A trend for professionals is taking shape – hiring an intern to work with as well as mentor. Successful business owners are looking back on their experiences in college and are offering positions to students in the position they once were in, stating the benefits they received as reason. This sense of giving back especially affected Ken Reinstein of blue 22 pr, a sports, entertainment and event management business. In a recent press release, Ken said he got an internship at a hospital chain in 1988 as an Arizona State University student that set his course in business. That internship inspired him to hire his own set of interns, and he’s experienced both good and bad interns that worked with him over the past seven years. But, he said, he enjoys being a mentor to these students and giving them meaningful tasks. He said he also values relationships and maintains them even after the interns leave.
In my experience, nearly all the internships I’ve had have been with a former intern. My first internship supervisor got her job in public relations and social media after working as a trainee in another PR firm. Because of her experience, she works with the interns to help them achieve things that will get them a job like hers someday. Supervisors that were once interns provide hands-on positions where their interns do more than just run errands. Often they’ll take you out to lunch, offer advice and connect you with others they met as an intern that now work in their chosen field. Working with former interns can be a great networking tool as well as a resume builder.
Getting involved in organizations supplies plethora of opportunities for interns to find mentors. For example, the ASU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America matches students with members of its professional organization partner in Phoenix, where the mentor can share tips and strategies for getting a job in public relations with the mentee. With this option, students can meet professionals that may help them find a future internship, build relationships and eventually give back as a professional themselves.