Internship Programs are a requirement by some schools for students and graduates to acquire work experience. This is a new experience for the intern, and the usual attitude is for him to put his best foot forward in the hopes of impressing his employer. On the company’s end, the employer might look towards maximizing the use of these temps to unburden his workload; however, some employees might treat them with contempt or indifference, thinking that these newbies are such a hassle to be around.
However, the HR has a responsibility to make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Here are a couple of tips and suggestions for the HR that would help keep the internship program mutually beneficial for all parties concerned.
Give them meaningful work
We’ve all heard about those sad stories where interns are just made to stir coffee or fetch their bosses’ laundry. As HR personnel, you should not stand for such kind of treatment to those poor newbies. Internships are about imparting meaningful experiences; the intern should be able to learn valuable skills from his brief stint, which he can use in the future. Who knows, the company may benefit from the intern as a potential employee in the future.
Proper orientation for the interns is a must
Keep in mind that these interns are newbies. This is their first foray into the workforce. Thus, proper orientation for the interns is a must – they must be taught how to use the timesheets for their attendance, to the company hierarchy, to the proper way of dealing with clients and customers; no question is too small or too stupid. The HR should guide the interns at every step of the way in order for them to reach their maximum potential.
Maximize the use of your interns
With the proper mindset in place, the company should likewise make full use of their interns. All those files and records which need arranging, all those menial tasks related to the upkeep of the company, these are fair work related tasks which the interns may be assigned to.
Definitely don’t assign valuable projects to the interns, regardless of their educational background! The quality of output of your company might be jeopardized; these are newbies, after all. They should merely serve as a support system or a supplement for the employees.
Use the opportunity to showcase the company
Give the interns the impression that your company is the best place to work in (even if it is not). Take the time to showcase the strengths of your company, and also ask for their feedback for areas to improve on. The idea here is to show them how the company works from the ground up. They’ll gain valuable insight and will look back on their experience fondly.
Make sure that the internship program is pursuant to the law and the CHED guidelines
Last but most importantly, make sure that the company has all the legal requirements to take on interns.
Based on CHED Memorandum Order No. 23 or the “Guidelines for Student Internship Program in the Philippines for all Programs with Practicum Subject”, companies must see to it that their partner school’s internship program has government recognition. The company must also provide a training program to the intern pursuant to a Training Manual or plan, which outlines the goals, objectives, competencies, that the intern must acquire throughout the program. It must also list down the assignments and schedule of activities.
An article by Mark Recto from the ACCRA Law website has put together a brilliant comprehensive resource on the “Labor Aspect of Student Internship.” You can find the article here.