Intern Appreciation Day is coming up in July. Show your interns the recognition they deserve!
Interns don’t always get a lot of love. When the stereotypical intern isn’t fetching coffee or doing the grunt work no one else wants to, they’re overworked, underpaid or getting mocked behind their backs.
Fortunately, many companies are taking a fresh approach to internships. According to TIME, employers are starting to change their policies to make internships more fair, educational and essential. Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation, notes: “I think we may be at the very early stages of a significant backlash against an internship phenomenon that has gone off the rails.”
Internships are now “the new first job.” It’s a symbiotic relationship: companies get to know and engage with potential employees, and the intern gets real-world experience with a company that’s actually looking to hire.
This week, let your interns know much they mean to your organization! Read on for Intern Appreciation Day celebration tips.
How to Celebrate Intern Appreciation Day
Make your Intern Appreciation Day party stand out — follow these tips and real examples for a celebration that’s fun, unique and communicates sincere gratitude.
1. Take the whole team rock-climbing
Or roller-skating. Or paddle-boating. Or bowling. Choose the activity your interns prefer and bring along the whole team for an engaging, inclusive outing.
The organization Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics celebrated Intern Appreciation Day by taking their “all-star” intern Alicia rock-climbing. Not only was it “a fantastic way to show Alicia some props,” it involved everyone on the team, including the deputy director.
2. Provide free food (and your thanks!)
Everyone loves free food, plus your college interns may appreciate a break from ramen.
Ohio State University celebrates Intern Appreciation Day with free pizza and other treats (albeit on a different day during the school year). Just be sure everyone is invited — managers, too! — and there is a clear message of gratitude. A frosted “Thank You” cake, balloons and a short speech from the company president or regional manager is perfect.
3. Publicly recognize interns
Interns do a lot of unglamorous work behind the scenes, so your public recognition of their efforts will be extra-meaningful. Interns will especially appreciate recognition online — a tweet, Facebook message, Instagram pic or blog post is the kind of public recognition they can share with friends and family.
The Lupus Foundation of America Connecticut Chapter celebrated their interns last year by profiling each in a special blog post. Each intern was asked about their current job responsibilities, what they love about the organization and for a “fun fact” about themselves.
4. Play “boss for a day”
For one day, treat your interns like they’re in charge. Bring them their coffee the way they like it (vanilla latte? black with two creams? hazelnut mocha?), ask for their input on big decisions, invite them to sit in on an important meeting, or take them out to lunch with a key client.
5. Share practical gifts
Give your interns thank you gifts that will be meaningful and practical to them, such as gift certificates for movies, a concert series, pizza or groceries. They’ll appreciate a gift they can use and share with friends.
Whatever you decide on as gifts or party activities, saying “Thanks!” is the most important aspect of your Intern Appreciation Day celebration. Remember, these could be your future employees. Make a great impression and start engaging interns with your company’s appreciation right away.
Make Every Day a Workplace Celebration
Intern Appreciation Day is just one day a year! Download our FREE Day-to-Day Celebration Calendar for expert tips on engaging, recognizing and building a happy and loyal workplace every day of the year. This one-of-a-kind eBook will help you build everyday workplace spirit with month-by-month guides, case studies, research highlights, how-to recognition advice and celebration ideas for specific holidays and anytime.
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