Get the Intern to Do It!

In about 15 years, (or 10, if they are Doogie Howser types), I will have two kids getting ready to go off to college. With issues of rising tuition and student debt so prevalent in the media, it has given me some pause to think about what college gives a person, and what types of prospects students will have upon graduation.

And that got me thinking of internships, because I never even tried to get one. I always worked part-time jobs during the school year, and full time during the summers I stayed in good-old Ann Arbor.

I heard about a young woman who has just written a book—called “All Work, No Pay”—about how she had 15 internships in college. WHAT? So, in addition to book royalties, I am imagining that this kid had some pretty memorable experiences and now has the opportunity to network with a HELL of a lot more people than the average 22-year-old.

And that brings me to today’s question: Do you use interns?

And my next question: Why the heck NOT?

There might be a lot of good reasons to start an internship program at your company—no matter the size. You would foster a great relationship with a local school, and expose a new generation of talent to what you offer and what a great place your company is to work.

EVERY owner I talk to laments how hard it is to find good sales talent these days. So what if you MADE the talent? What if you got a hold of the talent before unreasonably high expectations and that dreaded sense of entitlement we THINK is present in the millenials rears its ugly head, and you actually fostered a relationship with the new generation and taught them what you want them to know?

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • margiedana

    Great advice today, Kelly. I speak from experience: have been successfully working with interns for about 5 years. Luckily, i’m in the thick of colleges/universities here in Chestnut Hill, MA. There are lots of ways to find interns, too. Not only can you contact schools individually (they are HAPPY to help you upload a description, believe-you-me), but you may find consortia of colleges near you to make it even easier for employers. PLUS, there’s, which i’ve also used but not so successfully. The good news: you get swamped by applications. The bad news: you get swamped by applications. (I found most were overqualified. I can’t hire a Ph.D. to maintain our database and send emails.) Some employers don’t pay interns but I always have. I figure, they’re working, aren’t they? If my son had an internship when he gets to college, I’d appreciate his getting some pocket money! Sorry to have rambled. Put me down as an employer who LOVES hiring interns.

  • pon

    …on the other hand, there are plenty of us looking for jobs and seeing too many companies snapping up two, three free interns instead of hiring an experienced printer/prepress/customer service person….

  • Kelly Mallozzi

    Both very good points – thanks for sharing your viewpoints – pon you might want to check out her book – the interview I heard made it sound like she had some great advice for job seekers. Incidentally my husband’s company currently has three interns – all paid. All college students.