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Experience with Internships in Professional Positions

A few months ago, a client wanted to hire an intern as an alternative to a temp in order to work on some outstanding projects. Although initially I was sceptical about their experience, their ability to work without extremely close supervision, and their speed of work, it ended up being a great solution. $10 an hour, no benefits, and the backlog just disappeared. Even better, I actually learned quite a bit from the intern, especially in the world of Excel. I find the one who know most about anything are those who still have exams ahead of them!

Was I just lucky!  Have others used interns in the finance area, and do you consider the supervision and training burden to be more than compensated by the output?  Any disasters and problems?

Answers

Dan Ryan
Title: CFO
Company: Privately held
(CFO, Privately held) |

Yup, interns can be great work engines. We brought one on for the summer to help us develop some ideas around some financial applications we were developing internally. This guy did not know the first thing about project management and his depth on the covered subject area was minimal, but he was smart and quick and didn't mind working. I was surprised at how quickly he came up to speed under a little guidance. In the matter of a few weeks he "got it" and was productively humming along. It was great. And at $9/hr. we couldn't beat the value. We had a few skeptics up front (me included) but his performance turned us all around.

I would say, however, that whatever you have interns do has to be within their abilities, even speaking speculatively b/c you don't know them well until they are already on board. So pick your projects carefully and match them to people who can rise to the challenge. We have more interns we are looking to bring on now based on that experience. Since it's during their school year they will have fewer hours, but the convenience of having someone, as you say, "reduce the pile" of spare work around is quite valuable.

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