INSIGHTS

How to Run a First-Rate Internship Program

MARISA GIFT, TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

As tax season winds down at Lutz, we say good bye to a large class of interns who have been a part of Lutz during this year’s busy season. Our interns play a valuable role in helping us give great, timely service to our clients while also adding energy to an already vibrant office! Here are some of the lessons we have learned over the years about running a top-notch internship program.

Establish clear expectations

This starts in the recruiting process when describing what an internship will involve and it carries forward into the orientation and onboarding processes. Be sure to set time aside for interns to hear what is expected of them from managers and HR personnel. Ideally, this will happen on Day One but it doesn’t end there. It is imperative to offer timely feedback to interns as they complete assignments so they can learn how to improve their work going forward.

Use a variety of training tools

Along with traditional classroom training, try using case studies to allow interns to feel more comfortable with the task at hand before diving in “for real.” Along these same lines, shadowing a more experienced employee is also a great training tool. Finally, having a go-to resource, such as a mentor, identified for each intern is also helpful.

Be accessible 

There’s nothing worse than a closed door when you have a concern or a voicemail that never gets returned when you need a question answered. A culture of “open doors” goes a long way in giving interns a meaningful experience (not to mention all other team members, too)!

Offer challenging work 

Long gone are the days of filling coffee cups and making photocopies. Interns today expect meaningful work that offers them valuable lessons in their career field of choice. Think of interns as new staff members who need a little extra supervision.

Showcase your culture

Be sure that interns are invited to events and social gatherings both in and outside of the office. Send them to lunch with a variety of team members at different levels. Teach them about the history of your company as well as your vision for the future. Let your culture shine!

Follow these tips for running your internship program and you will soon find that your interns may quickly become your best source of full-time talent in the future. Furthermore, if you give them a great experience, there’s also a good chance they will recruit their friends down the road!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.496.8800

mgift@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

MARISA GIFT + TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Marisa Gift is the Training and Development Manager at Lutz with over 15 years of experience. She helps shape the firm’s training and development strategy while also managing Lutz’s campus recruiting, orientation and mentoring programs.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Human Resources
  • Training
  • Leadership Development
  • Campus Recruiting
  • Performance
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Association for Talent Development, Member
  • Human Resource Association of the Midlands, Member
  • Society for Human Resource Management, Member
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BA in Communication Studies & Politics, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
  • MA in Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Publicity Committee
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Music Ministry
  • Drake University National Alumni Board of Directors, Past Board Member

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