1. How do I know what an intern will be capable of doing?
Glad you asked! If you underestimate what an intern can do, you’ll lose out on a great opportunity.
An internship is meant to offer a growth experience. At the beginning of the summer, you won’t know exactly how far the intern will grow, so the best approach is to assign short tasks and give immediate feedback. You should also encourage the intern to ask questions.
As the intern gains confidence and skill, you can assign “stretch” tasks that encourage development. Many employers tell us they’re surprised to discover just how far an intern can stretch over the summer. Within a few weeks, many interns are functioning more or less like a new hire.
2. I’m not sure I can design a position to meet all of the criteria in the MtA Internship Success Framework. Can I still hire an intern?
Over the years, we’ve learned that certain kinds of summer jobs don’t qualify as legitimate internship positions. If you’re mainly interested in covering resource gaps caused by vacations or catching up on a backlog of low-level tasks, then you won’t be able to provide the kind of high-value learning experience we promise our students. If that’s your situation, please contact Career Services to ask about posting a summer job outside of our internship program.
At the same time, we recognize that each workplace has its own work flow, and we’re open to exploring ways to create a meaningful learning experience within your circumstances. If you’d like to explore some possibilities, please get in touch.
3. What kind of job posting will attract the best MtA students to my organization?
The most effective job postings clearly state the kind of work the student will be expected to do, on a daily basis and for the legacy project. They also give a sense of the organizational culture. Students want to know what it will be like to work as part of your team. What kind of environment will they be walking into? What’s uniquely challenging and rewarding about working in that environment?
We can help you create an accurate, compelling description of your internship opportunity. Check out our sample job posting or ask Career Services for feedback on a draft posting.
4. The work our organization does requires a high degree of confidentiality. How can we fully integrate an intern into our work culture?
As with any new hire, you can require a MtA intern to sign a non-disclosure agreement protecting proprietary information and processes.
You can also design an internship position so that it includes meaningful work that doesn’t involve handling highly confidential information. MtA interns have successfully integrated into wealth management firms, professional services firms, and government departments.
Please be aware that your intern’s learning process will involve writing about his or her job experience in generic terms. Internship reflections are shared with other interns and Mount Allison experiential learning staff.
If you’d like help designing an internship role that will fit the constraints of your work environment, please reach out to Career Services.
5. The work flow in our organization is fast-paced, and most new hires don’t take on projects that last more than a week. How can we create a legacy project for an intern?
Here are some examples of legacy projects employers have previously designed for MtA interns:
- Research report
- Feasibility study
- Product launch plan
- Onboarding program
- Employee manual
- Marketing database
- Redesign of an invoice tracking process
We’re happy to help you brainstorm possibilities for a summer-long project that will challenge an intern and deliver lasting value to your organization.
To explore the benefits a Mount Allison internship could bring your organization, contact Dr. Sandy MacIver, Director of the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org or 506-364-2202.