Ready to Develop an Internship? Consider This First!

Growing your own talent by providing on-the-job-training will give interns insight into the day-today operations of your business. This results in more efficient assimilation if a full-time offer is extended. Additionally, this offers a chance for employers to screen potential employees before investing in permanent hiring. You’re probably thinking, “Great! Sign me up,” but there are some considerations to make before you take the leap. The first step in starting any internship process is to determine the internal needs of the organization.

Consider the following before deciding to host an internship:

Will the intern be governed by an institution, such as Midwestern State University or Vernon College?

When hiring a “traditional” intern typically defined as an undergraduate student, it is important to know the requirements that their institution may have if the student is receiving credit for their internship with you. This is an important consideration to make because it may shape how your processes, such as evaluations, will take place. The good news is that this information is readily available on each institution’s website and usually responsibility for proper completion and documentation is on the student.

Bottom Line: Create your own policies around on-boarding, evaluations and duration and adjust on a case-by-case basis to accommodate the student’s needs.

Should your program be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor?

In general, individual internship programs are not required to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). However, if you are considering offering a Apprenticeship, there are significant benefits for becoming registered with the DOL. Components of a registered apprenticeship according to the DOL include: “Paid Job, On-the-Job Training, Classroom Learning, Mentorship, and Credentials.”

If you’re interested in learning more about a registered apprenticeship program, you can review the DOL’s site here.

Bottom Line: Unless you are looking to gain the leverage of a national backing of a potential apprenticeship, you don’t need to register with the DOL.

What is the scope of work that the intern will be completing?

The DOL outlines that an internship should offer a trainee both a combination of education and experience that would be similar to the hands-on training that an intern would typically learn in an educational environment. Additionally, internships should not replace a full- or part-time employee. Therefore, make sure your internship consists of legitimate tasks, projects and assignments that can benefit an intern’s education. No coffee-fetching allowed!

Still need help? Answer these questions to dig down further on what your intern will be doing:

  • What will be the daily duties of the intern?
  • What skills or level of education does your intern need to possess to participate in your workforce effectively?
  • Are there age or licensing restrictions in your organization that limit the work that can be done by an individual?
  • Will you assign a special project for the intern to complete?
  • In which department can an intern best fit, and who will be their supervisor?

Bottom Line: As long as you have quality projects to complete, you can find a quality intern to help!

Does your industry or organization require skills not typically provided in a classroom setting?

The best part of creating an internship program is the opportunity to grow your own talent pool to the exactspecifications that you need for a quality employee! Exposing your intern(s) to your processes, equipment and team creates a one-of-kind, custom-built talent pool for future full-time hires.

Bottom line: Providing a new, unique experience to an intern that can’t be learned in any other setting will greatly supplement an intern’s education and it’s no more challenging than training any other new employee.

Do you have difficulty recruiting and retaining quality employees?

An internship program, especially a long-term program, will give you the opportunity to build strong connections to your interns who understand and appreciate your business or organization. The longer an intern works within your program, the more knowledge and experience they gain about the both their job and your organization. This greatly increases their ability to function as an asset on your team if hired for full-time employment.

Bottom Line: Internships allow you to build quality future employees from the ground up, and they’ll be the easiest hire you ever make.

Can your organization or employees benefit from the help of an intern?

Let’s answer a question with a question. Can your employees benefit from any of the following advantages that an intern can bring to your organization or business?

  • Allow full-time staff the flexibility to work on higher-level projects while also gaining leadership skills.
  • Increase retention.
  • Assist in the implementation of cutting-edge techniques and new ideas
  • Maintain connections with institutions.
  • Promote community involvement.
  • Recruit other students within their program and increase pipeline prospects.
  • Allow your company to give back to the community by teaching, molding, and mentoring the prospective workforce.

Bottom line: if you answer YES to any of the above questions, an internship will be very advantageous for your business or organization.

Lastly, employers should also consider the costs to beginning an internship program, which can include wages, housing, networking activities, recruitment costs, work materials and training costs.

With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There is an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience.

Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take your step-by-step through the development process. Have questions? Email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.

Read Types of Interns Part 1

Read Types of Interns Part 2

What are the different types of interns?

High School Students
Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students
Returning Workforce
Active Duty, Veterans, Military Spouses

What are the different types of internships

Internship
Co-Op
Returnship
Externship
Fellowship
Apprenticeship

Why should I hire an intern?

Flexibility
Leadership and professional development opportunities for employees
Increase employee retention
New ideas and perspectives
Connection to educators and community
Save money when compared to hiring a part-time or full-time employee

Midwestern State University mechanical engineering students tour manufacturing facilities

Lauren Roberts, Wichita Falls Times Record News

Mechanical engineering students spent their Saturday touring three manufacturing facilities around Wichita Falls.

The Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce sponsored the tours to Pratt & Whitney, Arconic, and Kalco.

“The students have the opportunity to go through these tours to see exactly what these facilities are up to, the types of jobs they do, the types of jobs they offer. And also getting that inside look at the staff that’s on hand,” Taylor Davis, director of the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership, said.

She said the tour could lead to potential internships and job opportunities. Some of the students brought along their resumes to hand out to staff at the faculties.

“We have seen a need in our community to connect our educators, employers and students/community members,” Davis said.

Mechanical engineering senior Luuk Teurlinx said it was good to see what was actually inside a company like Pratt & Whitney.

“You see on the internet what they’re doing but you don’t see how they’re doing it and what goes on in the factory,” Teurlinx said. “Definitely interesting to see and it’s good to see.”

Teurlinx said he is trying to figure out what he’s going to do after graduating and this tour can help him narrow it down.

Ijuani Stephenson liked seeing the way parts were tracked as they entered and left the facilities and how it related to the customers.

“Overall it was a very visual and hands on process of everything,” Stephenson said.

She said there has been stagnant population in Wichita Falls with the only growth in the 55-plus age group.

“Trying to retain the talent that we have at MSU as well as our homegrown talent here that was born here and raised here is really important to us,” she said.

With the success of the MSU industry tours the chamber is considering branching out and doing more tours with other majors and schools. 

“We are talking to Vernon College to see what it might look like for their business majors,” Davis said.

See the video from Newschannel 6

Thinking Outside the Internship Box: Part 2

In my last article, I outlined the talent pools that you can tap when creating an internship program. Today, I am sharing with you the different types of internship programs that you can create to benefit your organization. Thinking outside of a traditional internship model can help you tailor a program that best fits your needs while still connecting your organization to the community and creating a self-made hiring pool. This is ideal for an employer who is experiencing workforce challenges but, does not have the ability to take on the training and development of the usual three-month, student-intern model. Learn more about different types of internships below:

Internship

Temporary employment of a high school or college student, sometimes without pay, for them to learn more about industry as it relates to their education, typically taking place over a summer or semester session.

Co-Op

Hands-on, experiential learning that supplements curriculum provided by an educational institution, typically hosted over a longer time frame of six to nine months.

Returnship

Developing and orienting experienced, talented individuals who are seeking to re-enter the workforce after an extended absence, and is not limited to a specific timeframe as it is not tied to an academic program.

Externship

Temporary training program in a workplace, similar to a job shadowing opportunity with a hands-on component, that offers an inside look to how an organization functions or provides goods and services, typically not to exceed more than a few days, weeks or up to a month in length.

Fellowship

Professional development and mentoring-focused training program for highly educated or experienced professionals to benefit a specific organization that is looking to expand leadership, typically lasting a few months to several years.

Apprenticeship

Defined as “earn and learn,” an apprenticeship combines formal education with on-the-job training opportunities to learn both technical and soft skills, typically lasting a few months to a year, with an option to hire at the conclusion of the program.

Though traditional timelines have been provided in the above definitions of internships, it’s important to consider the positive impact of retaining an intern for an extended period. The longer an intern works within your program, the more knowledge and experience they gain about the both their job and your organization. This greatly increases their ability to function as an asset on your team if hired for full-time employment.

With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There’s an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience. Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take your step-by-step through the development process. Have questions? Email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.

What are the different types of interns?

High School Students
Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students
Returning Workforce
Active Duty, Veterans, Military Spouses

Why should I hire an intern?

Flexibility
Leadership and professional development opportunities for employees
Increase employee retention
New ideas and perspectives
Connection to educators and community
Save money when compared to hiring a part-time or full-time employee

Thinking Outside the Internship Box: Types of Interns

At the Wichita Falls Chamber, we’ve re-wired our brains to not equate intern to “student.” In fact, we’re taking a broad, inclusive view at who the word “intern” should include. When you’re looking to start an internship program at your business, think of the following people:

Traditional:

High School Students—Students who are currently enrolled in secondary schools or recent graduates who have not yet began a post-secondary institution or higher education program.

Undergraduate Students—Students who are currently enrolled in a 2 or 4-year post-secondary program

through an accredited higher education institution, to include technical and community colleges or recent graduates who have yet to enter the workforce.

Graduate Students—Students who are currently enrolled in a graduate-level program at an accredited higher education institution or recent graduates who have yet to enter the workforce.

Non-Traditional:

Returning Workforce—Individuals who are re-entering the workforce after a hiatus due to medical concerns, caregiving, living overseas, etc. However, this category can also include adult learners or individuals making a career change.

Active Duty, Veterans, Military Spouses—Typically displaced workers due to the military, this population can include individuals who are planning to separate from service, have recently done so, or their spouses. This is typically a population that is not considered as a recruitment pool for the workforce but has great experience and potential to contribute to an industry. Additionally, there can be national and local incentives to hiring from this population, such as the Department of Defense Skills Bridge.

Another way to think outside the box with interns is to hire them on for a longer amount of time. Usually, when we think of interns, we think of a short three-month “job shadow” type of experience. I’m encouraging you and your business to think long-term. After you keep an intern on for six months, one year, two years or more, they are going to know your business inside and outside. With less training needed during the transition, it’ll be the easiest full-time hire you ever make.

With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There’s an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience. Ready to get started?

Refer to our free Employer Guide below to take you step-by-step through the development process.

Talent-_Partnership_Internship_Guide

If you have questions, please email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director.

What are the different types of internships?

1. Apprenticeships – High school students, Undergraduate students, returning workforce, active duty, veterans, military spouses.
2. Returnship – Returning workforce, active duty, veterans, military spouses.
3. Co-Op – Undergraduate students, graduate students
4. Fellowship – returning workforce, graduate students, active duty, veterans, military spouses.
5. Externship – HIgh school students, returning workforce
6. Internship – High school students, undergraduate students, graduate students

8 Reasons to Hire an Intern RIGHT NOW!

Interns are a frequently untapped resource for employers and can offer your business so much. Here are eight reasons why you should take advantage of an internship program as soon as possible:

1. Flexibility

An intern can take over smaller, easy-to-learn tasks that are important to the day-to-day production in your organization but don’t require higher-level oversight. This will allow full-time staff the flexibility to work on higher-level projects without distraction. This flexibility will help increase productivity in your office while decreasing stress from inundation of work.

2. Leadership and Professional Development

When you implement an internship program in your business, you are allowing an existing employee to step out of their comfort zone and into a supervisory role. This employee will grow as a leader and develop real-world skills when managing a program or intern. Through trial and error, they will learn best practices for managing a team member and how to communicate with subordinates. It’s another great form of growing your own talent and investing in your employees.

3. Increase Retention

You will see an increase in retention in two ways:

  • Retaining existing workforce by alleviating the stress of too much work and not enough time.
  • Retaining interns who enjoy their internship experience and transition to full-time employment.

4. New Ideas

When integrating the knowledge that an intern possesses, you’re bound to uncover the latest and greatest in cutting-edge technology, programs and ideas. Take advantage of their experiences and education to improve your business and let them be apart of the implementation. You’ll get to modernize and diversify, and they will have contributed.

5. Education & Community Connection

You can maintain connections with educational institutions by building relationships with the career office through employing interns. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about what programs are offered at your local educational institutions and how they match up with the services or products that your organization provides. With employers and educators coming together to form a collective impact, there is more unity in closing the skills gap. It’s a great way to give back to and get involved with your community.

6. Save Money

It’s best practice to pay your intern, but you’re able to gain great quality work for a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. This increase in productivity from your full-time employees who are no longer bogged down with lower-level tasks will equal more profit in your pocket!

7. Mentoring

Allow your company to give back to the community by teaching, molding and mentoring the prospective workforce. Mentoring offers a creative outlet for your full-time staff while empowering your intern with generational knowledge as you are replacing retiring staff. Which leads us to…

8. Recruitment Pipeline

In today’s economy, open positions are at an all-time high and job seekers are at an all-time low. In the talent war, job seekers are winning. It’s important for your business to answer the question, “why this company?” When you implement an internship program, you are giving local talent the opportunity to learn and invest in your business sooner. An intern who has ties to your organization is more likely to seek employment full-time, which builds your talent pool. As an added benefit, if your intern enjoys their experience, they will promote your business to their colleagues. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth when trying to increase your pipeline prospects.


Interns will be the easiest full-time hires a company ever makes, because once the intern graduates, the company will know everything about the graduate, and vice versa. Get started today! Have questions? Reach out to Taylor Davis, Talent Partnership Director at the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.

Download the Employer Internship Guide

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See our growing list of jobs in Wichita Falls

Why should I hire an intern?

1. Flexibility
2. Leadership and Professional Development
3. Increase Retention
4. New Ideas
5. Education & Community Connection
6. Save Money
7. Mentoring
8. Recruitment Pipeline