Chinwag's Practical Guide to Internships: Creating a Program

woman at desk flickr photoThere are a lot of challenges for any company taking on an intern.

From where to advertise the vacancy to the costs involved in hosting and training can all be a drain on company resources.

It's been challenging at Chinwag, so I bent the ear of Dominic Potter, co-founder of Internocracy, a company that helps employers set up and run their internship programmes.

Here's a brief run-down of his top-tips to consider before taking on an intern:

Clear Goals and Objectives

Worthy work assignments. It's the perfect time for learning the ins and outs of the job. Interns sit in on meetings, help organise projects and practise all the skills that they need for a job. For an employer think of it as a long job interview. you can see more than you would in an interview and you can see exactly how they would perform in the job.

Worthy Assignments

An example of when interns excel is the Google Docs case. In the three months they were with Google, the tech interns managed to lend their fresh perspective on things and improve Google Docs for the better by making it more student-friendly and easier to use. It shows how much a company can benefit from eager, new talent and how much letting go of the reigns can benefit an organisation.


For every intern success story there is the odd disasters but that doesn't mean you have to relegate your intern to photocopying and postal delivery.  A slow build up of responsibilities with some gentle supervision works wonders. 

The Legalities of Internships

Internships are a legal grey area and restrictions are being tightened on pay regulations.For more information about staying on the right side of the law read out Making it Legal blog post.

Picture courtesy of BrittneyBush. Some rights reserved.