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Plan & Design

  1. Gain business-wide backing. For an internship to succeed, it's necessary to get the entire business on board. From the CEO to senior and junior management, without big-picture buy-in, interns won't feel welcome, and it will be a constant struggle to allocate resources. The best way to get the green light? Prepare a presentation explaining how an internship program can help your organization reach its objectives.

  2. Design the program.The key component in setting up an internship is to create the structure itself. A comprehensive internship structure should include information on learning objectives, daily responsibilities, short- and long-term projects, supervisor assignments, evaluation procedures, policies and expectations, and orientation and off-boarding processes, to name the basics.

  3. Put together a compensation plan. Develop your intern salary or compensation structure. Research current trends and intern expectations; then designate funds, create a budget, and gain the necessary financial approval.

  4. Delegate duties. Having staff members take ownership of key roles and responsibilities ensures implementation will move forward and that the internship program will run smoothly once in place. But it doesn't end there. Make sure intern supervisors have the time and resources to effectively manage the participants and the program itself.

  5. Select a start date for interns. Leaving your launch date open-ended almost guarantees procrastination. Instead, setting a date about 7 to 10 weeks out will facilitate proper planning.