Your role as a mentor is an important part of offering experiential education to DePaul University students. The following tips can help your organization build or enhance a successful internship experience.
- Introduce Your Intern. Provide a good introduction to the organization, quirks of the culture, and important people or resources to be aware of. You may also consider arranging an informational interview for your intern with fellow colleagues to help them prepare for a future career within the industry.
- Communicate. Communicate often with your intern, whether it is to provide feedback, offer training, or to check in on their progress. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can get a sense of how quickly interns
complete projects, and help the intern receive feedback for the quality of her work.
- Integrate Your Intern. Allowing your intern to gain a greater understanding of your organization can help your intern generate new ideas and have a more rewarding internship. Consider bringing them to meetings, conferences, trainings and networking events with you.
- Delegate Projects for Downtime. When delegating projects to your intern, consider mixing short-term and long-term projects. If interns finish tasks early, they will have a long-term project on which they can take the initiative to continue.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. Learning Goals Together. Discuss the marketable skills your intern can learn or hone through the internship experience and help him or her set S.M.A.R.T. goals in order to achieve them. Please feel free to use any form of learning “contract” you already have—or use the form provided for your student at the internship class.