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Five Tips for Hiring and Managing a Summer Intern

FiveThe following five tips from the Small Business Administration for hiring and managing a summer intern were provided by Caron Beesley. The full content can be found at

1. Assess your Needs

Interns will be looking for the right kind of experience, so it’s important to evaluate your needs and create a job description that is appealing for both parties. Think about how an intern can help you achieve your business goals. Do you have enough work to support an intern? Who will supervise, train and mentor this individual? What about resources – like office space or a computer?

2. Should you Offer a Paid or Unpaid Internship?

Should you pay your interns? Interestingly, most students state that compensation is the least important factor when considering an internship. And according to, one third of businesses surveyed chose not to pay their summer interns (choosing to offer college credits, company perks or travel stipends instead).

3.  The Hiring Process

This process isn’t a whole lot different than hiring a regular employee. You’ll need to write a job description – be sure to state whether the internship is paid or unpaid, your objectives for the position, responsibilities and assignments of the job, and specific experience that the intern can expect to gain.

4.  Managing Interns – Considerations to Remember as an Employer

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that this is a learning experience for your intern, not a traditional “summer job.”  Consider the following:

  • Expose them to Real World Experiences and Tasks
  • Mentor
  • Set Parameters and Guidelines
  • Set Expectations Among Other Employees

5. Workplace and Labor Laws

Many of the labor laws that apply to employees, such as workplace discrimination laws, also apply to interns. You must also ensure you comply with workplace health and safety laws. Some states also require that you carry workers’ compensation insurance for interns.