A summer internship that counts

By Tracy Leung – Senior Consultant, Sales & Marketing, Links International Hong Kong

It’s the time of year when employers should be confirming their summer interns. Do you know how to build a successful internship and make it have an impact on both your business and the intern’s career development?

My past experience as an intern was fruitful. I can still recall the good memories and it helped me to set a good framework regarding how to work in an organisation. However, not all interns are as lucky. Some of them may feel like they are just there to do some tedious work for two months without even knowing who’s who in the company.

Below are some key notes for employers to take on board in order for everyone to benefit from the internship:

  • Set an interesting and diversified programme, and try your best to stimulate the intern’s brain

This could be a two-month project on digital marketing trends, or new concept development, for example. From there, let the intern learn about:

1) office manner
2) office structure
3) their value as an intern
4) how their contribution can have an impact on the company
5) setting goals and how they can achieve them
6) how to interact with others in an office setting

  • Welcome new ideas and new knowledge

Interns are fully equipped with project management skills, such as research, case studies, define strategies, presentation, as well as new ideas that are not bound by anything, since they do not have a pre-set idea of what the industry is like. Try your best to make the most of this and you will be surprised by how their creative ideas can add value to your business.

  • Evaluate and give feedback

Evaluate the intern’s progress and help them to achieve their goals. Give them honest feedback to let them know if they are doing a good job and how they can do better. Discuss with them what they want to achieve and what your expectations are. Challenge them and let them challenge you as well.

  • Be inclusive and greet kindly

Remember to say good morning and goodbye to them, just as you would to other employees, since they are also a part of the company.

A note to the interns themselves

Be proactive and let your mentors know what you want to achieve. Work is always a two-way relationship, so do not just sit there and wait for tasks to be handed to you. Update your mentor on your progress after a period of time and build the trust. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either.

Whether you’re an employer looking for your next hire, or a candidate looking for your next career move, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are experts in the recruitment industry and are always happy to provide advice.