Daily Buzz: Develop an Internship Program

Follow these best practices to ensure your interns provide value to your organization. Also: How to conquer the fear of sharing your work.

Considering an internship program? It could be a great benefit to your organization, argues Audrey Del Prete on the Blue Avocado blog.

“Depending on their background, [interns] may be as valuable as paid staff and their main goals are typically finding an opportunity to learn and grow,” she says.

To run an effective program, there are a few best practices to follow. For one, make sure the program is mutually beneficial: the organization, supervisor, and intern should get something out of the relationship.

“The student may have certain educational requirements or their own personal goals. Try to help them achieve those as well as any you set,” Prete says. “The best way to maintain the intern’s passion for your mission is to assign them tasks that actually interest them.”

When tasks are assigned, set clear goals, expectations, and requirements to ensure accountability from interns. Prete suggests scheduling weekly meetings with them to assess progress and make sure their needs—and the organization’s—are being met.

Though it’s good to keep interns busy with real tasks, be careful not to saddle them with all the busy work, Prete warns. And don’t let other staff members assign work that’s outside of the agreed scope.

“If it’s not part of their learning goals or assignments, don’t let others take advantage of you or your intern,” she says. “I know that sharing is caring, but you don’t want the student to get overloaded by doing everyone else’s busy work.”

Overcome the Fear of Posting Content

If you’re a content creator, you’ve likely experienced anxiety about publishing your work—especially if it expresses a unique viewpoint. How do you overcome this? Create content that comes from the heart, says Content Advisory’s Robert Rose. According to Rose, this will alleviate the three fears you’ll come across: the fear of committing to what you’ve said, the instant regret after hitting “publish,” and the fear of critique.

“We must truly believe in what we’re saying. That helps relieve the commitment fear. Collaborating more and building consensus among leaders, colleagues, and partners can help alleviate the instant regret. Finally, believing that to be right for some, we will be wrong for others can begin to mitigate the fear of ownership,” he says.

Other Links of Note

If your colleague is facing a difficult situation, don’t immediately rush in with advice, says Michael Bungay Stanier in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Looking for new ways to reach members? Nonprofit Marketing Guide offers newsletter ideas for the remainder of March.

Ready to reset your membership dues? JP Moery of The Moery Company offers five ways to modernize your dues model for growth.

(Charday Penn/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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