Finding work for an intern to do can be a task of its own, and can often discourage companies from bringing on an intern. As many as 62% of companies shy away from hiring interns because of the immense amount of time usually involved. However, an intern can help companies increase productivity within their organization, tackle tasks that have been on the to-do list for way too long, and give experience to an eager young professional looking to break into the industry.
At Ampersand, we coach, mentor and train our cohort of interns on the skills needed to thrive in their internship experiences, and simultaneously coach intern managers on best practices in working with their remote interns.
We’ve outlined some of the tasks our business partners have had the most success with in their internships and hope it is useful for you!
#1: Website Updates
A robust website strategy means tackling the Google search algorithm, adding strategic keywords in websites, articles, descriptions throughout your website in order to help land your content on that first Google search page, and ensuring an awesome user experience, but some of this can be arduous and time consuming, once you have the right strategy down. Let an intern help!
Writing meta descriptions for main pages on your website, YouTube, or Pinterest is a task that your intern can learn a lot from. Because meta descriptions are rather short, the content must be concise yet ambitious. This will encourage proficient verbiage as well as thorough research on the subject. This is a valuable and transferable skill that will continuously add value to your intern and your company.
Pro tip: No need to hold their hand every step of the way. Offer them tutorials that will set them up for success! Some of our favorites:
- How to write meta descriptions for SEO (with good and bad examples)
- How to Write Compelling Meta Descriptions That’ll Boost Your Rankings
- Google: Fundamentals of writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets
- 15 Meta Description Examples, Plus How to Write a Perfect Meta Description
Give them the topics and have your intern write a content article with target keywords you want to rank for in search engines. This will sharpen your intern’s writing and communication skills, reveal areas that need guidance, and put your intern’s research skills to the test (as well as increase SEO!).
Pro tip: Encourage them to do in depth research on top-ranking articles on the topics you want to compete on, based on goal keywords. This will create content that’s informative, relevant and competitive.
Pro tip: Encourage them to offer ideas for improving user experience. This can be based on competitive research, personal experience and market knowledge. Also, encourage them to share this document with other members of the company for a greater range of feedback.
#2: Perform Market Research
Do you know all of the strengths and weaknesses of competitors? Of aspirational customers? How about investors, vendors or partner organizations? Because an intern quickly learns the advantages and disadvantages of your company, and comes in as an unbiased third party, they can easily identify areas that competitors are excelling in. Have your intern perform market research and organize their findings in an excel sheet. This is a great task for interns and it will encourage them to stay engaged while demonstrating/practicing their research and organization skills. It’s also a great way to keep track of what your company is doing right and what concepts your company should be taking inspiration from.
Pro tip: Have them create a presentation of the top competitors’ ideas and have them present methods that may facilitate their incorporation into your company.
#3: Organize your Data
Statistics are a great way to add validity and emphasis on the message you are trying to convey. Have your intern collect relevant and interesting stats that are relevant to your company and organize them in an excel sheet based on their concept such as debt, expansion, corporate, employee satisfaction, etc. This will serve as a handy and concise tool for articulating your message throughout your desired mediums.
Are your documents seemingly all over the place? Have your intern create a company google drive organized by folders for different departments, file type, date, etc. This task will encourage your intern to use critical thinking and will require thorough communication with other members of the organization so that everyone is on the same page, while also being a huge added value to the company.
#4: Social Media
It’s all about social media when it comes to company discoverability — and all about analytics when it comes to social media. In order to make more top performing content, you need to first know what’s working. Have your intern analyze what posts perform best per platform and document possible factors contributing to its success. Because success in social media is not a one size fits all, encourage your intern to read the article below on which engagement styles to emphasize and look out for per media.
Did you know that a 2019 Venngage survey concluded that original graphics outperformed all other visual content in terms of performance and traffic? This is a striking statistic that’s worth noting. Not to mention it is an invaluable strategy for creating notable branding recognition. Have your intern experiment with a fresh approach to social media graphics. This is an engaging task that offers creative freedom and can provide a refreshing take on company graphics, as long as it stays on brand. Hand over the company brand guidelines, perhaps some direction, and let your intern create several different iterations for you to review.
Once you have figured out the direction you want to go with your new graphics, have your intern create a content calendar with graphics and copy for content ranging from several weeks to a couple months.
Pro tip: Have them research different content calendar tools and mediums if your company doesn’t have one already established.
#5: Customer Service
Customer service is essential to all businesses. Make sure your company’s reputation reflects the timeliness and promptness of your organization. Have you intern reply to questions sent through Indeed, your website, LinkedIn, social media, and other mediums your organization is involved with. They can demonstrate their knowledge on the subject as well as save the company tons of time.
These tasks are a great starting point. They offer the opportunity of exploration for both you and your intern to get to know each other. The beauty about these tasks is that they naturally create an umbrella of concepts that you and your intern can expand on and learn from. The key in these tasks is finding the proper balance within challenging tasks that your intern can learn from while providing value to your company’s development.
For more tips, hear from our CEO and past business partners to learn what tasks they had the most success with. Register here: https://www.ampersandpro.com/businesswebinar to join our live webinar “How To Get The Most Out Of Your Summer Intern” on Friday, May 27st 2021 from 9:00am to 9:30 am.
For more information on how to get your own vetted and trained intern from Ampersand Professionals go to https://www.ampersandpro.com/our-process-business.