EC Consulting on Internships

As we begin to see some warmer weather, our office is getting excited for the arrival of spring.  During that time, we will begin recruiting for a summer internship program.  While some lucky students have already secured their spot, most of our interviews will be conducted within the next two months.  Therefore, as we get close our office felt it would be beneficial to reflect on their own internship experiences and give advice on what to look for.

  1. Look for an experience that will give you knowledge in many areas of a business. Unlike leadership programs in which you rotate through four to six different departments in a company, internships often leave you in a single department working on a specific set of skills or tasks for the summer.  It is not often, that you are able to learn about other departments and experience what they day.  In our own program, we ensure our interns not only learn about marketing and customer service, but that they have a chance to experience being in management, interviewing, training, and learning some human resources procedures.  All this pushes towards the goal of having our interns learn a wide breadth of skill sets that they can take back to the classroom.
  2. Look for an experience that has opportunities once the internship is over. There are two goals in every internship; the first being to learn as much as possible, and the second being to lead to a full time position after graduation.  Internships are good because they allow networking with other people within the company, creating contacts after the internship is over that could potentially lead to a full time position.  At our own company, we constantly push our interns to network with other people in our organization.  Every person we recommend they speak to has seen success in at least one area of our organization.  These networking contacts has eased the process of finding a position after graduation for many of our previous interns.  In addition, we often offer full time positions to those interns who we see have the most success and strive to get all they can from the experience.
  3. Look for an experience where you enjoy the atmosphere and the people you work with. There is nothing worse in an internship than when you don’t enjoy the atmosphere of the company or the people you have to work with every day.  In interviews for the internship, be sure to ask about the environment and what people like most and least about working there.  If you can reach out to others within the company to see what their experience has been like.  Our interview process allows our interns to sit with a corporate trainer for about an hour and half so that they can get a sense of who they will be working with during their time with us, if offered a position.

We encourage students who are looking for summer learning experiences to not only consider our own program, but to also follow these three pieces of advice for what to look for in an internship.  We wish you every student best of luck in their journey and in the rest of their semester.  We look forward to working with you in the summer!

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