Gone are the days of interns spending their weeks making endless cups of tea or doing the photocopying, thank goodness, writes Associate Professor David Gordon.
Today’s interns are quick learning Millennials, able to research effectively and often full of ideas.
DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School offers its MBA students the option of completing a three-month Executive Company Project. They have brought value to businesses through analysing new markets, researching product launches or overhauling customer onboarding processes. At the Leicester Business Festival, you can find out more - plus have a beer and a curry - at Leicester Racecourse on November 2.
Here are 9 ways your company could get a boost from student interns:
1. Get that business research done!
If you are a small company, chances are all your staff are full to capacity with the day job, let alone taking on extra analysis work. Having a student intern gives you the chance to effectively have a consultant come in to research, analyse and present on new ideas.
2. Upskill your current staff
If you want to develop current staff, then why not ask them to become a mentor for the student? It gives you the chance to place them in a leadership role and gives your staff a chance to shine and hone mentoring and line management skills.
Student interns are keen to learn, enthusiastic and likely bursting with ideas. They could also give you another perspective on your workplace processes and questions could help you improve your businesses
4. Get raving fans for your company
Once your intern has an amazing time with your company, they will tell everyone, and likely share on social media. Your company’s profile will be increased within that demographic and you will find students approaching you for the chance to work with you
With DMU’s Executive Company Project, the work is carried out as part of the student’s MBA. There is no cost to the employer, which means that you can move forward with projects when there you have no budget to hire staff or consultants.
6. Learn the latest insights for your industry
Students are learning the very latest thinking – insights which they will pass on while working at your company. Setting aside time to chat to them about this a great way of staying abreast of industry changes and making sure you are taking advantage of new trends for your company – especially in the fast-moving world of social media marketing.
7. Meet the talent of the future
Many students who carried out an ECP or an internship have gone on to work for that company after impressing during their time there. For the company, it’s a chance to assess people to see if they fit with your business’s values and ethos before hiring. For the student, it’s a chance to get real-world experience and insight into workplace culture. And research shows that people hired after internships are more loyal to the company.
8. Boosts productivity
Having an intern working for you for three months on a specific project allows you to grow your team. This means your permanent staff can be more productive as they are not becoming bogged down with endless to-do lists, freeing them up for more strategic higher-level tasks.
9. Fresh perspective
Sometimes, it takes people coming into a company completely fresh to instigate changes. Having an intern questioning processes forces you to think about why your company operates the way it does. Hint: “it’s always been done that way” is not a good answer.
Posted on Friday 13th October 2017