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5 Tips to Set Your Intern Up for Success (From an Intern’s Perspective)

By August 27, 2010February 6th, 2024Employer

Career Edge Organization has connected thousands of prospective interns with host employers for over a decade. I am delighted to be one of these fortunate job seekers to land a role that has allowed me to make leaps and bounds in my professional development after only a few months.

What constitutes a successful internship?

In contrast to my fellow 500-odd interns currently filling positions at host organizations across Canada, I believe I have a unique perspective by working with an intern’s success story from my role at Career Edge Organization itself. In my role as Project Coordinator and Sales Support Assistant, I interact with interns enrolled within the three different internship programs  and at all levels of participation. I assist initial job seekers with the registration process and the completion of their internship documents prior to their start date. I provide them with resources throughout their internship and continue communication once they have achieved alumni status.

Considering the extensive amount of Career Edge internships I witness on a habitual basis, I have been able to make a fair assessment of what an intern requires from their employer to succeed in their role, all while growing professionally toward the objective of a rewarding and progressive career.

Although the types of opportunities offered through Career Edge internships vary quite broadly, the support interns require remains steadfast. Of these requirements, the following five are certainly the most influential for an intern’s improved performance and professional growth:

1. Constructive Feedback

It is important for any employer or mentor to understand that feedback must be a timely and continuous process throughout an internship. Little should come as a surprise during a performance review. A total lack of communication regarding performance in between reviews can cause a great deal of anxiety from an intern’s perspective, and diminishes opportunities for amendments. In my role at Career Edge, I have found that feedback is not only valued when responding to a job well done, but also motivates me to progress when there are areas for improvement. If you’re not sure how to evaluate your employee, here is 7 Practical Ways to Evaluate Remote Employees.

2. Independence

While it is important to provide guidance and consistent feedback with interns, it is equally important to leave room for autonomy within their role. Personally, I work well independently once I have established my bearings, and my colleagues certainly respect my self-sufficient work style. That being said, the degree of desired independence varies from intern to intern, and is something that requires periodic communication to establish.

3. Learning Opportunities

This is one element of my personal internship experience that I have been incredibly grateful for. My coach and employer consistently provide me with excellent opportunities to enhance my internship experience. Some of these opportunities include attending networking events, sitting in on conference calls, and gaining valuable new skills when providing cross-departmental support.

4. Appropriate resources

One challenge I have faced in my role is locating resources when in need. Whether these resources are as simple as office supplies and digital files, or the appropriate people to talk to in any given situation; these need to be accessible to ensure performance efficiency. It is imperative for an intern to be well-oriented to their work environment, as it can be time consuming and intimidating for an intern to search for tools that are essential to the task at hand.

5. Respect

Above all else, a respectful work culture is crucial for an intern’s success. Although interns from CEO programs are generally highly motivated individuals, this incentive to exceed employers’ expectations can dwindle rapidly if an intern does not feel valued or supported by their colleagues.

As I approach the midpoint of my internship, I have been incredibly appreciative of my work environment that is very mindful of these keys to the intern success. Not only have I significantly expanded on my employability skills, but I have also been given the chance to set myself on course for a dynamic career and promising future that would not be possible otherwise.