Bringing on Your First Intern? Consider These 10 Expert-Recommended Tips

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Hiring an intern can be a great way to get the extra help you need now while finding possible hires for tomorrow. What is your best advice for hosting your first fellow and why?

Working with intern

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization made up of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent almost every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. More information at

1. Make sure you have time to help them

Make sure you have projects ready and time to help the intern learn. Many people just hire an intern and try to download things they can’t get to. But while an intern can bring a new perspective and energy to a task, the person usually needs help while figuring out how to do the particular task because they are just beginning their career. Be sure to plan the time to develop the intern.

– JT Allen, myFootpath LLC

2. Find a way to return

If you want your first experience with an intern to be a success, you need to find a way to get back to it. In some cases, this could be a bonus paid after your time with your company. In other cases, you can offer to buy everyone’s lunch once a week. Think carefully about how it would help your fellows maximize their experience and make it part of your incentive package.

– John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

3. Search for Initiative

Interns may have less task experience, but the differentiation factor helps you find value in it. One thing I like to look for in inmates is the ability to take initiative. Great candidates are willing to learn and have the drive to grow in the role or try new challenges. The ability to start their own work means they can work independently without having to hold hands

– Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.

Internship tutoring

4. Give them meaningful work

Don’t hire an intern to do meaningless work. Most internships require the employer to give the intern a real-world experience related to their studies. This is especially true for unpaid internships established through colleges. Therefore, have a plan to give the intern a meaningful job, train him, and track his progress, as you will need to provide reports to the intern school about his work.

– Jonathan Prichard,

5. Provide organized and effective management

The most important thing during the internship program is organized and effective leadership: setting the right expectations, analyzing their motivation, giving them challenging milestones, offering them sincere feedback, and giving them autonomy to get the job done. Finally, allow them to have an impact on the team and deliver clear and concise results so they can receive an offer at the end of the quarter.

– Jay Dahal, Machnet

6. Set clear start and end dates

One way to enhance your experience with an intern is to set a clear start and end date. Many internship associations go south because workers assume they will become full-time employees. You should make it clear to new fellows that you do not always hire full-time after the contract expires. Setting clear expectations will facilitate the creation of strong partnerships based on honesty.

– John Turner, SeedProd LLC

7. Provide regular feedback

One key tip is to provide feedback regularly as part of your interactions with your new intern, even if that means repeating the same thing over and over again. This will help the intern understand what he is doing well and where he needs to improve. By giving feedback, you can help the fellow learn and grow, which will benefit your business in the long run.

– Blair Williams, MemberPress

Summer internship program

8. You have a plan before they arrive

Interns are usually there for a limited time, so I would recommend that they don’t do too much work or too much work at once. It is also important to be able to set clear boundaries and expectations for your inmate. The best advice I can give you is to have a plan before they arrive. This will help you know what you need from them and how they should contribute during their time with you.

– Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Suppose they know nothing

Don’t assume they have prior knowledge of the company. It may be the first time they’ve navigated the business world in a real sense, so things that may be obvious to most people may not be. It starts by assuming that everything has to be explained and is always open to questions. It starts small and then goes up from there.

– Shu Saito, All filters

10. Understand your needs

Take the time to understand the needs of your intern. What are they looking for? What are they trying to learn? With this understanding, you can develop a practice sensitive to your goals that also fits the needs of the company. With a strong fit between project and practice, the likelihood that the student will want to continue the project (or something similar) in the long run is much better.

– Akshar Bonu, The Personalized Movement

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