Internships and Mentoring

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Internships and Mentoring

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What It Is

An internship is a type of work experience for entry-level job-seekers. Internships involve working in one’s expected career field, either during a semester or over the summer.  Some organizations pay interns for their work or offer them jobs at the end of the internship.

Mentoring is a structured relationship that brings young people together with successful individuals who offer guidance, support, and encouragement.  Organizations can create mentoring programs, matching newer employees with veteran workers.  This can help new hires hone their skills and better navigate organizational cultures.

Why It Matters

Internship programs can give organizations the opportunity to

  • Gauge the talent of a new generation of workers
  • Sell themselves as a quality place for students to kickstart their careers
  • Help young people gain work experience

Interns can be ideal workers for any company, large or small.  They typically strive to learn, gain experience, and perform well.  In relation to this, mentoring interns enhances the leadership, teaching, and coaching skills of mentors, which also benefits the organization.

Getting Started

  • Although there are fee-based organizations that broker internships between students and organizations, most schools have departments that broker internships free of cost.  To find interns for you organization, contact area colleges, universities, or high schools for more information about their internship programs.
  • One of the most successful youth mentoring programs is Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  This is a good place to start for a company looking to get involved in mentoring youth.  Find your local chapter here.

Resources

  • Mentoring.org connects mentors with young people who want guidance and training.
  • The U.S. Department of Education provides grants to programs that relate to mentoring.  Click here for more information and an application.

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