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As an undergraduate student, I was heavily involved on campus. However, I did not graduate with the experience of an internship and now, as an employer and past recruiter, I realize how I missed out on an experience that is extremely valuable for college students.

Employers, if you do not have an internship program or not investing your time and energy into your current internship, you are making a huge mistake.

Here’s what you could be missing out on by not building your internship program:

  1. Quality Full-Time Candidates Best case scenario, at the end of an internship, a full-time job offer awaits the recent graduate. Not only will they be more prepared to step into a role in your company, but they’ll have the knowledge and practices that you’re seeking in a new candidate. When employers take the time to sow seeds into their intern’s development, they will then reap a harvest come graduation.

  2. Ability to Build Your Brand Employers, building your brand is in your control! Not all your interns will stay on with your company and that’s okay.  The company benefits when they develop their interns as professionals and take the time to help them grow personally.  The goal is to create a great experience for them, so they become an ambassador for your company.

  3. Train and Develop Future Leaders Companies consistently seek individuals with leadership qualities. Interns are a great source for a leadership pipeline. Not everyone is a leader, however, you may find individuals who have a natural ability to influence. Develop your interns based on their skills and where they see themselves in the future. If their career path is still not determined, take the time to help them define it! Be a leader to your interns; take the time to give feedback to encourage their strengths and work on their opportunities.

  4. Build Culture Having college students in the office brings a new level of energy, creativity, and fun. Culture is a buzz word that everyone asks about. Everyone wants to work somewhere with “great culture.” Many companies say they value culture and/or say that they have a great one. Everyone needs to be on board and understand the culture being built while setting a high standard to create and keep that culture. Employers, make this something to focus on. Take the time to assess your culture to ensure that you are not oblivious to what may be tainting yours!

Invest your time into your internship program and you will see the results!