Do a Terrific Job Managing Your Summer Intern

It is that time! Summer brings bright and energetic interns to your organization.  Interns can be of such great benefit to a nonprofit organization, as you know, and working with you is a fabulous learning experience for them.  So, what is the best way to make it a win-win situation?  

We've all been the victim of and/or the culprit of a not so well thought out intern experience.  Not the best situation, right?  Even thought you are very busy, prepare for your intern's arrival.  Read the advice and articles below for helpful suggestions.   And know you will need to spend time with your intern  throughout her/his time with you to provide guidance, structure, and learning opportunities.  The goal is two-fold-- good learning experience for the intern and helpful work product for the organization. 

Consider what you do well in engaging volunteers or AmeriCorps members at your organization, as some of this is similar to planning and working with an intern.

The 3 articles listed below have some very helpful tips about managing an intern.  See what you think. First you'll see that I  have listed a few of my favorite tips from the articles. 

Kate’s Favorite Advice from the Articles Below:

  • Have a specific manager for your intern to report to who will offer guidance and support.  Preferably this is someone who looks forward to this role and sharing her/his career experiences.
  •  Give a dedicated project to the intern so she/he can work on something from beginning to end seeing progress and accomplishment.  Also, this gives your organization a product at the end that you can utilize.
  • Set weekly goals for the intern and meet weekly to review these goals.  This is a chance to be supportive, get to know your intern, be a mentor, and to keep the work on track.
  • Be mindful of the generation gap.   Remember that current college students are looking for meaningful and engaging tasks and are less fulfilled with grunt work. Grunt work is often part of the job, so help them see how this work fits into the bigger picture and the organization’s mission.   Possibly tap into the intern’s knowledge of social media and other tech tools to support the organization.

 3 Helpful Articles on Managing Interns:

Have a great summer!