How Startups can Make Their Internship Programmes More Appealing for Students

85% of the companies that hire interns through Internshala are startups. So, it’s safe to say that startups love interns. Why is that, one might wonder? Well, mainly because, interns bring fresh ideas and lots of energy. In fact, hiring interns is an optimal practice for startups to scale up.
When the team is small, it is especially crucial to hire employees with the utmost care. However, it is extremely difficult to judge a candidate based on a few interviews. Here, hiring interns for a short duration could help startups make an accurate decision by giving them enough time to judge the candidates’ abilities for the job, as well as understand whether they are culturally fit for the organization or not.
Furthermore, startups are often short on funds and so, could benefit from hiring interns for short-term projects as they won’t have to pay hefty salaries to the interns; only a basic stipend would do. Now, hiring is a two-way street; as important as it is for the startups to be eager to hire interns, it is equally important for the students to be enthusiastic about interning with startups.
While over a decade ago, students might have been keen on pursuing internships with name-brands and multinational companies only, startups have now gained a significant popularity among them. The reason being, startups having limited hands to do a profuse amount of work, offer meaningful internship experience to students, wherein they get to work on important projects which have a direct impact on the company’s growth.
With the rise of startups, internship opportunities have seen an upsurge too. So, with thousands of employers vying to hire the best interns for their startups, how could you make your internship programme stand out? Well, we have got you covered with the following tips on how to make your internship programme more appealing for students –
1 ) Guided Mentorship – As per a survey conducted by us, the majority of students looking for internships value learning the most. They are looking for mentors who could teach them the practical applications of their skills in a real-time environment and get them abreast with the industrial standards.
So, before hiring interns, make sure that you have enough resources to
guide them and observe their work throughout the internship tenure. This way, you’ll be able to provide them with a good learning experience, as well as judge their work and help them improve upon their work.

2 ) Provide Autonomous Environment – Instead of monitoring each and every task closely, you could assign a project to the interns and let them take end-to-end ownership of the same. This displays a level of trust from your end and encourages them to bring in their best efforts.
Here, after assigning the project, you could guide them on how to go about it and share insights from some of the similar projects the company has done before. After this, the intern could plan the whole project, come up with ideas to implement it, and finally, execute it.
To stay updated on the progress, you could ask them to share regular updates, share your ideas and opinions, and provide the necessary guidance whenever needed. This way, interns could work on the project as per the company’s practices, as well as bring a fresh perspective to solving problems.
3 ) Encourage Cross-team Interaction – Another reason why students often go for internships is to explore various career paths until they find their true calling.
Being a startup, you are often short on the workforce to take care of an abundance of work. Herein, you could provide your interns with opportunities to help with tasks in different departments and understand what it’s like to work in each profile thus getting experiences of various internships in one.
Also, with this, you get to assess their adaptability and abilities for different jobs. And, it’s possible that they might perform exceptionally well in a certain profile which might give you an excellent employee for your team.
4 ) Share Constant Feedback – Constant feedback is an immense part of an intern’s learning process. You must never hesitate to share a much-deserved appreciation with your interns or share a feedback whenever needed.
Now, while sharing a feedback, make sure your tone is polite and you are assisting the interns to amend their mistakes and improve. Also, during the hiring process, if you are rejecting a candidate, you must share a constructive feedback mentioning what you think are their strong points and where they need to improve. This could truly help you in maintaining a good reputation of your startup as an employer.
5 ) Provide a Stipend – While learning might be the priority for students, a stipend could also act as a motivation for them to apply to your internship programme. Provision of a stipend gives them a sense that they would get to do some real work during the internship instead of basic grunt work.
Now, this does not mean you have to pay a hefty salary to them, the stipend should be enough to suffice their basic expenses like transportation or rent, in case they have relocated for the internship.
In addition to the stipend, perks like a probable Pre-Placement offer after the internship completion, equity in the company, additional performance-based incentives, and a creative work environment could act as major attraction points for your internship programme.
Source: Techstory
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