Tips for your summer internship programme

Summer is just around the corner, and with it brings the beginning of this year’s summer internship programmes. With the arrival of a brand new group of summer interns to your organisation, we have asked leading graduate recruiters, who have been shortlisted for Best Internship Programme in this year’s Graduate Recruitment Awards, to give their top tips for summer internships.

Summer internships

Cora Buckner, Global University Relations & Intern Programs Senior Manager, Abbott

“In starting an internship program, it is recommended that a company start small and engage business leaders early.  Ultimately, it is the businesses that will employee the interns, so it is important to get business support early on. Additionally, start with the end in mind.  Examine gaps in key skillsets and develop a programme to fill the gap.  A strong program will also have a clear career path for successful students.  Clear career paths can include development programmes, director hire and/or multiple internships.  During the internship business leaders should have access to interns to evaluate their cultural fit and technical skills”.

Deirdre O’Donoghue, HR Director, HedgeServ

“At HedgeServ, internships are an excellent way to get to know the graduate population, as well as giving graduates the opportunity to get to know us.  Our offering is different to that of the traditional internships and we actively engage with those programmes that best fit our Graduate Development Programme requirements. Our top tip would be to ensure undergraduates experience meaningful, interesting work; supported by relevant training. Developing strong relationships with the careers offices and placement programme managers is also a must, ensuring both the students and those advising are aware of our opportunities”.

Paul Vance, Head of Resourcing, KPMG

“A well run internship programme can yield a number of positive results. Your interns can be your future graduates, they can be your informal ambassadors back on campus and they can positively contribute to your organisation. So my advice is to have a structured programme in place, dedicated mentors and meaningful work. Always remember, while you are assessing the performance of your interns, they too are assessing your organisation as a future workplace.”

Caroline Burke, Senior Marketing Analyst, Accenture

“Considering that the Summer Internship is a short placement (90 days) our top tip is to have everything in place before the student arrives.

Have a calendar setup with all induction, training, project presentations and evaluation dates placed and agreed. This will guarantee that all activities will be executed, and that the expectations are aligned.  It can be a turning point to guarantee a successful internship experience”.

Gillian Ellard, Human Resources, William Fry

“William Fry sees the Internship Programmes as a vital recruitment tool.  Benefits include a first look at future business and legal talent.  For the graduate, it offers an opportunity to sample life in a large corporate law firm.  Our programmes offer the opportunity for a 3 year training contract”.

Nessa Kiely, Trainee & Intern Recruitment Manager , A & L Goodbody

Provide continuous feedback; Internships are really great learning experiences and Interns who join our Firm are always eager to develop and  learn as much as possible.  Most internship programmes include a formal evaluation process, both midway through and at the end of the internship.  However, whilst, these formal evaluations are beneficial, we always encourage our Partners and Associates, working with Interns to provide them with continuous, on the job feedback.  Interns really appreciate getting this feedback, making them aware of what they are doing well and giving them the chance to improve on their development areas.  We would also encourage our people to say “thank you”  “good job” and “well done” as  these words can be very motivating, proving to be the key differentiator in providing a positive internship experience.

On behalf of all of the team at gradireland, we would like to wish you the very best of luck with your internship programmes this summer. The full list of companies shortlisted for Best Internship Programme in this year’s Graduate Recruitment Awards can be viewed here.

For more details about the Annual gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards contact a member of our team on 01-6451500 or email contact@gradireland.com.

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