Staying Connected with Summer Interns When School Bell Rings

Linda Dulye's picture

When September rolls around, school is back in session and that can be a Godsend to parents. Though for many leaders, the end of summer can mean the departure of an intern.

If your department worked with an intern this summer, back-to-school shouldn’t mean cutting the lines of communication on someone you devoted time and resources to for three months. By staying in touch during the school year, managers can keep interns looped in on organizational news and provide insight on current trends and events in your industry.

Here are a few specific ways you can keep your intern engaged in your business even though they’re focused on class work:

  • Quick email updates. Nothing formal, just a brief note sent every six weeks or so to check in on them, share information about the progress of initiatives they worked on during the summer.
  • Share news and announcements. Pass along any organizational news – that’s not confidential, of course – that your intern would find of interest. It could be something as simple as an email announcing the promotion of a key executive, an acquisition or a new product launch.
  • Forward suggested reading. Chances are Fortune and the Wall Street Journal aren’t in the daily reading rotation for most college students. You can help keep them linked in to key issues in your industry or the business world by forwarding interesting and relevant articles.
  • Extend an invitation to a key meeting. If the student attends school nearby, consider inviting them to an all hands event or even one of your team meetings. These are just a few ideas that you apply to demonstrate to your summer interns that you view them as a valuable member of your team – and perhaps potential future employee.

After all, you’ve just spent the summer developing talent that could impact your team and your organization for years to come. Don’t let them fade away.


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