Even if two companies have the same target market or two nonprofit organizations have the same mission, each will have unique qualities that will set them apart from each other and other competitors. Just as every business and non-profit organization is unique, so is every internship program. Internship programs are not one size fits all.
Some managers prefer traditional college (age) interns. Some managers prefer graduate level interns. Some companies have internship programs specifically for college graduates while others welcome high school students. There are businesses that have set up internship programs that target career changers or those re-entering the workforce. Some companies offer paid internships while others offer small stipends or unpaid internships. You have the option to decide which interns you recruit and the length of time they are with your company.
- One Day Internship – A one-day internship program brings an intern or interns into your company to work on a project or event for only one day. This can be a great option if you are unsure if you are ready to commit to a long-term internship program or you are unsure whether you have enough work to assign or teaching time to dedicate to an intern.
- Project-Based Internship – Some companies have short term projects that require an extra pair of hands. This is a perfect opportunity to offer a project-based internship. Once the project is complete you can determine if you want to welcome in interns for other one-time projects or begin the process of developing a long-term internship program.
- Quarterly Internships – There are companies that host different interns every three months/90 days. This is a great option for businesses that are committed to the growth and development of interns and have substantive work to assign so that the interns gain valuable hands-on work experience.
- Semester Internships – Many colleges and universities require their students to complete an internship prior to graduation. Some companies may host interns only during the traditional fall semester (August through December) while others may host interns in both the fall and spring (January-May) semesters.
- Summer Internships – The summer is a great time to host interns. Many students take advantage of this time because they can concentrate fully on gaining work experience without academic demands. There are also different internship programs and agencies that set up specific programs to place interns in position during summer break. Summer break also allows interns greater flexibility to travel outside of their home or school community and explore other parts of the country or the world which can increase the diversity of your intern pool.
- School Year Internships – For many companies the workload changes during the summer months. You may want to consider an internship program that operates during a traditional school year. Some school systems begin their school year in August or September and end in May or June. This gives interns roughly ten months to make an impact in your business.
- Full Calendar Year Internship – There are twelve months on the calendar and a full year internship allows an intern to gain valuable work experience and make a significant contribution to your company. They get to know your business cycles and can provide extra support and assistance during the busy season or introduce new projects or ideas during your downtime.
- Fiscal Year Internships – If your company operates on a fiscal year calendar, there is an intern out there who would love to work with you from October through September like the federal government calendar or July through June like the calendar of some nonprofit organizations.
Why internship schedule is best for you?
Nicki Sanders is a cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career development. She has a strong background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.
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