College Internship Programs Graduate to a Higher Level


Companies measure the success of Internship programs by the number of new hires and from the students who want meaningful learning experiences. The best Internship program managers achieve their hiring goals by giving students what they want.


College Internships make up the largest segment of these types of programs, and they have become increasingly popular as a strategic method for recruiting students prior to their graduation. Managers favor Internships for building pipelines of talent and like the opportunity to "audition" the students for a period of time prior to extending offers, according to Steve Pollock, president of Wet Feet, a recruitment solutions provider and research company based in San Francisco. "More companies are de-emphasizing full-time hiring and emphasizing the Internship program and the subsequent conversion rates of students to full-time hires at the end of their Internship," Pollock says.

 Wet Feet recently surveyed students who had completed Internships to gather their opinions as to what constituted the best program.


"Real" Work Wanted


The students defined their optimal learning experience as one that provided actual tasks or work that was suitable for exempt personnel. They wanted to be exposed to the real work environment and wanted to know how their work related to the overall success of the business. Pollock says that best-practice companies have a program management team that helps to shape the projects and uses a pre-approval process for the selection of valid assignments.

At college campuses, we have an emerging talent pool with a fresh perspective and unencumbered thinking. Getting those people into our pipeline early on is crucial.


Crucial Relationships

Interns have said that their impressions of people within the company were a critical factor in terms of their decision to accept offers following an Internship. They listed both their relationships with their managers and exposure to senior management in the company as important elements of great Internship programs.

The best programs all provide mentors to the Interns who coach them independently of their manager and opportunities to interface with senior management.