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Key Takeaways: Best Practices for a High Converting Internship Program With URx

Published by Meghana Machiraju on March 8, 2022
2 min read

Meghana Machiraju

Meghana Machiraju is a B2B content marketing professional at Symba. Previously, Meghana worked as a Content Marketing Lead for a SaaS healthcare startup. She holds a Masters in Marketing from Schulich School of Business, Canada, and an MBA in Advertising from Symbiosis International University, India. Outside of work, you will find her traveling or looking for the next vegetarian restaurant to go to!

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And that’s a wrap! On March 3, 2022, Symba teamed up with URx to host a riveting recruiting roundtable on the topic “Best practices for a high converting internship program”. Moderated by our Co-founder and CEO Ahva Sadeghi, this hour-long virtual Zoom session consisted of a short panel discussion with two incredible leaders in the early talent acquisition and recruitment space Cheri Hurtubise from Chewy and Joy Osborne (she/her/hers) from Zwift, followed up by insightful discussions in two breakout rooms. Here are some of the main takeaways that caught our attention: 

1. Most common metrics used to measure program success:

70% of those who attended the session mentioned that they’re setting measurable program goals before their program starts. The most common metrics mentioned were: offer acceptance rates, conversion rates, DEI metrics like no. of diverse intern hires, no. of diverse graduate hires, schools hiring from, brand awareness metrics, etc. 

2. Strategies to reduce reneges: 

  • Give interns ample time to accept offers so they make an informed decision. If interns are given the time to evaluate all the opportunities they have, it could lead to hiring interns that are more inclined to stay!
  • Build a transparent relationship with your interns so they feel comfortable to ask for more time to accept offers or to discuss other offers that they have in hand. Your interns should be able to trust you to help them make the right decision for their professional and personal development. 
  • Before giving out offers to eligible interns, invite recent new graduates who accepted your internship offers to do a panel and talk about topics such as company culture, benefits, how to negotiate offers, etc. 
  • Additionally, before giving out offers, you could also hold a week-long educational series on how to make a decision about which job to take after college along with social programming such as one-on-one chats with company leadership, to provide interns with all the information they need before making a decision. 

3. Ways to turn an intern who may seem ineligible for an offer at first to someone who is eligible: 

  • Share core competencies for success: Right at the beginning of the internship, share rubrics around what you define as internship success and what would help interns convert to a full-time role. 
  • Build efficient feedback loops: We recommend setting up a weekly cadence to give and receive feedback from interns. If you see that an intern is not performing well, ensure that you give timely feedback so they can course correct. While sharing feedback, you should also provide resources that might help them. Give them access to previous intern projects similar to theirs and any other resources that are relevant to the challenges they are facing. You could also connect them to alumni interns who have worked on similar projects. 
  • Identify mistakes and turn them into teachable moments: Identify whether interns’ shortcomings are “blockers” or “coachable”. If their shortcomings are coachable, devise and implement corrective actions to help them avoid future errors. 

4. Metrics beyond conversion rate that you might not be thinking enough of: 

  • Intern return rates
  • NPS scores for intern events 
  • Candidate engagement 
  • Brand awareness levels before and after your program 

Want to view the recording of the panel discussion? Check it out here. For more such insights on the future of early career talent acquisition and the ever evolving entry points into the workforce, don’t miss out on the virtual URx Conference from May 5-6, 2022. Symba is the title sponsor this year and will be hosting one of the in-person happy hours! Register now and get 15% off your ticket with promo code SYMBA15.   

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