How to Run an Intern Program

Note: Jesse Davis, Entrustet‘s cofounder, wrote an in depth how to guide on his blog.  Please read it.  My post is only an advertisement for his post.

Last summer, we hired 9 interns for Entrustet.  It was one of the best decisions we’ve made as a company.  Most companies struggle with intern programs and many interns leave their summer programs without much more than a new line on their resume.  Jesse and I figured out how to make the program work so that the interns added value to the company and we added value to the interns.

Some highlights from the intern program:

  • The digital executor toolbox
  • 25+ blog posts
  • 700+ attorneys added to our CRM
  • 5 blog posts on other websites
  • Huge amounts of research
  • Replaced our copywriting consultant

Besides the direct benefits, our interns injected some fun into the office, which was great after working solo with Jesse for over a year.  It was also a low risk way for us to learn how to manage people.  Here’s a short list of things we did to make it work as well as it did.  Again, make sure to read Jesse’s post on how to run an intern program.

Before You Hire

  • Think about what you need and write specific job descriptions
  • Start early.  Put your ads up in February for the summer.
  • Create a plan for when your interns arrive

When you hire

  • Create a set of 3-5 tasks that the interns can do at any time
  • Teach for the first 2 or 3 days.  It will be worth your investment.
  • Have one never ending project.  For us it was adding lawyers to our CRM.
  • Ask your interns what they want to do.  They will be motivated to work on what they like to do better than what you make them do.
  • Work in the same room as your interns and invite them to come to your meetings

Read the rest of Jesse’s post for the full details on how to run an intern program.  It could make the difference between a waste of time and a huge help for your company.

  • corky

    yeah, it could be pretty boring working with Jesse

  • http://www.nathanlustig.com Nathan Lustig

    hahaha