  • Why would we want to implement an internship? What are we hoping to accomplish? What do we expect to gain? What are we willing to give?
  • Do we have a learning, training, mentoring culture? How have we committed resources to learning, training and mentoring? How do we encourage and support diversity? Are we an open-source organization? Is the commitment to learning pervasive or isolated?
  • What resources will we commit to internships? How much will it actually cost? What resources will be involved (time, dollars, people, other)?
  • Who will own the program? Who will be point person? Do we have somebody who can live and breath interns? How will each staff member be connected and or impacted?
  • What is the cost of not having an internship program? What does our commitments and actions say about our sense of being forward looking?

Through examination of these questions, and the new ones that will arise in the process, an organization can go forward with open eyes and a proactive commitment. Please contact me and I can help with this process of evaluation and review and then with the next steps of design and implementation. I want to help you build a great environment for interns that is beneficial for all involved.

Next week we’ll take a break for Thanksgiving. The following week we’ll look at cautions to consider in the process developing intern programs.

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