Internships and co-ops provide a number of benefits to both employers and students, including:
- Having an opportunity to "try-out" prospective employees.
- Providing pre-professional personnel who are relatively less expensive than professional staff, yet effective and highly motivated.
- Meeting seasonal needs, releasing professional staff from work that can be delegated.
- Attracting top students to your organization early in their college careers.
- Working with students who understand the industry.
Steps for establishing internships and co-ops
The best experiences are ones in which both the company and student benefit.
To find the best available intern, follow these easy steps:
- Structure the internship to involve a variety of experiences (hands-on, observation of professionals at work, project management).
- Rotate an intern through various departments of your organization.
- Give the intern a project to complete by the end of the internship. Examples: examining current ag markets for various products; creating an improved dialogue with Spanish speaking laborers and orchard managers; and assisting with web site creation/maintenance.
- Internships are scheduled throughout the entire year, however, the majority occur during the student's summer vacation, from mid-May through August.
- Structure the internship with suitable pay rates -- preferably $10 to $15 per hour. Companies paying less usually assist interns with housing expenses.
- Help the intern find living arrangements by providing an apartment, finding one that accepts short-term leases, or seeking employees to provide housing. Decide whether your company will help pay part of that expense.
- Consider offering the intern reimbursement for travel costs to the site if it is a long distance from his/her home.
- Submit a short evaluation to give us your feedback. This will assist in improving future intern arrangements.