How to Create a Successful College Recruiting Program – The Importance of Internships (Part 14 of 14)April 20, 2006 by Steven Rothberg
The purpose of this series of CollegeRecruiter.com Blog entries is to define and describe the basic steps to create a successful college recruiting program. In the first entry, we defined success and laid out the steps to the program. In this fourteenth and final entry, we’ll discuss the importance of internships.
If you are employed by a medium to large corporation, chances are you have seen two different types of interns. The first type has clearly been hired to fulfill a specific skill requirement. For example, a summer intern with web design skills builds an internal web site for your department. The student typically starts in the May/June timeframe and goes back to school in August/September.
The second type of intern is the management trainee. This student may work year-round or just during the summer. He/she learns the ropes by performing tasks as well as managing those employees who perform the tasks.
Both types of interns are likely to be evaluated as future employees. And just how important are these internships to college recruiting program? For Red Lobster, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Acxiom Corporation, the answer is “very important.”
Acxiom has a year-round internship program through which students take on a variety of roles. For some students, an internship program such as Acxiom’s provides motivation. These students tend to be bored with school and are eager to work in real-world situations.
Red Lobster offers a 10-week summer program with hands-on experience. Interns rotate as crew members and also get operational experience. These internships compliment students’ “book education” by providing hands-on experience. Heather Kreider, University Recruiting Manager for Red Lobster, considers these programs a success — many interns are hired into the management program.
Similarly, at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the internship program mirrors the management training program. Interns get a taste of corporate culture and gain experience and are viewed as future talent.
In A Corporate Guide to College Recruiting, Sandra Grabczynski makes two interesting points about the importance of internships. First, interns can participate as part of your on-campus network and serve as public relations representatives. In other words, “they are your company’s live marketing video.”
The other point the author makes concerns the way “Coca Cola uses its internship program to feed its full-time hiring process. This company interviews only at selected schools for interns. If an intern school produces a steady stream of interns who become full-time employees, Coke will add the school to its recruiting schedule for both internship and full-time recruiting.”
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