Characteristics of a World-Class Internship

A World-Class Internship starts with a written internship PLAN

Not all internships are “perfect”. Most Internship Supervisors have preconceived ideas about interns. Some have a plan and high expectations while a few are really just looking for “cheap” help. To ensure that you get the most out of your internship discuss this list with your supervisor in order to see how many of these are possible goals for your internship. The number that you accomplish will impact your grade. If you are searching for an internship use this list to help evaluate it’s potential.

Internships have, as its primary goal, to get you the PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE and competencies necessary for you to get your first professional job. To determine the “gap” between your current experience and the level required by the “market” compare your current resume with the want ad/job description for your dream job. A World-Class internship will help you close that “gap”.

WORLD CLASS INTERNSHIP starts with a written internship PLAN which is upgraded monthly to ensure its goals are met. The plan should include a list of internship goals including:

  1. skills to be developed, contacts, timetables, roles and responsibilities, training, evaluation points, outputs, and a program budget.
  2. an internship MENTOR (Supervisor) who assumes responsibly to develop and guide the intern toward their goals. The mentor not only guides the work of the intern as a “supervisor” but “guarantees” that the intern reaches each of their goals. A mentor continues the relationship even after the intern leaves this assignment.
  3. predetermined OUTPUTS that the intern can show to future employers as evidence of their work and accomplishments. These might include handbooks, reports, presentations to management, benchmarking studies, problem identification and analysis studies, process reengineering studies, HR programs developed, etc.
  4. open and honest COMMUNICATIONS with the intern. In a world-class relationship, there is a constructive confrontation on issues and problems between the intern and the company. Intern satisfaction and progress are assessed monthly.
  5. interns are provided with significant TRAINING AND LEARNING experiences. Interns should have a development and assessment plan, be encouraged to attend training courses and professional meetings, be allowed to sit in on management meetings, and be encouraged to read professional and company publications.

Additional SKILLS and COMPETENCIES that are often developed during World-Class internships include:

  • INFLUENCE SKILLS
  • PRESENTATION SKILLS
  • TEAM SKILLS
  • BUSINESS PROBLEM SOLVING
  • GENERALIST EXPERIENCE
  • MANAGING UP
  • PRIORITY SETTING
  • REPORT WRITING
  • TQM/ ISO 9000

Additional EXPERIENCES that often indicate a World-Class internship might include:

  • PROCESS REENGINEERING
  • HRIS / WEB PAGE DEVELOPMENT
  • ANALYZING HR SYSTEMS
  • DEVELOPING TRAINING MANUALS
  • MEASURING PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS
  • GLOBALIZING SYSTEMS
  • PAY AT RISK COMPENSATION SYSTEMS
  • COLLEGE RECRUITING/JOB FAIRS
  • EMPLOYEE RELATIONS INVESTIGATIONS
  • PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION/SOLUTIONS
  • IDENTIFYING EMERGING ISSUES IN HR

OTHER characteristics

  • Pay $12+ per hour
  • Provides a good reference
  • 12 – 20 hours. per week
  • Ends in job referrals
  • Includes interviews with management.
  • Has a flexible schedule (2-3 days week)
  • Includes continuous learning
  • The intern is sponsored at professional meetings
  • It is fun

As seen on Gately Consulting.

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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