19th July 2018

Getting the most out of an internship

After completing an internship at Uniquity, George Stone shares his thoughts on how to make the most of an intern experience.

Sifting through the web, there is endless amounts of information and guidance on how interns can make the most out of their internship. What’s surprising to me though, is that there is no guidance on how you can make the most out of your intern. The aim of this blog post is to show you how to make the most out of the internship experience for both yourselves and the intern, since ultimately, what you put in: you get back! This is evident since 77% of interns who have had a positive experience at their interning company said they would apply for a permanent role in the future. After all, all experts were once beginners. Therefore, I’ve created this 5-step approach developed from my own personal experience here at Uniquity to help you maximise the internship journey.

After having gone through the trials and tribulations of interviews and recruitment, hopefully you will have found an intern you believe will be an integral part of your business, throughout the duration of their employment. I would suggest that instead of treating it as an internship, see it as a partnership – those from outside of your business coming in can often have some key insights and ideas for improvement, helping to really maximise what you do and how you go about providing it. To create that partnership element, make sure your induction process is both established and informative. Whether it be showing them the accounts and platforms you use or addressing the dress-code, it is vital that expectations are set from the get-go to make the intern feel a part of the wider picture.

Following closely on from this, it’s imperative that the intern feels a member of your team. This can be especially hard for larger companies, so make sure your intern is appointed a point-of-contact; someone they can rely on and turn to when they are unsure or apprehensive. A great way to get an intern to feel included is to get them to connect with the team on social media channels, such as LinkedIn, from the offset. This means that the intern is recognised by those in your team and thus conversations can be sparked more easily and flow better. Being connected from the offset on LinkedIn also means that you can keep up-to-date with the intern post-internship and therefore you can see if they are seeking opportunities – a perfect way to get them back, if you wish! Why not go for lunch or dinner on your interns’ first-day to really welcome them on-board?

The third, but by no means less vital, point is that you must give your intern variety. Often, interns are used to offload mundane administrative duties onto and this not only will make your intern bored and thus unproductive, but it will also leave a bad impression on who you are and what you stand for. As heads and directors of your retrospect company, you are industry experts – grab this opportunity to showcase your expertise to your intern! Get them involved in your current projects, showcase prior work and get them engaged with future activities – their insight and creativity could be the missing jigsaw puzzle you’ve been looking for!

The fourth and final point tie together nicely. As I’ve mentioned, keeping your intern in the loop is vital to make them feel like an established member of the wider business, and this can be done through implementing Monday and Friday briefs. They don’t need to take hours – just a quick 20 minutes every Monday and Friday respectively to look towards the new week and set goals to work towards. At Uniquity, we set 3 goals every Monday morning and reflect on them on the Friday. This is a great way to make the whole team feel accomplished in their efforts, taking time to reflect on what went well and what we can improve on the following week. My final tip includes providing your intern with a journal on their first-day. Getting your intern to update the journal once a day, every day is a perfect way for both yourself and the intern to keep track of their highs – and any lows. The journal can therefore be used by yourselves to establish what you’re doing well and simultaneously, what can be changed to make the experiences of future interns even more fruitful. This is a tip I would really recommend to any of you who have either not had an intern before or who have only had 1 or 2 to date.

My time as an intern at Uniquity has allowed me to develop industry-focused knowledge on the marketing requirements of the financial sector and I truly believe that any financial services coming to Uniquity seeking strategic marketing and consultancy are in safe hands. Thanks to Chloe and Laura utilising the 5 tips I’ve shared in this blog, I believe the internship has been both stimulating and productive for myself and the Uniquity brand in it’s entirety and I hope you can develop a framework that works for you with any interns you have lined up.