Springtime and Interns

by John on March 28, 2011

The Bounty of Spring

To paraphrase Tennyson “In the Spring, a company’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of internships.” (My apologies to the Tennyson purists out there)

Well, it’s the spring, and I’ve started to receive more emails and phone calls about how my clients can start to line up the students for the summer internships.

But here’s the rub, some, if not all of the students who are eligible for summer internships have already committed to an organization. So what’s an organization to do? Well my cavalier response is to say “Start earlier” but that’s a bit harsh.
It’s no secret that the major MBA fairs (National Black MBA Assoc, NSHMBA, Asian MBA) all take place in the fall of the year (When an organization is not thinking of the summer) and the more ambitious first semester MBA students are aggressively looking for an opportunity. What should a company do if they don’t attend one of the aforementioned fairs? Here’s some quick advice:

Do some internal research and find out where a majority of your employees went to school. Usually starting there will help you determine which schools to target. Call the schools and get the ball rolling.

Leverage that alumni base to see who’s still active? Does anyone have a decent relationship with former professors or Take a quick poll to see who’s still active with various affinity groups on campus. (ALPFA, Beta Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Psi etc. etc…)

Finally, if you’ve received an order from the C-suite to get some interns, figure out where the CEO/CFO/COO went to school and give that school a call.

Those three suggestions will help jump start your search for summer interns, but I’d also strongly suggest that your start planning in the fall. Most schools will welcome the opportunity to have a discussion and will be willing to help you craft a strategy.

Starting the discussion in the fall will help you appear more “strategic” and will hopefully put you ahead of your competition come spring. After all, isn’t’ that what all good #trenchhr folks want to do, appear more strategic to the folks in the C-suite?

Go make those calls, and if you’ll excuse me, I too have some calls to return.

Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn http://www.flickr.com/photos/financialaidpodcast/

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