Hiring an intern through the Governor’s Internship Program can be an extremely rewarding experience for private businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Providing internship opportunities allows these entities to contribute to the West Virginia community in a very positive manner. Employees who serve as mentors to interns often find this to be a very satisfying role.
In addition, interns can be short-term solutions, meeting needs for extra assistance by an employer.
Employers should also consider interns as possible future employees for entry-level positions. At the close of the 2016 Governor’s Internship Program, participating mentors were surveyed to gauge their satisfaction with the program. One respondent commented on his survey, “One of the interns performed so well that she was offered full-time employment by this agency. This was her second year as a Governor’s Intern and her high performance level both years justified the employment offer.”
For a private business, non-profit organization or government agency to fully appreciate the impact of the Governor’s Internship Program, some planning is required. The following elements are essential when considering whether to host an intern:
The availability of meaningful projects or assignments.
Students want to be challenged. Projects should be planned in advance and designed in a manner that allows the intern to gain enhanced appreciation of the importance of teamwork, organizational culture, communication and organization skills, as well as the rewards and frustrations of working.
The availability of staff support.
Each intern should be assigned at least one mentor who is responsible for effectively supervising the intern. Supervising an intern can include training the intern, assigning projects, monitoring workload, answering questions, providing other necessary information and evaluating the intern’s performance by providing constructive feedback to the intern.
The availability of office space and financial resources.
To be effective, an intern needs to have access to the same resources as other employees. Typically, this includes a desk/work station, a computer (including an email account) and a telephone. These resources may vary depending on the type of projects an intern will be assigned. The Governor’s Internship Program serves the function of recruiting students to participate in the program and recruiting agencies, businesses and organizations to host interns. Compensation of the intern is the responsibility of the agency, business or organization hosting the intern. Internships generally last nine to thirteen weeks and pay at least minimum wage.
Employers will have the responsibility of interviewing and selecting the intern which best fits the requirements of the position. You will be assigned a password which will allow you to query the online student database to select candidates to interview who have the educational and/or experience you require. Students will be required to submit two letters of recommendation and a copy of their transcripts when reporting to an interview.
While employers are free to employ any student for summer employment, only students who can verify that they have a 3.0 GPA and have presented 2 letters of recommendation may participate in the Governor's Internship Program.
Employers should, to the extent practical, verify student eligibility prior to extending an offer to hire.