You’ve mulled over the idea of creating an internship program but do the benefits outweigh the costs? Here are some more reasons why you might want to have an intern next summer. This is Part 1 of a 2-part series.

  1. Future employees! An internship program is a year-round recruiting tool. An internship program creates an ongoing pipeline of future full-time employees. And here’s a little extra incentive: 70% of all interns who return long-term overseas return to their original internship location. Reduce the drain on your time and resources from recruiting by cultivating a pool of interns to fill your positions as they open up.
  2. Fresh input! Interns bring more to the table than just an extra set of hands. New people bring new perspectives that can break up the status quo, as well as specialized strengths and skill sets. Include interns in meetings and brainstorming sessions to glean new ideas. Have one-on-one brain-storming sessions with him or her. Amazing what you may learn!
  3. Low-cost labor! Interns are an inexpensive resource. Most interns pay their own way overseas in exchange for learning. You only provide a room and board. If they do exceptionally well you may give them a bonus at the end of internship. Moreover, while their financial requirements are modest, they’re among the most highly motivated members of the workforce.
  4. Grow your social media! Young people typically are savvy with social media. They are up to date informed about current events, popular culture, and the best social media trends. Interns can enhance your social media footprint and build you a following.
  5. Improve the work environment! With interns on board, employees have a lighter workload, more time for creative or more challenging projects, and the opportunity to build confidence and leadership as they lead the interns. Plus, interns bring a fresh enthusiasm, a positive energy into the workplace. This enthusiasm easily rubs off on others, improving the overall work environment.
  6. Test the talent! The US Department of Labor estimates the price of a bad hire at around 30% of that employee’s first-year salary. But it’s a human resources reality: sometimes a new employee makes a solid impression in the interview, but simply doesn’t gel with your team or the way your B4T business operates. Because of this, hiring someone as an intern is the most effective way to evaluate his or her potential as a long-term employee. When you “try out” candidates via a semester or summer internship, you make fewer mistakes when it comes to full-time staffing.
  7. Enhance productivity! A quality intern can make real contributions to productivity now, helping your staff avoid becoming overburdened by side projects, and freeing them up to accomplish more creative tasks or tasks that require higher-level expertise. What have interns done? Among other things, interns have built feed-mill processing machines, websites, apps, social media, restructured shipping plans, done surveys of new markets, write business plans, taught English, Korean, Spanish, and business principles to local clients. Got a project you’d like done but don’t have the resources or time to do? That’s a job for an intern!

In terms of both today’s workload and tomorrow’s workforce, having interns is an excellent way to facilitate success at your company. More on this next week, but if you want more information on interns and internships, contact Charity at



PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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