18 Things Every Internship Manager Should Do



Many employers report difficulty in recruiting and retaining top talent. Some experts claim that the “skills gap” is a major contributor to this worker shortage. One definition of the skills gap is the difference between the skills that employers require to fill vacant positions and those that are available from workers looking for a job. As a result, many jobs remain unfilled for long(er) periods because of this lack of qualified candidates.


Implementing an internship program is a strategy many companies use to combat the skills gap and recruit future employees. If the goal of your internship program is to create a pipeline for entry-level talent, carefully selecting the person assigned to manage the program and the interns is critical. Bad managers can make good interns miserable.


Here are 18 Things That Every Internship Manager Should Do:

  1. Understand the responsibility of their role
  2. Be aware of all legal and academic requirements
  3. Have a plan for the success of their program
  4. Confirm that there is enough meaningful work to assign to the intern
  5. Set clear expectations of the internship
  6. Get the entire organization and/or team on board
  7. Plan a thorough orientation
  8. Teach and not lecture – patience is key
  9. Provide a written and a verbal task list
  10. Give every task or assignment a priority level and a due date
  11. Be a positive role model – lead by example
  12. Be fair – don’t show favoritism
  13. Provide ongoing feedback
  14. Meet one on one to provide supervision and support
  15. Ensure intern has the tools to succeed
  16. Allow autonomy as the intern becomes more familiar with the work
  17. Connect the intern to a professional network
  18. Conduct an exit interview to get feedback on the experience





Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career advancement. She has a strong background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success Enterprises, a full service training and professional development company.

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