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The Value of an Internship

According to a study cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers report that more than 3 out of 5 college hires had internship experience. During an internship, students develop new skills and knowledge and reflect on issues that will help them be successful in their careers and in life. They also develop strong ties with a professional they can trust, ask for advice, and foster their own networking channels.

Clearly, these benefits are rewarding for both a sponsor as well as the student.  In addition to the information below, you may want to read the following articles published by the SBA on how small businesses can establish successful internship programs:

How We Match You with an SMLP Student

The Southern Management Leadership Program Director matches students with appropriate internships with professionals who have an interest in working with students and are in a business or industry that is compatible with those of our students. It is important to realize that a good match may be made immediately, but sometimes, due to students’ schedules and responsibilities or special interests, there may be a lag between the time you request an intern and when someone may be recommended to you.

Sponsor Responsibilities

Internship sponsors should be willing to make a commitment to be accessible to the students they are working with.  Frequent contact assists students in their growth and helps them reach their fullest potential.  Expect to listen, support, serve as a role model, and develop a relationship that fosters the students’ own motivation to grow and develop professionally.

Intern sponsors have an additional responsibility to identify where a student is in their skill and interest levels and to provide hands-on experiences that will help them develop these skills and interests.  At the completion of the internship, sponsors are requested to complete a simple form to evaluate the intern and the experience. Here are the links to get the forms:

Because internships are conducted in a formal work environment and involve a commitment on the part of the student as well and because their contribution is often of benefit to the intern sponsor, the Southern Management Leadership Program expects its interns to be paid for the time they spend in this relationship. In some cases, a cost-sharing arrangement may be available, although our funds for this type of arrangement are quite limited.

Student Responsibilities

The student is expected to maintain a constructive relationship with his or her sponsor. This includes frequent contact at a regular time that is mutually agreed to by the student and sponsor. Students should always be prepared to make the most of scheduled meetings, trainings, or other responsibilities.

In addition, all Southern Management Leadership Program students will report to their Program Director on a regular basis about their experience as a mentee or intern. Because in some cases, internships are supported by the program, it is also the students’ responsibility to keep track of the hours they are spending and enter them on their MyMC page. The program will supply forms for this purpose.

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