Why Internships? The ROI

Internships done well are good for your organization and for the student. The student's learning will be deepened and their likelihood of continuing their education and improving their employment are increased.


Employers that host internships can anticipate the following returns on their investment:

  • A competitive advantage:  It's not just the extra sets of hands that make interns advantageous.  New people bring with them new ideas, fresh perspective, and specialized strengths and skill sets.  Interns are good at questioning processes and can often see a more efficient way of doing things that a manager might not.  Particularly when it comes to technology.  Social media, computer programs, iPads- these are all a piece of cake for today's students. 

  • A diverse workforce:  Businesses sell to an increasingly diverse customer base in a multicultural society. Having employees who come from different demographics and market sectors furthers a company's understanding of its customer base. This deeper level of understanding can be leveraged to tailor sales approach, services and product development

  • Higher productivity:  Setting up an intern program allows businesses to take advantage of short-term support.  This extra set of hands will relieve pressure in areas where work seems to be piling up or in areas of the company that seem to be growing at a faster pace than expected. This gives the employer the opportunity to see if the work warrants an extra salary and if the budget can handle it.  It helps employees be more productive, prevents them from becoming overburdened by side projects, as well as freeing them up to accomplish more creative tasks or those where higher-level, strategic thinking and expertise is required.

  • A talent pipeline:  An internship program is a year-round recruiting tool. Fall internships, summer internships, semester internships, and quarterly internships, implementing an internship program means you have an ongoing pipeline of future full-time employees.  Hiring an intern is an opportunity to test-drive talent.  When you “try out” candidates you make fewer mistakes when it comes to full-time staffing; avoiding the pitfall of training a new hire only to find out they’re not a fit for your organization or that the entry-level employee doesn't like the industry sector.  Internship programs allow you to benefit from added manpower while assessing potential candidates. 

  • Help with projects:  Interns are an inexpensive resource.  Their salaries are significantly lower than staff employees, and you aren't obligated to pay unemployment or a severance package should you not hire them on full-time. Moreover, while their wage requirements are modest, they're among the most highly motivated members of the workforce.  An interested candidate takes on an internship in hopes of accomplishing something to use on their resume or in future interviews. Give them real, meaningful work that will help your organization run smoother, accomplish more, or be more successful.  

  • Gain brand advocates:  Internships allow employers to connect with students early in their academic careers.  These relationships create students that want to talk about their experience and your company with peers, social media contacts, friends, and family.  

  • Fulfills corporate responsibility: Creating an internship is an excellent way to give back.  Students gain experience, develop skills, make connections, strengthen their resumes, and assess their interest and abilities.  Paid internships are particularly beneficial as they enable economically disadvantaged youth to participate and have a clearly defined pathway to a positive future.  Hiring interns not only helps the students in your community get started, it enhances the regional workforce as a whole.

See students benefiting from the internship experience.

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