Supporting Your Intern
To maximize the benefit from your student intern, be sure their co-workers are aware of the role they will play, responsibilities and expectations, and when they will be arriving. Before the student’s first day, notify them where to park and access the building as an employee.
When they arrive:
- Prepare an orientation for the first day of work.
- Include the necessary paperwork to be included as a regular member of your work/volunteer force.
- Provide them with an employee/volunteer manual.
- Introduce them to their co-workers and others they need to know.
- Outline emergency procedures, etc.
- Introduce them to their supervisor and allow time for them to visit, get acquainted and talk over the job/performance expectations.
- Provide a well supplied workspace for them.
The intern’s supervisor should be the person who reviews and signs the Learning Agreement. The supervisor should keep a copy of that Agreement to aid in periodic monitoring of the student in achieving the internship objectives.
Selecting and preparing the student’s supervisor is an important part of the success of the internship for you and your student. The internship supervisor should have these qualities:
- Committed to the internship program
- Positive communicator, engaging and effective; Open to questions and able to answer them in understandable ways
- Open, approachable and available for consultation
- Serves the student as an instructor, teaching them what they need to know to do their job well and to expand their understanding of the organization and the career field.
- Has a natural way of treating the student professionally and respectfully.
It is optimum if the supervisor, at the close of the internship, provides the intern some feedback on performance and professional development with guidance toward continuing improvement. The supervisor on record with the Internship Office will be sent an evaluation/feedback form toward the end of the internship period.
The student benefits greatly from having a mentor in the organization. Usually this is the student’s supervisor, but it can be anyone who nurtures and encourages the student to be the best they can be and perform to the best of their ability. This person exemplifies and draws out from the student the highest professional standards of performance and ethical conduct. The mentor is a role model.
If any problems develop, notify the university as soon as is prudent. We want you to have a successful experience and to help you resolve problems quickly.