Does your accounting firm offer summer internships for college students? If so, have you considered the structure of your internship program? Many organizations don’t think through the process of creating a strong intern program, which will benefit not only the interns themselves but your firm as well. Before your next summer intern starts at your accounting firm, consider these tips to help strengthen your program.
Prepare Ahead of Time
The biggest mistake many firms make is to assume they can wing it on the day the interns arrive. This is a mistake made often with new hires as well. But success will be more achievable if you’re prepared for their arrival ahead of time. Create the program and know every step and every process that needs to be covered and achieved in their time with your firm. Be prepared the day they arrive with workspaces and equipment necessary to get started right away.
Provide a Mentor
Mentorship programs are invaluable to the interns in your office. Talk with your seasoned employees to pair them with an incoming intern to learn the ropes of the industry. This can benefit both parties as the intern will be doing additional support for their daily job. Monitor this relationship so it doesn’t become one-sided or exploitative.
Involve Them in Your Culture
Never treat your interns like second-class citizens. Involve them in all aspects of your company culture. If you have an office party, make sure they are involved. If you encourage your team to participate in extracurricular activities like healthy living challenges or volunteering in the community, give your interns the opportunity to be a part of those activities as well.
Consider Further Employment
There are a lot of long-term benefits to creating a successful intern program at your accounting firm. But most importantly, you could be grouping young financial professionals for long term roles within your firm. Internships are a perfect way to find new talent. If you build a relationship with an intern and make them feel involved and engaged, they may become an excellent addition to your team in the future.
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