Internship is the best way for new engineering graduates to have a taste of the engineering industry. It is where they gain new skills and valuable experience for their future jobs. So being their managers or supervisors, how can you provide the right training that can prepare them for successful careers?
Here are three effective ways senior engineers can train millennial interns.
Interns are always eager to set foot in the engineering industry, so they really don’t want to spend the whole summer doing seemingly unimportant work like filing papers, answering phones, or sorting mail. But this is actually some training exercise, for the future since all jobs have their own grunt work. Make sure that they are doing these basic jobs correctly, and prepare for them some opportunities to move on to more important assignments.
This can also be a good time to observe them as they do basic tasks. Are they doing it correctly? Is he/she rushing to finish his/her work? Did they create a method to make the work easier? Are they getting easily bored?
Showing your interns that doing their grunt work well will lead to more opportunities, is a great way to train them for the future.
Take them with you
Let your interns observe how you do your job. Let them ask questions and give them the opportunity to try out what you’re doing. If you invite them to a meeting, they’re more likely to fall asleep since they don’t really understand what everyone’s talking about, so let them join the conversation from time to time. Encourage them to take notes during the meeting, and voice out their ideas.
It is also good to let your intern observe other colleagues of yours, especially if they are handling a new field as well. Interns are sponges and they need to absorb everything they can, so feed them with all the information you can give them.
Teach them real life career skills
It is important to teach your interns about critical thinking, company strategies, competition, as well the the importance of industry trends. Give them a project wherein they can apply these skills and will have to present it at the end of the internship. That project could be something that will benefit your team. For example, have then create a computer app that will make the equipment inventory easier to access, or have them create a presentation on everything they’ve learned during their internship and what they feel needs improvement.
I hope these tips help. Who knows, you might even find a new hire.
Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers