How to Create a Positive Culture for Your Summer Interns

The sun is out and our calendars are turned to July, which can only mean one thing… it’s summer intern season!  While it might be tempting to pass off the coffee orders to your summer interns, you should think twice before creating a subpar intern culture in your office.

When Collegefeed asked 15,000 college students and recent graduates about their most important considerations when choosing future employers, “People and culture fit” came out on top. Therefore, if your goal is to hire the strongest talent out of college, you need to create an environment where summer interns participate in the company culture, and feel comfortable, confident, and valued throughout the term.

Tips for Creating a Positive Culture for Interns

Create roles for interns that allow them to do more than just general office busywork.

Interns are looking for a company that is going to offer them a worthwhile experience to help them start their careers. If you hand them the same menial tasks day after day with no exposure to enrichment opportunities, they are going to feel frustrated and disrespected. Further, they certainly aren’t going to go telling their friends about the awesome work environment and the innovative company that they worked for all summer. Provide them with an opportunity to learn about their future career and develop valuable skills.

Give interns a warm welcome and a meaningful farewell.

There’s nothing more awkward than walking into an office feeling like an imposter. Notify the team about the summer interns and their role, and encourage everyone to make them feel welcomed. Similarly, when it comes time to say goodbye, make sure the intern knows that their contributions were appreciated.

Set up a mentorship program for your summer interns.

Take the time to gain a general understanding about the interns’ future goals and ambitions. For example, if you have an intern who would love to be a graphic designer, then provide them with a mentor from your company’s graphics department. According to career expert Heather R. Huhman, this allows them to connect with someone in your company on a personal level and continue their education throughout the summer.