Internships – Who Benefits More, Intern or Company?

Posted September 23, 2013 by
Dentist working on patient, as intern looks on

Dentist working on patient, as intern looks on. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Lets start with the basics facts first. Fact, Internship helps.

It helps the students gain practical knowledge, real work experience and face the actual realities of the business world. Fact, the college education alone is just not enough, practical knowledge and experience is the key. Fact, there is a reason why the internships are part of the college curriculum most of the time.

It helps employers get fresh ideas, find a possible good worker at very low cost. Fact, it helps them know and train a future possible employee with minimal risk. Fact, it helps build their brand amongst youngsters.

Now, the questions, whether a student who has virtually no real experience, who may or may not add real value to a company in terms of the work output, but will certainly get some experience of a working environment at the very least. The work done on their internships will be one of the critical factors on their resumes besides fulfilling the quintessential credits required for their academics.

The question, whether employers would have a considerable value addition for having dash fresh perspective put into their work place and work, whether they can drive the talent within their intern to a meaningful output, whether the employer should actually do mostly as little as posting a job for free for hiring a talented resource at very low cost is worth their time.

There are flip sides of internships too, ‘low cost’ for employers could in some cases be absolutely no cost and non-paid internships, an intern employed might actually be more wasteful and consume resources like senior management’s time but end up with no value add whatsoever.

The unrealistic expectations between an employer and an employee can be detrimental and inconvenient. Example, an employer expecting interns to work extra hours regularly and get a tough and unrealistic deliverable within a short span time, or an intern expecting to do a very limited work and directly sit and work as a senior manager or decision maker implementing ideas and strategy changes with very little factual backing.

The answers to the questions above and the value that an employer or an intern gives these questions actually determines whether the intern or the employer benefits more?. From my perspective, it is futile to determine who benefits more, the reality is that its a win-win situation for both employers and the job seekers.

It’s probably best described as a relationship between the two, where no one can say whether the boy or the girl benefits ‘more’. It’s an alliance which should benefit both, like any relationship, how much or how less depends on the individual and the entity.

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