As “Intern Emily,” I may be a bit biased, but I think that everyone should be using interns. Among the plethora of reasons, here are a few I see:
We’re cheap labor. A college student’s time isn’t very valuable moneywise. Some internships include no pay (which I do not advocate—good food is expensive!), and plenty of students will accept that situation. Some are satisfied with taking advantage of the class credit some schools offer for internships. Take a look at what your competitors are paying interns and talk to your accountant. You may learn that you’ll have a great ROI on an intern.
You get to shape the future of America. I’ve heard far too many times that recent college graduates don’t know how to apply their knowledge. The solution? Groom students to be the people you want to see on the job market later. You may even end up with your own star employee.
It’s good PR. Where does the most effective networking possible happen? College. Everyone is young, outgoing, and interested in social life. All my friends know where I work, and most of them have internships (and/or successful parents) where they can take the Shoap Technical Services name. Additionally, the hiring process can get your company’s name out there. Career fair booths, listings through career services, and information sessions all put you in contact not only with potential interns but also with other companies.
We’re enthusiastic. Considering that the typical college student spends 15+ hours per week in lectures and more time studying, an internship is a welcome break from a fairly stationary, silent routine. Lately I’ve heard a lot about employee engagement. Who better to become fully engaged in a job than someone who wants—not needs—to be there?
I urge you to give some thought to whether you should be using interns. For all the reasons above and ones more specialized, we can add value to companies. I’d also love to hear about your experiences with interns, whether I have convinced you, and what you agree and disagree with.