So you’ve just hired an intern and you’ve given him or her what you want from them. But what do interns want from you and your business?

I’ve been through my fair share of internships at several different places ranging from a non profit overseas to an online startup based at UNSW. I’ve met a few interns over the years and I’ve realised they generally all want the same thing from their experience.

Meaningful and hands on work: If you are hiring an intern to do boring and menial tasks, then they will probably lose interest in your company! So give them challenging work that contributes to the business.

Experience different aspects of the business: Your intern might have applied for a marketing or finance role but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them some tasks outside of the job description. If you have picked well, then he or she would want to know about every part of the business.

Constructive Feedback: It’s likely your intern might not have that much experience and he or she will make a few mistakes at the start. Be calm and provide constructive feedback so that he or she can learn from it.

Network and build relationships: As the internship nears the end, interns won’t remember every little task they’ve done. They will remember the people they met and the relationships they built, so help them network.

Listen to the intern: Sure, an intern might not have a wealth of experience but be open to his or her ideas. Why? Because sometimes a fresh set of eyes can help your business.

An internship should be a two way street, the intern helps your business grow and you help develop their skills!

Chris Chow