With summer approaching, the hunt for internships by college students is on. If you’re a parent, relative or mentor, you may already know this, first-hand. If you’re trying to help your young person find a
position that will be meaningful and rewarding, you may also be feeling a bit stumped.
We have a tried-and-true method to share. Our CEO, Jim Waters, CFP®, came up with it as a way to help his own daughter, Ashley, find a good internship. He put his considerable list of business contacts to work, offering an internship at PartnersInWealth in exchange for one for his daughter at another place of business.
Response to Jim’s offer was so positive that Ashley worked three different internships that summer. And the experience resulted in a feature article in the May 24, 2013 Wall Street Journal titled “The Great Internship Swap.”
Here is how you can create an “internship swap” of your own:
- Draw on your network of clients, friends, places where you do business, etc. Write a letter or email presenting the concept of a swap and asking who is interested in participating. We have a template for this and would be happy to share it with you.
- Set up a conference call among all the participants (include the students if possible) to match students to internships and also arrange the work schedule. Be sure those involved have the authority to hire interns at their organization.
- Designate someone to manage and stay on top of the schedule as it is implemented.
To maximize the internship’s value to the students, make sure you gauge what they are interested in learning about (customer service, event planning, financial analysis, etc.). Try to create experiences that are part observation and part hands-on and task-focused. Take advantage of the intern’s youthful point of view, which often includes skills, such as social media savvy, that others in an organization may lack. Give the intern opportunities to provide feedback on their experiences and to share what they gained from it.
With this plan, the summer should turn into a win-win-win for everyone involved. Students gain valuable exposure and experience in the business world. Employers gain access to new perspectives and new skill sets. Parents gain a child who is being equipped for adult life. There’s even an additional value-add: the process of reaching out to your network can cultivate and strengthen your own business relationships.
And who says internship swapping has to be confined to college students? This is a great model for high school students and recent college grads as well. In fact, internship or work place swapping might even be a great idea for adults looking for a next-stage career!
At PARTNERSINWEALTH we focus on developing winning solutions for our clients through a mixture of innovative thinking, trusted relationships, and expert financial management. For more information about internship swapping, or for helpful guidance or professional assistance with your own financially-focused, continuous improvement, please contact Jim Waters, CFP®, at PARTNERSINWEALTH 713.964.4028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.