There are 5 basic groups of costs associated with an internship:
It might also be reasonable, at the programme level, to consider the cost of overall management. A consideration at this level is from which budget will be costs be taken? Is it an overall training budget or the budget of the individual supervising mentor? If the later was in planned for?
In the recruitment group of costs we include the cost of:
Defining the internship opportunity, producing the description and associated documents that will allow the student be fully understand the opportunity.
Advertising / Marketing the opportunity – this could be through placing posters in the Careers or relevant Academic Departments of target Universities, in student magazines, by email, using established student recruitment pipelines or through social networking.
Processing application forms and applying any shortlisting, interviewing or selection process you normally use.
Agreeing any contract with the student’s academic institution – this is probably necessary where the student’s internship is part of their degree programme – such as when it is a credit bearing part of the programme.
Dealing with any health, safety and risk assessments for the proposed student activities.
In the Supervision group of costs we include the cost of:
Direct supervision of the student’s day to day activities.
Support the student may need to find and secure accommodation – the student may be unfamiliar with your area and hence may need help finding affordable, safe and close by housing.
Inducting the student into your Company when they start.
Performance review / appraisal and feedback.
End of internship review.
Do you pay the student during their internship or not? The answer to whether you can do this legally might depend on which country you are in. Paying the student during their internship and hence being able to market paid internships is likely to yield more and better quality students and lead to improved commitment to the internship on both sides – you company will be more committed because it is paying for the work and the student will be more motivated a) because they are being paid and b) because you value the work sufficiently to want to pay them to do it. The risk of unpaid internships is the student may feel exploited and may lack real commitment – you may find it a challenge then to hold the student to account in terms of doing what you want them to do in time for your operational deadlines. That said most interns recognise the value in the work experience.
So, what choices of remuneration do you have?
The general options open to you are:
Pay a wage (in countries such as France and the US this is, in many situations, governed by legislation)
Pay benefits of one form or another, examples could be:
Academic credits (if you have the scope in conjunction with the Academic Institution)
Scholarship &/or Tuition fees
Housing or housing assistance
Medical and/or dental benefits
In the Training group of costs we include the cost of:
Student skills development in general.
Sending the student on training courses or to training events
Giving them training materials such as books, online paid for resources, etc.
In the Consumables group of costs we include the cost of:
Equipment they might need