Analyzing Three Important Building Blocks of a Successful Internship Program
College Interns. Ask 10 different agency pros for their take on them, and you’ll get 10 different opinions. Throughout our long history as a firm, we’ve had many different experiences, both good and bad. Now, after years of dormancy, SPRYTE is reviving its college internship program this fall.
Our team is excited to bring back this program for college students looking to gain healthcare PR experience. From refreshing our internship application and creating a website tab for the program to rearranging our office workspace, we are working hard to prepare ourselves for recruiting and hosting college interns this fall and beyond.
So, what approaches will we take with our college internship program to ensure the program’s success? Below are some important steps to help provide the best experience possible for both our full time employees and future interns:
- Appropriate Expectations: When hiring college students as interns, oftentimes we’ll forget that they are, in fact, still students! No matter how talented they are, PR practitioners need to remember that they’re still just learning the ropes. Our goal for SPRYTE’s internship program is to help introduce them to healthcare public relations – we know they’re not going to master the consulting business and become mini account managers in one semester or summer. Likely, they will build a small portfolio of professional work by assisting with various projects, including research, writing, imagery, media outreach and administration. (Note: This is straight from our new SPRYTE Communications College Internship Overview!)
- Paying Interns: While unpaid internships are becoming a thing of the past, some organizations still don’t pay their interns. Even though they help to save money in the short term, unpaid internships often cause students to feel expendable and less driven to work, which will cost more time and money in the long run. We want our interns to feel valued and eager to learn – and paying them for their hard work will help to ensure that.
- Careful Management: Balancing how much time employees spend on managing interns can be tricky. Providing interns with too little or too much oversight can lessen what students learn during the internship and create more work for employees, which will cost an organization both time and money. Our team will work together closely behind the scenes to make sure interns receive the right amount of guidance without adding too much additional work to employees’ plates.
As the years have passed, many of our previous interns have kept in touch and gone on to build successful communications careers. Some have secured in-house positions with prominent, well-known organizations, while others are thriving in consulting or agency environments. We’ve also had a few follow in SPRYTE’s footsteps to specialize in healthcare communications for providers and life sciences companies.
We all know that each generation comes with its own set of work styles, interests and pressures. At SPRYTE, we’re looking forward to getting acquainted with students who are currently in college and helping them develop their skill sets. Most of all, we’re looking forward to the energy and ideas they will bring to SPRYTE. We may even be celebrating one or two before the beginning of 2020!