This Insights article was contributed by Teresa Walker, Director of Work Practice at the Cameron School of Business
In a couple of weeks, the population of Wilmington will grow by thousands… almost overnight!
Wilmington is one of the fortunate cities to be home to several post-secondary educational institutions made up of young professionals seeking knowledge and experience.
This experience comes in the form of an internship for many. Each year, we meet with hundreds of students interested in part-time internship experiences while attending the Cameron School of Business, and we need your help providing these learning experiences.
Many organizations recognize the benefit of having educated, professional and motivated students fill their short-term hiring needs, even if that need is comprised of one student.
Not only will interns provide a fresh perspective, but employers will also benefit from the following:
- Discovery of motivated stars for future hiring needs resulting in higher employee retention
- Economical resources to accomplish long- or short-term goals and projects
- Allow mentorship and leadership to become an integral part of a company’s culture
- Increase technological knowledge and resources
- A supply of educated and motived hires for a brief period with no commitment
In terms of both today's workload capacity and tomorrow's need for adaptability, starting an internship program is an excellent way to facilitate success within your business, and Cameron students are really good. Knowledgeable self-starters who are bright and reliable and have a strong work ethic and creative approach are just a few of the comments employers use to describe their experiences with UNCW Cameron students.
There are a few tried-and-true approaches to having a successful internship program.
While the tasks may occasionally involve some routine office responsibilities, the top-flight internship opportunity employs the following strategies:
- Interview. Select an intern with the same approach used to select an employee. Discuss both the business needs and intern goals. This process creates ownership and commitment for all parties.
- Structure. Develop a plan based on the student’s potential degree and interests, in combination with those business’s needs. Schedule regular meetings to discuss business needs, including brainstorming. This will ensure all have an understanding of the goals and outcomes.
- Direction. Consider a mentor - someone committed to onboarding the intern to facilitate a productive environment. Also, include the intern in all business activities, both during and after hours. Always follow up with a scheduled performance and goal review. This will aid in assessing abilities and cultural fit if you are considering an upcoming hire.
The time and effort spent educating students professionally is a win-win for employers, students and the community.
As we work together to increase the number of internships, we are actually preparing the next round of educated professionals and contributing citizens.
For additional information on how to obtain an intern contact Teresa Walker, Director of Work Practice, at [email protected]
or (910) 962-2466.
Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 60 full-time faculty members and 20 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 200 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].