Internships are one of the primary vehicles most students use to get a foot in the door of the company they hope will employ them in the future.
Many companies however do not have well-run internship programs through their companies. If you have a business or recently just started a business you must immediately start thinking of ways you can incorporate an internship program into your business model. Internship programs are very beneficial to employers for a number of reasons.
There are only a number of ways to expose your company and improve your brand recognition. Advertising costs a lot of money to be effective and will only do so much for your company's name. Internship opportunities give prospective employees a chance to work with your current staff, assimilate into your corporate culture and get a sense of what your company represents in the market place. Nothing will improve your company's name better than a junior in college going back to his or her university or college and telling her peers about the experience she had over the summer with your staff. And the best part about internship opportunities is they do not all have to be paid.
This point is directly linked with brand recognition. Establishing a reputation is easy with internship opportunities. The best people to talk about your company are really not the people who work at your company but the students who want to work for your company in the future and have interned with your organization. Most people will believe more of what other people have to say about you and less of what you have to say about yourself. Keep in mind that a lot of companies are very selective with their internship opportunities as well and only offer a handful. I would recommend being flexible with your internship opportunities and offer a variety of them to students. The more exposure your company has, the better.
Increases knowledge-base of current staff
A great intangible of having interns is that it forced your current staff to teach more. You learn a lot by doing but you retain a lot more by teaching. Having people on site who have no knowledge of how your business runs and constantly need supervision will not only improve the knowledge-base of your staff because they are forced to teach, but will also boost their confidence that they actually know their job. In fact, they will find that they know a lot more about the day to day activities of the company than they originally thought.