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For startups, internship is how they leverage skills and grow with individuals who are willing to at agreed conditions. It is a common assumption that only bootstrapped entrepreneurs look for interns, while that may be true to an extent, big companies like Toyota, Google, and Tesla also hire them.
Internship to the individual is a worthy challenge as they are exposed to real-life working experience and this gives them an edge in the work environment.
For businesses, internship means building skillful people who contribute positively to the business. If I am asked the startup ecosystem is the perfect place for interns- the flexibility, ambition, craziness and innovation are what everyone should experience once in a lifetime.
Interns typically work for pay, experience, or both. They may be available all year round or in particular seasons such as summer.
Types of Internship
Internships can be paid or unpaid, for credit/ grades or not. internship duration varies according to purpose and institution. Internship offers can also be remote, on-site or hybrid depending on the need and availability.
Paid and unpaid Internships
Paid internship is when an intern receives monetary compensation for work done. The payment can be in the form of a stipend or a full payment. Unpaid internships do not offer any compensation, either full or allowances. The major benefit for the intern is gaining experience and building relationships that can be beneficial after the program.
Remote, on-site or hybrid Internships
Remote internships are also known as virtual internships, they give interns the opportunity to work from home and report to the company. The intern may not even be in the same geographic location.
On-site internship requires the intern to work in the office directly. It may be daily trips to the office or a few days depending on the nature of the business and role.
In hybrid internships, the intern works remotely, but occasionally visits the office. The ratio of office hours and remote hours varies from role to role.
A startup is an emerging business established by entrepreneurs or partners for profit and employment. A startup has a model to follow and is set up to meet a particular demand in the industry. Startups have a shaky foothold but some become large conglomerates with consistency and the right principles.
Startups are generally limited in funds and thereby look for ways to hire without violating any employment law. Internships are a cost-effective way to get hands-on experience. A startup content intern can become an employee in the future but such interns must have shown dedication to learning and passion for the business idea.
Startup internship is the onboarding or hiring of interns for roles in a newly established business. A startup intern is a person who is in the business to operate, build and contribute to a business with the intention of acquiring skills and experience.
Startup internships are more of a trial and error for both the startup and intern. They are both growing and learning the ropes and is a good avenue for interns to learn how to run and build profitable businesses. Interns also learn how to avoid some critical mistakes in the corporate work environment.
Factors Startups Should Consider Before Hiring Interns
As startups, there is a lot to be done in order to have a successful business. Administrative, marketing, legal, and customer relations roles cannot be done by the proprietor or partners, hence the need to hire.
Hiring content interns may seem like the best option but in the true sense, is very delicate. Structure your business, know the roles so you can effectively hire. Interns are inexperienced and new to the work environment, therefore startups need to understand this and provide enough resources for them to work with.
To effectively hire a startup content intern consider the following:
- Reason for Hire: It is true that work goes well when roles are distributed and monitored, however, there are some roles that don’t need an extra hire. Answering the why question would help you determine what type of intern to hire; paid, unpaid, etc. Remember, they also needs to learn.
- Understand their Why: During interviews, this tricky but necessary question is often used to determine who comes on board and this role shouldn’t be an exception. When you ascertain the reason you need a content intern, it will be easier to determine who fits perfectly for this particular role. It is important for startups to know why a content intern wants to come on board.
- Question Skillset: Internships are short terms. It only becomes productive for both parties if the intern has a skillset profitable to the business and learns how to effectively use it in a work environment. Startups do not have all the time to train interns from the scratch as the duration of stay is short.
- Evaluation: Setting a standard and scale for performance evaluation for content interns is important. Evaluation can include how much visibility has been achieved, the implication on the profit margin, and so on. This will make it easier to know when a content intern is on track and how to make necessary corrections and adjustments. Why hire a content intern when you end up doing the work?
- Appreciate Potentials: Knowing that internships can be used to determine the employability potential of the intern, it is imperative to appreciate interns with exceptional performance. This can make them stay on after their internships and would be great employers. They can also train incoming interns or staff before leaving so you don’t start all over.
What Does A Content Intern Do?
As a startup, you don’t just go about hiring a content intern regardless of their potential. You need to understand their roles of and how it applies to your business.
we will unpack what they do below:
- A content intern creates content to meet the goals and aspirations of the startup. Which can be text, videos, or both.
- They proffer ways to improve and maintain the acceptability of the business. Content creation is not a one-off thing. Consumer behaviour and intent should constantly inform your content strategy.
- They also monitor how the brand is doing and its ranking on the web.
Your ability to appropriately communicate your vision and vision helps content interns work effectively.
Bonus Tip: Hire motivated interns and keep them motivated.
How Startups Can Find Content Intern
Content interns only want to be interns for a while. They want to grow, add skills and build impressive portfolios. The inability to effectively describe job roles to content interns may discourage them from applying to your startup.
Founders should also ensure they have good interpersonal relationships with colleges and schools to build trust. Some interns may not find their way through to you except by recommendations.
Another great way to find interns is through Youtube comment section- surprised right? See what people are saying and how others are asking for internship opportunities.
“Don’t mind me while I take note of every company so I can apply as a third-year CS minor with no previous internships”- Micah Casey
“Been struggling to land an internship for years. Starting to feel like there is no hope for me. Currently in my junior year or college”- KMT
“As a freshman I’ve been applying for 3 weeks now for a 2023 internship and no luck. I’ve gone through interview in one company and failed behavioural”-Ben Brook
Law And Startup Internships
Statistics reveal that companies want interns who can deliver the duties of an employee but earn as an intern. In some countries, regulations are enforced on how much an intern can earn and should earn while the reverse is the case in some.
In Malaysia, interns are not covered by the 1955 Employment Act or the 2011 National Wages Consultative Council Act. In the acts, only full-time employees are protected and can sue in the case of default. It is the same case in Canada.
7 benefits of hiring a content intern
If you are cash-strapped you need all the help you can get, if you have an opening and a content intern fit- do not hesitate to hire them.
The benefits of hiring a content intern include however not limited to the following:
- Trust building; since they engage empathetically with customers online and offline, your brand is easier to trust.
- Affordability: They are relatively cheaper to maintain than full-time employees. Since interns learn more from the operations, they make good for future employees.
- Since content creation is not your forte having someone to do it leaves you with more time to focus on your strength.
- They remain hands-deck on every opportunity that can help your venture thrive
- They ensure that your brand messaging is consistent with your guideline
- They help you put your big ideas into digestible and appealing format
- With the tiktokification of social media, you sure need someone who helps your business on top of trends.
Content Intern Job Description
A content intern doesn’t just write content or social media posts. They do more for your brand.
- They engage clients, and the social media audience via articles, posts, etc.
- They also write emails, manage emails and respond accordingly.
- They do research and study the market and competitors.
- The reputation of the brand is another thing to be managed by the content intern.
- Interns create and source graphics suitable for your brand.
- They also manage social media accounts for your brand.
It is better for startups to hire content interns because they are not over the moon about experience rather they are on a quest; to learn, explore and give. It is a good way to maximize overhead costs.
They are also a great way for pre-seed startups to pivot.
What is the best way to hire interns?
- Start an initiative that allows students to participate in activities organized by your organization as in the case of Hero campus challenge
- List your startup on Angellist
- Use Job boards one of those is Linkedln
- WayUp is the largest startup internship network, posting your startup needs there is a great way to attract qualified candidates.
Can I hire interns if my company is not registered?
Yes, no rule states that only registered companies can hire interns.
How are interns selected?
Selecting an intern is the same process as hiring a full-time employee only that you give them more grace, they are on a mission to practice and validate what they have learned.
To make a great selection, have a hiring process in place, resume submission, review, and in-person or virtual interviews.