Preparation for Intern Orientation
Before you begin onboarding your intern, you need to determine a few things, such as training and formal learning opportunities and your timeline learning up to orientation.
Training and formal learning opportunities will vary per role and per industry, and it is at the discretion of the employer to determine what will be the most efficient and productive process to provide said training to their intern. Usually, this will consist of technical training, professional development, and learning company culture.
Each of these topics address:
- Technical Training—Traditional “on-the-job” training that corresponds directly to their job. This can include learning how to operate a machine, product information, sales, and customer service skills.
- Professional Development—Allows an intern to learn how to effectively function within a workplace and team environment. This can include appropriate work attire, collaboration, communication skills, punctuality and time management. These may be considered “soft skills.”
- Company Culture—Gives an intern the opportunity to learn the internal and external motivation, goals and missions of an organization and its inner workings. This can include chain of command, ethics, expectations, and overall work environment. Though this form of training has the lowest direct impact on an intern’s ability to do their job, it’s the most important for creating and retaining a young talent pool for your organization.
For each of these pieces of training, it is important to first decide what level of understanding the intern will need to achieve before functioning as a contributing member of the team, as well as what balance will be needed between each type of training to support the overall goals of the program. For example, an intern working in a manufacturing environment may require more upfront technical training when getting started and can continually address the other two forms of training throughout the program.
Using this information, an outline for the intern’s orientation can be formed that appropriately addresses the training needs for both the organization and the intern.
Prior Preparation Timeline:
One month prior to employment beginning:
- Confirm start date with the intern.
- Provide intern with housing assistance information, if applicable.
- Aid in locating affordable, short-term housing.
- Connect interns together if they are interested in sharing housing, whether within your organization or in partnership with another organization in the community.
- College and university housing
- If offering housing or funds toward housing, be sure to provide the intern with the information including location and policies.
- Discuss any time off needed on behalf of the intern.
- Address any outstanding questions or concerns.
- Complete any articulation agreements with the intern and their school, if needed.
- Begin preparing for meaningful projects and assignments that the intern will complete.
One week prior to employment beginning:
- Outline required dress code.
- Inform the intern of their parking and reporting location for the first day.
- Provide the intern with a copy of “Accepted Forms of Identification” for the I-9 form so that they are prepared to complete hiring paperwork on their first day.
- Complete any needed technology set up, i.e. computer, email, phone number, shared drive access, etc.
Thinking through some of these preparations prior to bringing your new intern into your facility can allow for a smooth introduction into your organization. Now that you’ve set the stage, you can focus on developing your orientation program.
Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take you step-by-step through the development process. Connect with the Wichita Falls Chamber if you have any questions.