10 Best Tips for Training Summer Interns

July 10th, 2015   |    By: Young Entrepreneur Council

Question: Name your best tip for training summer interns as seamlessly and quickly as possible.

Plan Ahead

“Have a plan and lay it out clearly before they begin. Copying interns on emails prior to their start date has proven to be helpful. Also, ensure they have someone to shadow so they can hit the ground running.”

Ashley Mady
Brandberry
@KickAshMady

Make Everything Transparent

“Provide interns with complete transparency on company initiatives, even if it doesn’t relate to their job spec or day to day tasks. I’ve found companies hold back on what they share with interns. But if you provide the same level of transparency you provide employees, interns tend to learn quicker, feel more tied into the organization and empowered to work harder on their projects.”

Andrew Fayad
eLearning Mind
@azfayad

Have Them Write the Training Program

“We have had over 300 interns go through our program. To do this easily, you have to train the first intern and have their only job be to write up everything you taught them. Then have the second and third intern go through it and correct it with you. By the fourth, you have a perfect intern training manual.”

Vanessa Van Edwards
Science of People
@vvanedwards

Give Them Homework

“Before our interns start, we ask them to familiarize themselves with certain topics. That way, when they start, they have a good understanding of what tasks they will have and what they are expected to do.”

Michael Quinn
Yellow Bridge Interactive
@ybinteractive

Automate Training With a Wiki

“Use an internal wiki program such as confluence to put all of your training in one easily accessible place online. Our training is a mix of step-by-step documents and videos so that new interns can go through the materials and train themselves. The live training time is devoted to Q&A instead of walking through the same tasks over and over again.”

Laura Roeder
MeetEdgar.com
@lkr

Know Their Previous Experience

“Just like any other form of learning, training is most effective when you know your audience. Discussing an intern’s topical experience in advance will help allocate your training time and resources while avoiding redundancy and poor assumptions.”

Sam Saxton
Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs
@SpiralStair

Throw Them Into Customer Service

“Everyone at Modify, from our CMO on down, started in customer service. While we share a lot of onboarding material, the quickest way to get someone to learn what we’re all about is to get them working directly with customers. They learn our systems, our product line and what it takes to turn customers into fans.”

Aaron Schwartz
Modify Watches
@ModifyWatches

Keep Them in the Loop

“Rather than just assigning tasks, make sure your team takes the time to explain the larger picture (even when they might not be there to see the full project through). By doing so, they will gain a better understanding of the business and will be better suited to contribute to the company in more substantial ways.”

Oisin Hanrahan
Handybook
@oisinhanrahan

Have Them Shadow an Employee

“Have them shadow a person that does a job similar to what they will be doing. It will give the intern a chance to take notes and ask questions about what they are expected to do. It will also help them to establish a relationship with someone within the company that they can go to in the future with questions.”

Phil Laboon
Eyeflow Internet Marketing
@PhilLaboon

Toss Them Right In

“The deep end is the best place to learn to swim, after all. Make sure they feel comfortable asking plenty of questions, then let them loose on a project. Communication is key, so be sure to give plenty of feedback and allow lots of space for their own ideas and comments – a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable!”

Marvin Amberg
Caseable
@caseable


About Our Partner

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


About the Author

Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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