How Your Intern Relationships Help Your Future Hires

This post is part of an ongoing series, How to Hire Interns. Watch this space for frequent updates!

How Your Intern Relationships Help Your Future HiresLast week, InternMatch ventured across the bay waters to Berkeley to attend the UC Berkeley Diversity Career Fair. Before heading into the fray, we spent time on the campus’s main walk, where students lounged in the sun and caught up in front of Sproul Hall. Our team approached students in their natural habitat to get the skinny on how they felt about university recruitment, diversity initiatives, and selecting the right internship program for them.

The Importance of Mentorship

The common refrain in our interviews assured us that when considering an internship or first job, students take management style very seriously. Having come out of disorganized internship programs or butted heads with bosses, the students we spoke to value effective management and open communication.

Here’s what they pinpointed as the pillars of good mentorship:

  • A vested interest in the intern’s strengths, interests, and future career goals
  • Approachability and willingness to offer guidance
  • Availability for meetings or check-ins and responsiveness through email
  • Trust in the intern’s ability to tackle independent projects
  • Knowledge of the industry and an aptitude for imparting professional advice

Building a Solid Relationship

Becoming a mentor on top of an intern manager not only facilitates a more successful internship program, but it also ensures that hiring an intern becomes a more streamlined process. Students who find great internships are keen to refer friends to the company for future openings, gush about the experience on social media, or convert into full-time employees at the end of the program–three actions that build up your employer brand.

For an example of a great internship program, look no further than Khan Academy, whose blog post on intern mentorship outlines key steps employers should take before posting an internship. One not-to-be-missed takeaway? Make sure you prepare your product before your interns arrive and have predetermined projects for them to work on from the get-go.

What are some other tactics you’ve used to become a mentor to students and new graduates? What are other roles an intern manager should take on? Let us know in the comments below!

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Nathan Parcells

Nathan Parcells is VP of Marketing and co-founder of Looksharp. He has spent the past decade helping students launch their career, researching best practices for hiring millennials (including running Looksharp's annual "State of College Hiring") and sharing these insights with employers. Nathan's work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider and more. Outside of work, Nathan is an avid rock climber, back packer and Bob Dylan fan.