What Interns Hate

By   |   April 28th, 2016   |   0 Comments

what interns hateYour interns will be starting soon and you’re likely making final preparations for them. So what should you avoid? AgCareers.com has worked with and surveyed students interning in the agricultural industry for years. We’ve developed a list of what interns hate and can quickly create a negative experience for both the intern and your organization.


What Interns Hate


1. Isolation: Students don’t want to be stuck in one office or location for the entire summer. Let them travel and see everything your company has to offer. Interns frequently tell us that visits to other locations or facilities are one of their favorite experiences. “Make sure interns see every side of the company instead of just the area that they are working in,” shared one intern. They also dislike isolation from coworkers and other interns. “More interaction with peers as well as team members,” noted an intern when asked for improvements. Create opportunities for interns to network with upper management and fellow interns. If your company doesn’t have many interns, make an effort to introduce them to interns at other organizations in your area.


2. Being a Gopher: You’ve hired an intern, not a summer worker. Students don’t receive real on-the-job training if they are relegated to simple, repetitive daily tasks such as getting coffee, making copies and hanging signs. Of course, they should expect some of this, but it shouldn’t be the bulk of their summer. Interns want real responsibility, not just menial tasks. As one intern commented, “Create valuable and meaningful work, instead of the busy work that was often assigned to me.” Give students at least one challenging project, but preferably three to five projects that contribute to the company.


3. Just an Intern: Students don’t like to be treated as an outsider or told they are “just an intern.” Treat them the same as all of your other employees during their tenure with your organization. Invite them to meetings, professional development activities, and ask for their input on upcoming projects. Involve them in office gatherings and programs, such as fitness incentives and volunteer activities. Make sure intern supervisors understand the value of an intern and are willing and able to handle the student. “Do not assign interns to managers that do not have time for them,” shared one intern.


4. Lack of Feedback: We’ve all heard this about Millennials- they stereotypically desire constant communication and feedback. Communicate both positive and negative feedback often. Interns have noted they prefer, “More timely reviews and follow-ups on progress.” Set-up a weekly connect to go over their projects and provide constructive criticism and positive feedback. Students are interning to learn and gain real-life experience, so help them through the process; don’t wait until the end of the internship to tell them what they could’ve done better. A performance review mid-internship, as well as at the end, is optimal.


Does your organization want to receive positive and constructive feedback from your interns? Consider participating in the AgCareers.com Internship Survey. This survey provides a student evaluation of the internship program in an industry benchmarking format both at the beginning and after their experience. Find out more about the AgCareers.com Internship Benchmark Survey.

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