When managing an internship program, you want to ensure your interns have plenty of work to do. When you introduce them to various responsibilities, they may get a more enriching experience working for your company. Rather than having interns spend time on busy work when they finish their tasks, consider having other tasks ready for them to do. In this article, we share the importance of keeping interns busy and 19 tasks for interns to do in the workplace.
Related: Definitive Guide To Internships
Why is it important to have tasks for interns prepared?
Having tasks for interns prepared can help you ensure you are providing your interns with an enriching learning experience. There may be times when your interns complete their primary duties and need additional work. By giving them a long list of possible work they can do, you can ensure your interns are keeping busy.
Likewise, having these tasks prepared is helpful when you are busy with your own work. Rather than coming up with a job on the spot, you can tell your interns to refer to their task list. Having back-up projects and work for them to do helps them continue growing in their role and makes your job easier overall.
Enriching tasks for interns
Here are 19 different tasks for interns:
Do research for a new project
If your team is starting a new project, you can ask an intern to do some preliminary research for it. This is a helpful task to give an intern since it can help them improve their research skills, which are important for any profession. Ask them to figure out things like the resources, budget and timeline you would need for a project.
Related: 19 Tips for a Fantastic Internship
Learn more about competitors
Ask your interns to use their spare time to research competitors. This is a great way for your company to keep up with what's going on in your industry. They can also look into recent market trends to help your business stay current.
Figure out better systems
Having someone new to the industry can be quite beneficial since they may look at things in new ways. Have your intern look at the current way your company operates and make their own suggestions. Ask them to support their ideas with data and research.
Create a presentation
Public speaking is a useful skill for many professionals to have. Help your interns develop these skills by asking them to be in charge of presenting at your next meeting. Creating a presentation can also help them become more familiar with PowerPoint programs.
Keep an organized workspace
Staying organized is an important part of any job. If an intern needs additional work to do, ask them to clean up their workspace. You can even ask them to help organize and tidy up any common spaces in the office.
Complete additional training
Once your interns complete their training, have some supplementary documents or videos for them to watch in their spare time. This is a great way to keep them busy while progressing their knowledge in your field.
Sit in on client meetings
Ask your intern to attend your next important client meeting. While they may not necessarily contribute to the meeting, this is a chance for them to learn what this process looks like. As they become more experienced, you can ask them to participate.
Help with brainstorming sessions
The next time your team meets to brainstorm, ask your interns to join. They may have some innovative ideas to share. This experience also helps them learn to speak up in group settings and collaborate with others.
Train newer interns
Ask your more experienced interns to help train any incoming interns. They may have a helpful perspective since they went through similar training when they first started.
Lead a team meeting
As your interns become more comfortable at your company, you can ask them each to be in charge of leading a team meeting. This gives them the chance to develop their leadership skills and prove their value to the team.
Order office supplies
If you notice your office is running low on supplies, ask your interns to order more in their free time. While this may seem like a simple task, ordering supplies requires them to understand inventory and budgeting.
Do errands for the office
When everyone at work is busy, you can ask your intern to do some errands for the office. They may appreciate taking a brief break from their normal tasks to go pick up lunch or mail some packages. Just make sure to incorporate more enriching tasks into the rest of their day.
Manage the company's social media
Depending on your company, you may be able to have an intern manage your social media accounts. Ask them to create posts on behalf of the company or respond to customers online. Social media skills are valuable for many professionals to have.
Review company materials
Ask your interns to look over different company materials and see if there is anything they would change. They may find ways you can improve your website, social media pages, marketing materials or even your employee handbook.
Attend company networking events
Invite your interns to come along to company networking events. This gives them the opportunity to connect with other professionals in your industry. It also gives them a glimpse into events they might attend when working in their first full-time job.
Draft internal communications
If you noticed one of your interns is a talented writer, consider asking them to work on your company's internal communications. They can write company-wide announcements or draft up important emails.
Create their own capstone project
A capstone project is a long-term project that your intern can work on throughout the course of their internship. This kind of project can be their go-to when they finished their tasks for the day. Ask them to create their own project that applies the skills they are learning at your company. Consider having them present it to your team at the end of their internship.
Enter data into spreadsheets
Knowing how to use spreadsheet software can be a useful skill in many professions. Having your intern enter data is a useful way to spend their time and can be helpful for your company.
Ask customers for feedback
Interns in customer-facing roles can benefit by being responsible for reaching out to customers to learn their feedback. Consider either having your intern call clients or send out surveys. Learning how to nurture clients is especially helpful for sales and marketing internships.