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Consider Interns to Help You Meet Your Goals

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources


With school soon to be out for the summer, a number of businesses are offering paid and unpaid internships. Students, particularly those studying marketing, design or photography, may be willing to create custom projects for you, which will give them professional examples of their skills to add to their portfolios and give you a valuable service.  

Summer internships can be particularly helpful for small businesses that need one-time projects that go beyond their current staff’s expertise. While summer is a peak time for interns, students often intern throughout the school year, earning school credit while gaining experience.

Here are three tips to help you create an internship program.

1. Determining Your Needs

A good internship allows the intern to garner some good, real-world experience while also meeting the business owner’s needs. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What short-term and long-term assignments do you have that an intern could help with? Do you need help designing your new menu, creating in-store merchandising signs and graphics or establishing a social media campaign?
  • Who will supervise your intern?
  • What training will you need to provide the intern?
  • Do you have office space and/or other resources available to assist the intern?
  • Do you have a budget for the project you want the intern to complete?

2. Understanding the Recruitment Process

Whether you plan to have a paid or unpaid intern, you will need to establish a hiring process. Plan to create a job description with clear objectives and well-defined assignments. Outline who the intern reports to and decide how the intern will be supervised. You’ll also want to describe how the intern will benefit from the internship—both financially and professionally.

Once you have a clear understanding of what you plan to offer, you can approach the career services offices at schools and colleges in your area. Getting registered will give you access to a wide range of qualified applicants. You can also advertise the opportunity on social media and within your own location. There may be employees who know someone who could use the college credit and experience.

3. Offering a Paid vs. Unpaid Opportunity

Several students are happy to take an unpaid internship if the opportunity provides valuable experience and work samples they can add to their portfolios. If you do go the unpaid route, there are some limits on what an unpaid intern can do, so be sure to check on your legal obligations. However, you may find that you attract more talent by offering compensation. The average hourly rate for paid bachelor degree-level interns is roughly $16 an hour.

Photo Credit: Gustavo Frazao/

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About the Author

Mindy Long

Mindy Long

Mindy Long has been writing professionally for over 15 years and freelancing full time for the last four. In 2010 Long formed Mindy Long Freelance LLC. As a journalist, she has written about everything from video games to diesel fuel additives. 

Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In addition, she has completed writing courses at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md., and through the OpEd Project, Writer’s Digest and She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Northwestern Alumni Admissions Council.

Where To Find Me

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