Internships are more than just coffee runs and filing weekly reports; they’re meant to provide young adults with the experience they need to advance their careers.
Internships, paid or unpaid, should serve as the stepping stone to full-time employment, which is why it’s important to provide your interns with projects they can add to their resumes and portfolios upon the conclusion of their experience.
Employers should also understand that no two internship programs are the same. This is why it’s necessary to create unique and rewarding projects to help your interns receive an educational experience while working for your company. Even if you hire several different interns within your internship program, each person should be assigned a project designed for their expertise.
If you’re currently brainstorming new projects for your interns, check out this helpful list to get you started:
1. Compile research for a new product or campaign.
Assigning a research project to an intern is an excellent task because it helps them develop valuable transferable skills they can use throughout their career. If you’re looking to launch a new campaign or trying to improve a current product or service, allow your intern to conduct the research needed (such as data analysis, researching trends, and conducting surveys) to successfully launch your new idea.
2. Create a marketing or public relations plan.
This type of project is ideal for a communications, marketing, public relations, or even your social media intern. Have your intern draft up a strategy to promote your product or service and then implement that plan. This way, they will be able to apply the skills they learned in the classroom and you will benefit from a new promotional strategy for your product.
3. Plan and coordinate an event or meeting.
Event planning is a great way to give your intern ownership of a project. With this type of assignment, allow them to take ownership of the event or meeting from the very beginning. From ironing out logistics to promoting the event, this will be a great way for your intern to use their leadership and management skills during their internship.
4. Analyze the company website and design a proposal.
Another great way to utilize your intern’s creative ideas is to assign him or her with the task of analyzing your company’s website to discover areas that need improvement. Whether it’s changes to copy or adding a new webpage, listen to their ideas that could potentially improve your website. After their research, have them write a proposal on the new idea for the website and execute it upon approval.
5. Prepare a budget.
If you hire an accounting or financial intern, this would be a great opportunity for them to gain some hands-on experience with the financial department of your company. Give him or her the opportunity to work with your accounting or financial directors to prepare budgets and analyze general accounting entries. This is a great way for the intern to apply their classroom skills to a real world situation.
6. Design a mobile app.
Give your intern the opportunity to design, develop, and promote a new mobile app. Interns who have background in computer engineering or computer science would benefit greatly from this project. This is an exciting way for him or her to utilize their design skills as well as their passion for mobile app development.
7. Create a crowdfunding campaign.
Crowdfunding campaigns utilize different skills such as marketing, public relations, and social media. This is a cool project for your intern because it allows them to be innovative by researching, planning, and executing an entire campaign for the introduction of your new product or service.
8. Write content for your company’s blog.
For interns with strong writing skills, blogging is an excellent way for them to build their portfolio while building awareness for your company’s brand. Require your intern to write two or three blog posts per week and promote them on your social media platforms.
9. Take responsibility for a regular task.
For paid interns, assigning them a task normally done by a full-time employee can give them hands-on experience. Whether it’s placing a weekly order or tracking media hits, this is a great way for your intern to gain insight on everyday tasks done by your company.
If you’re just launching your internship program or you’re looking for ways to revitalize it, these are some great projects to assign to your interns. Not only will your interns have the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge learned in the classroom, but also they will be given ownership of a project and contribute to the success of your company.
What projects to you provide for your internships? Share your ideas below!
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