Intern Orientation

Experience shows that employers who take adequate time at the beginning of the internship to orient the student reap productivity and effectiveness more quickly than those who don’t. To help acclimate interns please take time initially to review the following during an intern orientation period.

   1. Explain the Mission of the Organization

  • How did the organization start?  Why?
  • What is unique about your product or service?
  • Who benefits from your product or service?
  • What are the organization’s current objectives and long-term goals?
  • How may the intern contribute to your objectives?


   2. Explain the Organization Structure

  • Who reports to whom?
  • Who, specifically, is the intern’s supervisor?
  • What is the intern’s department responsible for?
  • How are decisions made?
  • Which personnel can answer different kinds of questions?


    3. Define the Intern’s Responsibilities

  • What is the intern’s role?
  • What projects will be assigned to him or her?
  • What resources are available to the intern?
  • What training is necessary?
  • How does the organization want the intern to deal with clients and vendors?
  • What tasks can be completed without supervisory approval?
  • Do other employees understand the intern’s role?


   4. Outline Organizational Rules, Policies Decorum and Expectations

  • Is there special industry jargon?  (Can you provide a list of acronyms, terms, definitions?)
  • What are the specific work standards and procedures?
  • What access to the supervisor (days, times, and duration) does the intern have?
  • Who else can they go to for help if the supervisor is away?
  • How do the telephone & relevant technology systems work?
  • What safety regulations must they abide by?
  • Is there a procedure for reporting completed tasks?
  • What periodic forms or reports need to be completed?
  • Are there any security or confidentiality issues that the intern should be aware of?
  • What is acceptable with regard to dress and appearance?
  • How should they maintain the premises and their work area?
  • What will they do for lunch?


    5. Intern Adjustment Tips

  • Make yourself visible and available to the intern
  • If the supervisor is not available, assign someone to periodically “check-in” with the intern
  • Provide feedback and constructive criticism
  • Force the intern to ask questions
  • Confirm that they understand your instructions/expectations
  • Can you recommend people they can lunch with, and professionals that can offer informational interviews?

Adapted from:  MESSIAH COLLEGE