Why you need to hire interns

PHOTO: Why you need to hire interns

MALAYSIA - When it comes to internships, the discussion is usually skewed to how it benefits the interns. Indeed, interns gain invaluable knowledge and experience, giving them a competitive edge, which may very well catapult them ahead of their peers in the work place.

Nevertheless, what many employers fail to realise is that interns can very much be an added advantage to them as well.

The adverse effects of under (or over) using interns

Many tend to hire interns to simply perform tasks that no one else wants to do. If you want someone to merely staple papers, make coffee or carry boxes, hire the right worker for such duties.

Interns are worth more than this. They not only offer an extra pair of hands, but also bring fresh perspectives as newbies. As they learn the ropes in a field of their dreams, interns are out to impress. Naturally, this enthusiasm motivates them to multi-task, be creative and productive.

On the other hand, an intern who is bored, unchallenged or disconnected may have a more damaging effect on an organisation than the employer may think.

A negative perception among graduates will affect the organisation's image, especially when it comes to hiring young, new recruits as well its ability to stay relevant with the future workforce.

14 easy ways to impress your boss

  • A study by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2012 found that waitresses who wore red earned more tips than others. According to Business Insider, red may also allow you to look more focused and trustworthy.
  • Nothing spells tardiness better than a late worker. Impress your boss by not only being punctual, but also being early for work.
  • Take note of the little tasks that others often forget or are too busy to complete. By doing them, you will get your boss' attention and impress him with you attention to the smallest details.
  • Mess at your desk will only make you look lazy and disorganised. So while you may be doing your work well, a messy desk could diminish your boss' trust in you.
  • Be someone who is likable and enjoyable to have around. Smiling also shows hows positive your work attitude is.
  • Volunteer your actions, ideas and opinions when welcomed. Stand out from the crowd by showing that you care about what work gets done in the office.
  • Love and sex can keep you happier and healthier at the same time. With these attributes, you will be able to focus better at work and impress your boss.
  • Being a leader not only requires you to delegate work to the team, it also requires you to be able to manage people in ways your boss may not find easy to do. By building a good rapport with your colleagues, you will be able to lead them to complete tasks efficiently as a team.
  • If you come up with ideas that end up working very well, remember not to take all the credit for it. For the sake of your boss' ego, tell others that the idea had originated from him instead.
  • Helping others may leave you bogged down with more work while others get to get away with not completing a task. Sometimes, nice guys do finish last - so evaluate every situation and your ability to help before actually offering to do so.
  • Looking the best you can shows that you respect the job and allows you to leave a better impression on your boss, especially if you are meeting him/her for the first time.
  • Groom yourself well and dress appropriately so that you always look smart and ready to take on the challenges of the day.
  • Negotiating with your boss face-to-face is a bad idea as you may come off too aggressive. Allowing your boss the space to think your points through in private can work better for you when you are desperately trying to get him to see your point of view.
  • Keeping up with the latest industry developments can be as simple as reading the related sections on the newspaper for 10 minutes every morning. You are sure to leave a good impression if you can discuss with your boss the issues of the industry which he is most concerned about.

Upping the employability factor

With Asia's robust economic growth, organisations who offer internship programmes may reap the benefits in the long run. The International Herald Tribune recently reported that foreign interns are flocking to Asia, particularly Beijing and Hong Kong, for internship programmes.

Interns have said that the companies they were attached with gave them big responsibilities, took them seriously and regarded them as assets.

In Malaysia, following the 2012 budget announcement, TalentCorp issued the structured internship programme tax incentive guidelines in hopes of generating more employable graduates by providing industry-relevant internships to tertiary students.

The key here is to provide an enriching experience for interns. The employers' role goes much further than the mere perception that they are allowing interns a trial run before the training wheels come off.

Of course, the fundamental concept of internships means that employers should be prepared to do quite a bit of handholding. However, if done right and managed well, employers - and organisations - can gain a lot from interns.

Here are a few ways to ensure that you maximise the positive effect that interns can have for your organisation:

Magnify the internship experience

Interns deserve a well-rounded experience to bring out certain skills or talents. Assign them tasks that differ from time to time. Wherever possible, move interns to a different team or division to allow them a better understanding of the organisation and its culture, structure and goals.

Often, interns may lack the industry knowledge that an employee may possess, hence this approach will help bring them up to speed as they delve into various areas of the organisation and see for themselves the in's and out's of the business.

14 things you do that drive your boss mad

  • Even if you might not be directing your foul language at anyone in particular, cussing still creates a hostile environment for some people. Swearing in the office will make you seem unprofessional.
  • Not having confidence often means the rest of your team needs to pick up the things you do not dare do. This is frustrating for the boss, who could be frustrated from trying to motivate you to put in more effort at work.
  • If you are the sort who is unwilling to examine your tasks and come up with a strategy on your own, your boss might get increasingly annoyed and wonder what he/she has hired you for.
  • Attitude is very important. If you look lethargic a lot of the time, your boss could get annoyed even if you are getting work done.
  • If there is something your boss needs to look through and you have had plenty of time to do it, do not pass a whole chunk of material for checking at the last minute. This adds to your boss' workload and needless to say, stress levels too.
  • Keep work professional - Venting your emotions at work shows that you are unable to handle yourself, and also gives your boss more reason to dread dealing with you at work.
  • It is okay to be the joker who lightens the mood in office, but be careful not to try too hard. Your relaxed attitude speaks volumes about your lack of professionalism, and keeps you away from earning that promotion.
  • Carelessness could cost you, especially if they result in big losses for your boss. Absent-mindedness can cause you to look like your mind is not at work, even if you have a very good excuse for it. Always take notes, and remind yourself in every way possible.
  • Being a serial colleague dater does not make you look good. While your charm might work on your lovers, it could create awkwardness among your colleagues. It also shows that your mind is not set on work.
  • If you have a valid reason to be away, it is only right for bosses to allow you to take time off. However, if you blatantly take sick leave for hangovers and mood swings, your boss will find you out eventually.
  • Especially so if you have an important meeting to attend.
    Dressing up is nice but remember that less is not more when you are at work. If you want to keep the respect of your bosses and colleagues, keep your dressing professional and smart.
  • Bosses hate it when employees exaggerate the effects of everything. If you sob out loud just because things are not going your way, it could be time you keep your emotions in check.
  • Whether it is blogging or just updating your Facebook status, talking about the bad things at work on social media platforms is a big no-no for many employers.
  • Gossiping can turn malicious and creates a hostile environment for others. Bosses also hate it when one employee fuels the fire of jealousy among colleagues.

The more the merrier

Employers should consider bringing in more than just one intern. These young people may feel out of place when thrown into a corporate environment.

They may not all have to stick together, but the notion of safety in numbers allows them to adjust to the office setting more smoothly.

In fact, this may even create healthy competition among themselves, which means every one of them is just as eager to get the job done as perfectly as possible.

Empower and entrust

Give interns tasks that they can own and complete from beginning to end. Start small, but allowing them to take ownership will challenge them to produce best results, be accountable and learn fast. Emphasise on the importance of their work and show them how they are positively affecting the organisation.

Let them think out of the box

Interns tend to be more progressive, comfortable with technology and new trends as well as more at ease with social media. Let them share their fresh outlook on things and at the same time, give them constant feedback.

A two-way conversation allows much-needed diversity to an organisation, which can accomplish projects in ways that employers may not otherwise have had the resources to pursue.

13 of the most creative resumes ever

  • A woman who was hoping to get the attention of hirers at two big advertising firms was aware of the competition she was facing.
  • Known only as Leah, she explained on her webpage that she was looking for a job in accounts servicing.
  • She then flexed her creativity muscles and came up with an original idea which could incorporate her love for Lego bricks as well as express her ability to excel in the advertising world.
  • Although she has not revealed if she received calls back for an interview at the agencies yet, Leah's Lego resume and model have already won the hearts of many people online.
  • Job applicants looking to stand out from the crowd may now have to up their game and think of ways to impress their future employers with resumes that do more than list a range of things they are good at doing.
  • It seems that more and more job seekers are trying to catch and hold the attention of hirers with increasingly creative, well-packaged and interactive resumes.
  • New York graphic designer Robby Leonardi's Super Mario resume is the latest in a string of resumes which have gone viral over the Internet in recent years
  • Leonardi, a graphic designer at Fox News, decided to create a game-like interface for his online resume.
  • Not only does the protagonist in the game jump and swim, he also goes through several levels which depict his achievements with cutesy graphs, characters and lists.
  • As a result, the resume not only tells a potential employer how talented he is, it also proves it.
  • He includes a cute animation to introduce himself as a basketball fan.
  • The character dives into the ocean for Level 2 of the game.
  • Under the sea, the character goes through how proficient Leonardi is in each of his skill sets.
  • Animated sea creatures help to form a graph that show how good he is in each skill.
  • The character then jumps onto land to complete Level 3, where his work experience will be highlighted.
  • When he is done, the character jumps into a hot-air balloon and flies past a list of awards and achievements.
  • He then celebrates the end of his resume.
  • Earlier this year, web product manager Philippe Dubost also got the attention of netizens and hirers worldwide when he created a resume resembling an Amazon product page.
  • To help guide the reader, Dubost included his strengths and attributes in Amazon-themed sections such as shipping availability, product reviews and product description.
  • A woman who applied for a job at a LEGO website built a LEGO model version of the company mascot.
  • Although she did not get the job, Kendra Wiig left a good impression on the employer, who sent her a personal message to say thank you.
  • Nina Mufleh would be the first person to tell you that the "traditional" route of sending resumes did not work out as she'd hoped.
  • Though she had always dreamed of working for Airbnb, her many email applications and responses to job listings failed to lead to anything.
  • Undeterred, she made the decision to go on a full creative offensive to fulfil her dream.
  • Working with a designer, she created a website that presented not only herself but also her ideas on how to improve Airbnb's presence in the Middle East.
  • The clincher? The designer made it look almost exactly like an Airbnb host profile.
  • So not only was she presenting herself, her research and her innovation through the website, she also made sure that Airbnb recognised themselves in her work.
  • She then tweeted the website's URL to the heads of Airbnb, and after an hour, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted back.
  • An hour later, Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Mildenhall immediately tweeted saying it was "the best social application" he'd ever seen and that he would set up a meeting.
  • Learning point: If you know what company you really want to work for, prove to them just how much you deserve a role in the company.
  • In Nina Mufleh's case, she did extensive research on the global tourism market.
  • First, she showed what Airbnb needed to develop their presence in the Middle East.
  • Then demonstrated that she was the one who could be a part of that initiative.

Map out a developmental plan

Despite the passion and fervour, employers should also be able to guide all that energy the right way. Given that internships are often short stints, interns need to be able to visualise the big picture.

Whether they are working for a salary or an academic credit, interns need to work towards an end goal and in the process, be able to not only apply whatever skills or talent they have, but also learn as much as they possibly can in order to carve out their career paths.

Make interns feel part of the team

Interns should be able to experience the totality of working in an organisation. Encourage employees to include interns in workplace events, projects, meetings, or even a simple lunch outing. This gives both employers as well as interns the opportunity to assess workplace dynamics and cultural fit.

14 easy ways to impress your boss

  • A study by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2012 found that waitresses who wore red earned more tips than others. According to Business Insider, red may also allow you to look more focused and trustworthy.
  • Nothing spells tardiness better than a late worker. Impress your boss by not only being punctual, but also being early for work.
  • Take note of the little tasks that others often forget or are too busy to complete. By doing them, you will get your boss' attention and impress him with you attention to the smallest details.
  • Mess at your desk will only make you look lazy and disorganised. So while you may be doing your work well, a messy desk could diminish your boss' trust in you.
  • Be someone who is likable and enjoyable to have around. Smiling also shows hows positive your work attitude is.
  • Volunteer your actions, ideas and opinions when welcomed. Stand out from the crowd by showing that you care about what work gets done in the office.
  • Love and sex can keep you happier and healthier at the same time. With these attributes, you will be able to focus better at work and impress your boss.
  • Being a leader not only requires you to delegate work to the team, it also requires you to be able to manage people in ways your boss may not find easy to do. By building a good rapport with your colleagues, you will be able to lead them to complete tasks efficiently as a team.
  • If you come up with ideas that end up working very well, remember not to take all the credit for it. For the sake of your boss' ego, tell others that the idea had originated from him instead.
  • Helping others may leave you bogged down with more work while others get to get away with not completing a task. Sometimes, nice guys do finish last - so evaluate every situation and your ability to help before actually offering to do so.
  • Looking the best you can shows that you respect the job and allows you to leave a better impression on your boss, especially if you are meeting him/her for the first time.
  • Groom yourself well and dress appropriately so that you always look smart and ready to take on the challenges of the day.
  • Negotiating with your boss face-to-face is a bad idea as you may come off too aggressive. Allowing your boss the space to think your points through in private can work better for you when you are desperately trying to get him to see your point of view.
  • Keeping up with the latest industry developments can be as simple as reading the related sections on the newspaper for 10 minutes every morning. You are sure to leave a good impression if you can discuss with your boss the issues of the industry which he is most concerned about.

A mentor to nurture

As much as it is important that they assimilate well within an organisation, young interns need mentors who are committed to their learning path.

While internships are relatively short, the experiences are often memorable and professional connections with mentors have a profound effect on their career development. In addition, assigning mentors is always a great way in honing leadership among employees too.

Employers reap what they sow

By cultivating an environment where interns are able to thrive in and continue to challenge themselves, employers, too, will stand to gain. An enriching internship experience also helps interns acquire confidence, apply theory to practice, learn about corporate culture and subsequently, become job-ready.

Internships are definitely an approach to consider in assessing talent and may prove to be a cost-effective recruitment strategy for a permanent engagement.

It is a win-win situation if employers look beyond the idea of interns as cheap - or free - labour and seize the opportunity to gain insight into the future workforce.

14 easy ways to impress your boss

  • A study by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2012 found that waitresses who wore red earned more tips than others. According to Business Insider, red may also allow you to look more focused and trustworthy.
  • Nothing spells tardiness better than a late worker. Impress your boss by not only being punctual, but also being early for work.
  • Take note of the little tasks that others often forget or are too busy to complete. By doing them, you will get your boss' attention and impress him with you attention to the smallest details.
  • Mess at your desk will only make you look lazy and disorganised. So while you may be doing your work well, a messy desk could diminish your boss' trust in you.
  • Be someone who is likable and enjoyable to have around. Smiling also shows hows positive your work attitude is.
  • Volunteer your actions, ideas and opinions when welcomed. Stand out from the crowd by showing that you care about what work gets done in the office.
  • Love and sex can keep you happier and healthier at the same time. With these attributes, you will be able to focus better at work and impress your boss.
  • Being a leader not only requires you to delegate work to the team, it also requires you to be able to manage people in ways your boss may not find easy to do. By building a good rapport with your colleagues, you will be able to lead them to complete tasks efficiently as a team.
  • If you come up with ideas that end up working very well, remember not to take all the credit for it. For the sake of your boss' ego, tell others that the idea had originated from him instead.
  • Helping others may leave you bogged down with more work while others get to get away with not completing a task. Sometimes, nice guys do finish last - so evaluate every situation and your ability to help before actually offering to do so.
  • Looking the best you can shows that you respect the job and allows you to leave a better impression on your boss, especially if you are meeting him/her for the first time.
  • Groom yourself well and dress appropriately so that you always look smart and ready to take on the challenges of the day.
  • Negotiating with your boss face-to-face is a bad idea as you may come off too aggressive. Allowing your boss the space to think your points through in private can work better for you when you are desperately trying to get him to see your point of view.
  • Keeping up with the latest industry developments can be as simple as reading the related sections on the newspaper for 10 minutes every morning. You are sure to leave a good impression if you can discuss with your boss the issues of the industry which he is most concerned about.