Students who participate in internship programmes gain valuable work experience that provides them with a competitive edge as they enter the job market.
These internship programmes are also equally beneficial to the organisations offering them. Aside from the obvious cost benefits for the company receiving cheap or even free labour, university interns bring with them a fresh perspective and energetic drive.
Since young employees such as university interns are often on the cutting edge of technology, they bring skill sets that may be lacking in an older work force. In addition to their ability to rapidly master new technology, they often are integrated into the nuances of social media.
This perspective allows companies employing university interns to expand their market presence into the social media world without the expense of hiring a social media marketing expert.
Along with their knowledge of the latest technological crazes, individuals engrossed in their university experience are often well versed in the latest academic theories of their field. While this may be of little relevance for some careers, others will benefit greatly from an influx of new information. As interns are entering the office with fresh perspectives, their abundance of knowledge can be utilised to shake things up and revitalise the organisational mission.
Given that university interns are typically just beginning their initial forays into the workforce, they are often eager to learn from the examples set by the mentors they are working with. Unlike newly hired employees with a significant work history, university interns present as a clean slate lacking engrained bad habits and are often easy to train.
They will quickly catch on to the way tasks should be completed, and may in fact find new and more efficient methods for getting things done.
For the most part, university interns are eager to please and happy to help with even the most menial of tasks. These willing and able workers can help overloaded employees catch up on filing, data entry organising, and more. Depending on their skill level, university interns could even be asked to tackle tedious or time-consuming projects that full-time workers have placed on the back burner.
The presence of university interns in the office also has a significant effect on the behaviour of current employees. As they are conscious of setting a good example for interns, employees will often take care to maintain a professional style of dress and hold themselves to the highest standard of behaviour. This can carry over for months following the completion of the internship program.
Throughout their time with the company, university interns will acclimate to the organisational climate and integrate into their team. As they continue throughout their internship experience, these potential new employees will be able to learn the ropes of the company and make informed decisions regarding their desire to work there in the future.
If they do decide to apply for a full time position following graduation, employees with internship experience will need little to no training to become a productive member of the team, and their informed decision will ensure they remain dedicated and engaged members of the workforce.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 1 September, 2014