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Embrace New Horizons in 2024: How Internships Can Elevate Your Small Business

As we look ahead to 2024, now is the time to get ahead and start planning for the new year. One strategic step you can take is hiring an intern for your small business. Regardless of your business’s nature, you can offer an invaluable learning experience to students while reaping benefits for your small business. That’s why The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center offers its Small Business Internship Initiative—a collaborative program designed to assist small businesses in understanding, attracting, and hosting high-value internships.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect when you plan your internship with through the Small Business Internship Initiative:

  • Structured Experiential Learning: These internships involve hands-on learning experiences within businesses, closely supervised by industry professionals.
  • Defined Timeframe: You will set your internship up with a clear beginning and end, ensuring that both parties understand the commitment.
  • Flexibility in Format: Figure out what works for your opportunity: in-person, on-site, remote, virtual, or a combination of these, offering flexibility to accommodate different needs.
  • Mutual Benefit: Define what the intern and your business will gain from this experience, which you can do by sharing your career experiences, allowing room for personal growth, and collaborating with them as they learn.
  • Paid Opportunities: You will learn what you need to know about compensating an intern with a wage and payroll process, with an option for students to receive class credit.

If you’re considering hosting an internship in 2024, start planning now. Students typically begin their search for internships early. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  1. A Fresh Start in 2024: The new year offers a clean slate for students and businesses alike to embark on a journey of growth and learning.
  2. Mentorship is Key: Effective mentoring is crucial to the success of internships. Students seek mentors to guide them in their professional journey. Sharing your career experiences, assisting with projects, and setting goals are all part of the mentorship process.
  3. Interns Can Help Achieve Your Goals: Having an intern on your team can alleviate your workload and enable you to tackle long-pending projects.
  4. Future Hiring Potential: Internships can serve as a trial period to assess an intern’s fit with your team and culture  before considering them for a permanent position.
  5. Market Your Internship: To attract the best candidates, it’s essential to market your internship effectively. Start by crafting a fun and  compelling description that includes a clear title, a summary of your business, learning objectives, required skills and experience, projects, and application details. Highlight what the intern will gain from the experience and what sets your opportunity apart.
  6. Early Promotion: Start promoting your internship as early as possible to ensure you attract top talent. Working on your posting now is not too early for a 2024 opportunity.

Thinking about hosting a 2024 internship? Join Business Consultant Patrick Keehan for our upcoming webinar, “Grow Your Small Business with an Internship in 2024,” on Wednesday, November 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. by registering here. You can also visit our website to learn more, or reach out to schedule a conversation with Gretchen or Patrick here.

Let’s make 2024 a year of growth and learning for both your small business and aspiring students!


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