Editors’ Blog

Skill Sets: How to Run an Intern Program in a Small Shop

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

By Larry Smith

At this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival, SMITH founder and editor, Larry Smith, and Andrew Macguire, founder of InternMatch.com, led a panel about how small business can offer an effective and ethical internship program. We had a great conversation with the assembled crowd (a large one, especially given that we were scheduled the same time as the festival’s biggest star, Anthony Bourdain), and we ended our chat with our “Six Rules for Rocking an Internship Program.”

1. Promote your hiring brand, not just your position.
2. Hire for cultural fit as well as skills.
3. Manage expectations early.
4. Use carrots & sticks.
5. Check in. Check in. Check in.
6. Treat your intern like your future boss.

And over at InternMatch, a site that matches great interns with great companies, Andrew Macguire revisit parts of the conversation and amplifies it with a terrific and informative blog post.

While in Austin, Andrew and I were also asked to do an interview with Jennifer King, an HR Analyst for SoftwareAdvice.com. That conversation, “What Does a Successful Internship Program Look Like?,” details much of our high points on this topic and can be seen in this video (above). Thanks to Andrew Maguire for being such a perfect co-leader of this conversation and to everyone who came out to our talk.

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