Getting The Best From Our Best

For some students, the summer is a time to kick back and relax.

For Warrington students, it’s one of the most pivotal stages of their professional development.

That’s because motivated and career-focused Warrington students spend their summers completing internships at some of the world’s premier companies.

Who knows? You may be collaborating with these talented students this summer. Here are some ways to get the best out of our best.

  1. 1. State goals clearly

    A simple way to bring the best out of interns is to establish clear objectives. Letting interns know what is expected of them from the beginning of their internships provides them with a purpose, and an actual goal to attain.

    It also is the best way to avoid feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction about their experience. If students complete their internships, but don’t have tangible projects to show future employers, they may feel like their experience wasn’t worthwhile.

  2. 2. Have interns work on important projects

    Why establish selective and demanding criteria for acceptance to your internship program if you don’t put these talented students to work on vital projects?

    Warrington students are able to make meaningful contributions thanks to a rigorous and diverse undergraduate experience. Almost half of all Heavener graduates will have completed some type of international business experience. Our students have average SAT scores of 1290, which ranks among the top 20 among U.S. undergraduate business programs.

    More importantly, corporate recruiters have recognized the stellar students the College produces. In Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2014 Ranking of Best Undergraduate Business Schools, corporate recruiters were asked, “Which programs produced the best graduates?” Warrington ranked 12th in the nation—among public and private programs—in that category.

    Luis Franco interned at the Fort Lauderdale office of Crowe Horwath, a public accounting and consulting firm. He not only completed critical audits in the office, but consulted with clients on site.

    “It’s very important for me to connect with people so that social interaction was nice,” said Franco, who is pursuing a Master of Accounting. “It felt good to be trusted to do the same work a first-year auditor would do.”

  3. 3. Provide opportunities for feedback

    These occasions are what supervisors make of it. It’s either an obligation or an opportunity.

    Your company may have a celebrated internship program that students across the country are desperately trying to get into, and your competitors are desperately trying to emulate. But the program didn’t reach this point by sticking with the status quo.

    Intern feedback is vital for the program’s continued growth. These constructive comments provide a viewpoint that only interns can experience.

  4. 4. Assign strong and accessible supervisor

    Interns don’t need a babysitter, but they need a supervisor they can depend on.

    Questions—and sometimes confusion—are sure to arise when interns take on new projects. Having a dedicated supervisor in place provides interns expert direction, and a reliable manager they can depend on.

    Additionally, an accessible supervisor is just as important as a knowledgeable supervisor. Those managers need to be available to assist interns to quickly solve problems and allow those interns to complete their assigned tasks.

  5. 5. Establish a comfortable atmosphere

    Whether you’re an intern or a seasoned business veteran, your best work usually comes out in a positive and nurturing environment. The freedom to contribute out-of-the-box ideas without hesitation spurs innovation.

    Interns thrive in these types of environments. The more they feel like they’re part of the team, the more accountability they’ll feel for a project’s success or failure.

    “At the immediate start of my internship, I felt uneasy about asking for new projects outside of the realm of what was assigned to me,” said Jasmin Tahirovic, a finance major who interned at Boeing last summer. “However, once I became more comfortable with my group, I began working cross-functionally in a number of different groups, getting to interact with individuals from all sorts of different academic and career backgrounds. I was more willing to request challenging, diverse work experiences that helped me gain a ton of transferable skills and knowledge.”