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Hiring an intern is like investing in the future of one’s company. The right employee can be groomed for manager positions or proper succession paths. In the United States alone, it was recorded that approximately four million students graduated from a two or four-year degree program. Of those four million students almost one million acquired a master’s or doctorate degree. Choosing the right graduate can ensure the student brings value to one’s business or start-up.

Once applicants are sorted, interviewed, and hired it is apropos that the employee assimilates into the company culture. A recruiter should know from their interviews with the intern, their academic credentials and soft skills. A motivated student can bring new energy to the team, fresh ideas, and benefit active projects. While it’s important that the recent hire learns the basics of work culture, such as dress code, communication, and work schedules, their learning experience should grow beyond daily routines. Interns should be assigned tasks that relate to their current studies and expertise. Assignments, of any duration, can help the company determine the work ethic of the intern, their potential value added to the team, and provide the student a chance to learn new industry-relevant skills.

Most students look to internships as not only a foothold into their dream job but as a means to pay for college. Work-Study programs allow employees of all economic backgrounds to further their higher education. Once it’s clear an intern has found a place on a particular team or project, it’s quintessential to reward their efforts appropriately. Building long-term relationships with students and actively communicating with them while they’re at school can help keep the company informed on their investment.

If an intern proves to be an instrumental addition to the company, inviting them to return for further career opportunities can help guarantee the training, time, effort, and progress invested into the individual is not wasted or given away to another competitor. Choosing the wrong intern can result in a financial loss for a start-up or enterprise. Entry-level hires typically lack the necessary skills or expertise required for high-performance work. The cost of training and building staff should be considered wisely. Interns should be carefully supervised and work diligently to maintain their contribution to the team.