Gowalla Developers on hiring an intern, debunking some myths about internship.
Interns take a lot of time and energy, but they can be incredibly rewarding to you and your company. If you want to hire one, make sure they have a dedicated mentor, someone who can and should regularly ask: “Do you have enough to do?”, “Is there anything you need?”, “What are you working on?” — and simply, “Are you happy?”. The mentor should have informal meetings with the intern on a regular basis — at least once a week, but perhaps as often as once a day.
So true. And some companies seeking interns indeed fail to see this, as I’ve come to known the past few years as a lecturer ICT.
We at Creativeskills.be are trying to create a modal around internship and we must say it’s pretty hard. The reality is – unlike Gowalla writes – that most companies ARE looking for free labor. Those specific companies are always looking for interns and they always have interns. Some of them get hired, but most of them don’t and need to start another internship at another company. This process can take up to one year. The question is, is this fair? If you are no longer in school can you technically apply for an internship? Shouldn’t internships at least cover the costs (train ticket,…)? Shouldn’t there be some kind of official evaluation document that interns and the company create at the end of the internship? What is the minimum ratio between interns and full time employees? The other day this company submitted four internships but they only employ fifteen full time people. Is that an acceptable ratio? Some companies have for every internship position exact the same full time position. Is this fair? If that company is looking for a full time position, doesn’t that mean that they don’t have time to follow up an intern? What if an intern is hired after doing an internship and – let’s say six months – an evaluation period of another six months starts. Is this fair? We’ll probably start an open discussion about this topic soon on our blog to collect various opinions.
Bart, whilst most companies indeed ARE looking for free labor (our students for example do a free internship), the author of the article is trying to point out that having a free intern will cost your company time, dedication, guidance and thus (indirectly) money: don’t see interns as the solution to quadruple your working force, as your current employees will have to invest in the interns.
Above that he’s pleading to see an intern not as “the intern” but as a (possible) future employee: make him/her part of the team, guide him/her as you would guide a new employee, give him/her a challenging task, etc.
Looking forward to the open discussion you’re planning. Some interesting thoughts about the other things you mention (employee-intern ratio, evaluation period after internship, etc) will definitely be said.
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