Corporate Eye

Keeping Things Clear: Developing Dependable Interns

Whatever we’d like to believe, interns often don’t know quite what to expect from the internships they apply for. However good the copy on your recruitment pages or the open days you run, interns often just don’t know what to make of a potential job opportunity and what role they are expect to take on. This is especially common nowadays as creative firms are taking on interns and graduates remotely or part-time and often giving them support through university. The only way to ensure the interns you’re taking fit the role you want to give them is to keep things clear…

Clarity in Contract
Once you’ve interviewed your interns, the first point of contact they’re likely to have with you will be a contract. This, of course, needs to set out all the proper legal provisions, but it is your one opportunity to set straight exactly what your expectations of your interns are. Make sure the hours required are clear, especially important if your interns are casual.

Go and Get Coffee
Talk outside of a formal setting can really be beneficial to an intern and, though it’s still a professional environment, a casual natter over a cup of something warm will gives you a chance to talk about etiquette as well as requirements. Make clear their role but also ensure that they can make their intentions clear to you.

Talk about the Difficult Things
Whether it’s money, time or even personal relationships, you can imagine that your intern will feel pretty concerned about asking the wrong question so don’t make them: ensure that you discuss everything clearly and upfront from the start. If you want, for example, your intern to continue working remotely after they finish then ask well in advance: don’t wait for them to guess!

Keep in Touch
So many internships end on the last day with a quiet drink and a farewell and, until the candidate reapplies through the graduate mill they are not contacted again. This is extremely bad practice and regular email contact is the easiest way by far to ensure your intern thinks positively of their experience and, possibly, applies to work for you at the end of the day.

It can be easy to get sucked into the day-to-day at work, but your intern won’t have that same experience. Think back, remember what was troubling you on your first day and make sure it’s addressed professionally and start of on the right foot.

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Tom Goodsir

Tom started his career early; taking on an associate role at Deloitte just a few days after his eighteenth birthday, working in a technical role but with a focus on identifying and recruiting talented undergraduates. He is now entering his final year at Exeter University and he continues to work with the recruitment side of the firm and remains an active brand ambassador on campus. Over the last few years, Tom has spent time building up a reputation as a freelance writer and has developed both a strong client base and good knowledge of social media along the way. Though there’s still plenty to learn, experience working in both the smallest and the largest of businesses has served him well and given him a feel for balancing strong corporate ideas with a personal tone. As a student, Tom is able to offer a valuable insight into the way graduate recruitment works from the other side and how students and interns react to particular styles of marketing and recruitment. Eventually he hopes to take off his copywriting business before embarking on an MA in philosophy.