12 March 2024

12 Tips for Teaching Your Summer Interns

By Ronald Smith

If you’re looking for some cool tips on training your summer interns, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve got some great advice to get you started. Let’s dive in!

1. Get to know them: Before you start teaching, take the time to get to know your interns. Ask them about their interests and goals. This will help you tailor the training to their needs.

2. Set clear expectations: Make sure your interns know exactly what you expect from them. Outline their responsibilities and any important rules they need to follow.

3. Provide proper guidance: Be there to guide your interns throughout their training. Offer support, answer their questions, and give them feedback to help them improve.

4. Assign meaningful tasks: Give your interns tasks that are relevant and meaningful. This will keep them engaged and motivated to learn.

5. Encourage teamwork: Foster a collaborative environment where your interns can work together. This will help them develop their communication and problem-solving skills.

6. Offer regular check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins to touch base with your interns. This will give them a chance to ask questions and share their progress.

7. Provide resources: Give your interns the tools they need to succeed. Provide them with resources, such as training materials or online tutorials, to support their learning.

8. Offer constructive feedback: When providing feedback, focus on the positives and offer suggestions for improvement. This will help your interns grow and develop their skills.

9. Encourage creativity: Create an environment that encourages your interns to think outside the box. Let them explore new ideas and solutions.

10. Celebrate achievements: Recognize and celebrate your interns’ achievements. This can inspire them to continue working hard and improve their performance.

11. Be a role model: Lead by example and show your interns how things should be done. Your actions speak louder than words!

12. Reflect and learn: After the training period, take the time to reflect on the experience. Think about what went well and what could be improved for future internships.

So, there you have it! Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to training your summer interns like a pro. Good luck, and have a great summer!

12 Tips for Teaching Your Summer Interns

I want to talk to you about the importance of summer interns for small businesses. These smart, young college kids can be a big help, but they may not have much experience in the business world and might not fit in with your team right away.

To learn how other entrepreneurs successfully train their summer interns, I asked 12 founders from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) this question:

What’s your best tip for quickly and smoothly training summer interns?

Now, let’s see what the YEC community members had to say:

1. Plan Ahead

Before the interns start, have a clear plan and share it with them. It’s also helpful to include them in emails beforehand. And make sure they have someone to learn from so they can get started right away. – Ashley Mady, Brandberry

2. Let’s Be Open and Transparent

When it comes to our summer interns, I believe in giving them the full picture of what goes on in our company, even if it may not directly relate to their specific tasks. It’s common for companies to hold back information from interns, but I’ve found that when we treat them with the same level of transparency as our regular employees, they learn faster and feel more connected to the organization. This sense of empowerment motivates them to work harder on their projects.

3. Let Them Create the Training Program

Over the years, we have welcomed more than 300 summer interns into our program. One effective way to streamline the process is by training the first intern and assigning them the task of documenting everything they learn. Then, the second and third interns can review and make corrections to the manual alongside you. By the time the fourth intern comes along, we’ll have a well-crafted intern training program that covers everything they need to know.

4. Assign Them Homework

Before our summer interns join our team, we like to give them some assignments to work on. This helps them become familiar with important topics and understand the tasks they will be responsible for. It also gives them a clear idea of what is expected of them when they start their internship. – Michael Quinn, Yellow Bridge Interactive

5. Use a Wiki for Automated Training

We make use of an internal wiki program called confluence to centralize all our training materials online in one convenient location. This includes detailed guides and instructional videos. This way, our new summer interns can go through the materials at their own pace and train themselves. During our live training sessions, we focus on answering their questions rather than going over the same tasks repeatedly. – Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media

6. Understand Their Past Experiences

Number 7: Throw Them Into Customer Service

When I started at Modify, I worked in customer service, just like everyone else. It’s how we all learn about our company. The best way to understand what we do and what makes our customers happy is by working directly with them. That’s how I learned the ropes, and now I can turn customers into fans. – Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

Number 8: Put Everything in Writing

Here’s what I’ve learned: It’s important to write things down. Your mission. Their goals for the summer. Expectations. Deadlines. When interns first join your team, everything might seem overwhelming to them. That’s why putting it all in writing helps. It gives both of you something to refer back to, so we can make sure everyone is on the same page. Plus, let the interns do most of the writing to make sure they understand what we’ve talked about. – Emily Eldridge Holdman, PeopleKit

9. Keeping You in the Know

Instead of just giving you tasks, it’s important that I take the time to explain the big picture to you, even if I won’t be there to see the whole project through. By doing this, you’ll have a better understanding of the business and will be able to make a more significant contribution to the company. ~ Oisin Hanrahan, Handybook

10. Let’s Work on What You Enjoy

You’ll shine as an intern when I give you tasks that you’re passionate about. I’ll spend time figuring out what aspects of our business interest you the most and train you in those areas for the best results! ~ Alexis Wolfer, TheBeautyBean.com

11. Follow an Employee’s Lead

12. Just Dive In

When it comes to learning, diving into the deep end is where the magic happens. So, don’t be afraid to take the plunge! Feel free to ask me lots of questions, and then I’ll let you loose on a cool project. We’ll keep the lines of communication wide open because I believe that’s the key. I’ll give you plenty of feedback, and I want you to share your own ideas and thoughts too. Your perspective is like a treasure! Let’s make this journey together and see what wonders we can find!