Planning for an Intern or Apprentice


Plan ahead for a positive internship experience!
Plan ahead for a positive internship experience!

August winds down, it’s that time of year when kids and college students go back to school. An important part of post-secondary education is about getting that experience to get your foot in the door for full time employment.

Internships and apprentice programs take that next step out of the classroom and into real world business applications. As you look at your upcoming business growth for the next six months, do you see that in your future?

Often businesses will utilize these types of positions to see if an individual will be a fit both socially and/or culturally with their environment. There may be multiple individuals applying for a single position. That’s where that social media thing may come into play and for would be applicants, employers do check. More often than not, employers are checking out social media channels before choosing their candidate.

For a business owner, like anything else, having an intern starts with a plan. There is nothing more frustrating than having an eager person show up for work and not have a place for them to sit, nor meaningful work for them to do. Consider these guidelines:

  • Establish a workspace
  • Inform staff of the internship. If possible when choosing an intern for a particular department, involve others in the selection process.
  • Find meaningful projects with deliverables and timelines.
  • Create stepping stones of responsibility with the trades – increasing responsibility as knowledge grows.

For the intern or apprentice, be humble. Don’t walk through the door thinking you know everything. You may be trained on the most up to date technology in the classroom, but you will find real world experiences very different. Remember to:

  • Show up early for work.
  • Listen to what is asked of you and participate as part of a team unless you’re working on a project totally independent of others.
  • Be grateful for the opportunity to learn for this could lead to a full time position offer.
  • Stay off your phone – be present in meetings and at work.

This is an opportunity for both employer and intern/apprentice to see if they are a fit for each other and may often lead to a job offer following the internship or graduation.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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