Managing Interns

Scheduling and Work Plan

Effective management of an internship program ensures efficiency and value to both the intern and your company. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when managing an internship program.

Tips to Successfully Manage Interns


  • Plan and organize work assignments and projects in advance of the student's arrival.
  • Develop well-defined and specific job descriptions, student expectations, and time schedules. Be prepared to discuss work assignments in the context of the larger project or department goals.
  • Closely align the nature of work assignment with students' academic disciplines and functional areas considered to be relevant to the participating departments.
  • Consider the student's skills and interests in relation to tasks and develop mutually beneficial and measurable learning objectives.
  • Establish criteria for performance evaluation where supervisors and students are evaluated.

During the Internship:

  • Provide company/departmental and technical orientation for interns as you would any new employee.
  • Prepare students to step into the role of a productive professional and help them be perceived as valuable team members.
  • Create an atmosphere receptive to "supervised learning." Students will progress quickly where questions are expected and encouraged.
  • Include students in meetings and problem-solving sessions.
  • Offer a progressively challenging series of work assignments.
  • Provide supervision and mentoring by a willing and qualified professional.
  • Provide students with objective evaluations and assessment of progress throughout the intern/co-op experience.
  • Host an on-site visit by the intern program staff and/or faculty as needed.
  • Offer networking and cross-departmental exposure opportunities.