In March, I wrote a post that said, “March is the month when employers post the most ads for internships, therefore March is the best month to look for internships.”
Yes, that’s true, but even at this late date, you may still be able to snag a summer internship. And if you’re an employer—even for a small business—you still may still have the chance to hire an intern to get you through the season.
I recently spoke with Danielle Gruppo, founder and CEO of InternAlliance, an online platform that directly matches students with employers. It’s free for students and reasonably priced for small businesses, too.
Small Business Recruiting
In fact Gruppo, a small business owner herself, made sure her platform was accessible to small employers.
“They can sign up on a month-to-month basis,” she says. “They have unlimited job postings and unlimited student matchings.” Employers, large or small, can sign up on the site, or contact her directly.
“Small employers may not have the human resources team of large employers, but they have much to teach a student—how to maneuver through a small business; how to become an entrepreneur; how to do the books, or set up social media sites.”
“Small business owners, should be sure to have guidelines ready for students they hire, but InternAlliance handles the recruiting,” Gruppo says.
Through a proprietary matching algorithm, businesses of varying sizes are matched only with qualified students.
“Employers can ask for a third-year accounting student. They can put in basic requirements and preferred requirements. Students will show up as a match who meet their criteria 100%—or more than 100% if they also meet the preferred criteria.”
Gruppo says her platform takes the ambiguity out of the internship search. Students see immediately if they qualify. It’s then up to the employer to move forward to see if the student is a good culture fit.
Gruppo says employers are paying an average of $18 an hour; STEM majors earn more, liberal arts majors a little less. But, not all internships are paid.
“Some are for course credit, and some pay a stipend,” Gruppo says. Students can examine employer profiles to see what they’re getting into before they commit.
If you’ve already landed an internship, but are now wondering what you can do to want to be sure you succeed, here are five tips from Gruppo:
- Understand the job description—what’s expected of you, what you expect to learn, and what you want to learn.
- A structured internship that includes reach projects or group projects with other interns as well as day-to-day duties works best.
- Take advantage of any educational sessions—formal and informal networking, Chamber of Commerce meetings, and seminars.
- Find a commonality with every person you meet. Maybe you both like dogs. Do it by listening or simply asking, “What do you like to do?” Then build on that relationship.
- Make networking connections, and look for access to senior leadership.