Making Internships Pay Off

Planning to hire an intern or several interns at your facility this summer? An upcoming workshop has been developed to help your facility turn internships into a pipeline for quality employees.

A two-day workshop focused on developing quality internship programs will take place April 6-7 at the Sheraton Westport Hotel in St. Louis, MO. The workshop will be presented by AgCareers.com, a top supplier of human resource services for the agriculture industry.

“AgCareers.com knows how vital effective internship programs are to maintaining the pipeline of talent for our industry,” says Ashley Collins, education coordinator for AgCareers.com. “We’re the best resource for providing the training needed to ensure that quality internship programs exist.”

The workshop is designed for human resource professionals and intern managers. A highlight of the workshop will be a student panel to answer employer questions. Other topics will include:

  • The benefits of a successful internship program.
  • How to gain support from management.
  • How to get students excited about the internship program.
  • Types of projects that are meaningful for the student and provide value to the employer.
  • What should (and should not) be included in the internship program.

The workshop is valuable for employers creating an internship program and those who seek to improve their existing programs. Past participant Amy Geredes from Crop Quest says the workshop provided beneficial and applicable information. “There were many new ideas such as communication strategies that we were able to implement to make a stronger program,” Geredes says. “As a smaller company, we don’t always have the opportunity to network, but this workshop provided that opportunity. Being able to share with other employers and make the connection with university professionals was an asset to our program.”

At no additional cost, all participating organizations will also be eligible to participate in a market research project regarding interns’ expectations and feedback. AgCareers.com will facilitate a third-party survey of all summer interns prior to their start date and after completion of the internship. The results will be provided to each participating company (intern identities will be kept confidential). In addition, employers will receive a report of all responses (companies will be kept confidential).

“Even if you’re confident in your internship program, the AgCareers.com internship report will provide additional insight,” says Steve German, university relations and employment manager at Growmark.

The internship program at Growmark has been successfully established for many years, but German says the survey helped identify an area in which it could be improved. “Three years ago, we scored high in every question that was asked except for on-boarding, in which we were ranked very low,” says German.

After viewing the survey results, Growmark implemented changes to improve their on-boarding process. The next year, the survey showed that Growmark was in the top 10 percent for on-boarding. “We went from lowest to highest because of the internship survey and assistance from AgCareers.com,” says German. “After making such a giant leap in on-boarding, we are destined to keep participating in the survey every year.”

If you are interested in participating in the internship workshop, e-mail agcareers@agcareers.com or call 800-929-8975. To view the workshop details and presenter information, visitwww.agcareers.com and select Workshops from the Conferences/Workshops/Events drop-down menu.

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