This post is brought to you by Aidan O'Driscoll, who is one of the talented interns here at Plus Relocation. Aidan is interning with our Consulting and Marketing teams. When not interning, Aidan attends Luther College.
With fall steadily approaching, summer interns will pack their bags and head home, or to school, or into the workforce. Good luck, my friends, be well. You are the most recent class in a looooong line of intern classes.
According to Time, the conception of the internship, could’ve taken place as early as the Middle Ages, during the fourth or fifth century. That means today’s marketing intern (content creator, data analyzer, administrative duties specialist), was once a youthful squire, House Stark, learning to wield a sword and fight White Walkers. How times have changed! Probably for the best.
Today, internships are a little more commonplace than they were back then. In fact, internships have become increasingly popular during the last half-decade; as more people are attending institutions of higher education, more people are interning. Go figure. More than 62% of the Class of 2017 reported doing an internship at some point during their college career, up from 50% in 2008, and way up from 17% in 1992.
But with so many interns, not everyone is going to want to—or be able to—find an internship in their hometown. Are companies offering to help? The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a survey of their employer members to find out how they are supporting interns.
They discovered 58% of surveyed companies offered interns relocation assistance. Among those:
- Almost 50% reported that interns are responsible for finding their own housing and are given a “lump sum” to cover costs.
- Approximately 34% of survey respondents provided housing in employer-rented facilities with no cost to the intern.
- And a mere 1.5% provided housing in employer-owned facilities with no cost to the intern.
Traveling to and from the internship is another factor that must be considered. Nearly 47% of respondents stated they provide reimbursement for round-trip travel costs, and almost 38% reported that interns are responsible for paying their own travel costs.
Throw in food, entertainment, and any supplies the intern may need for the summer, and the cost starts to get pretty hefty. But that’s not all. The brevity of internships—often seasonal arrangements—results in a certain freneticism that can be overwhelming. Often the intern needs to be in, settled, and out in a matter of months. Chop, chop.
It is no secret that the cost of a college education is rising. The Washington Post states that, on average, the cost for tuition, fees, and room and board at a four-year private college is currently $188,000. And with inflation, who knows where that figure will be in the coming years? Perhaps companies should be helping interns with some of the expenses they incur throughout their internship? Certainly, this would only make them a more attractive business in the eyes of the next generation of workers. With the “war for talent” making things so competitive, offering the best internship opportunities would be one way for companies vying for the most capable young workers to get a leg up on the competition and to increase their intern conversion rates.
If you're an employer that does not have an intern program, you might want to consider these 10 benefits for starting one up. For those with programs, in the end, the hope is for the intern to have an enjoyable, energizing, learning experience that could possibly result in a career down the road, and in turn, the business should be benefiting from an eager individual, a different perspective, and an extra hand around the office. For more on attracting exceptional talent, consider these 10 characteristics of intern programs. But as a company expands their talent territory, these factors—travel, housing, tuition, etc.—often overlooked in the whole excitement of it all, are vital to consider regarding the internship process and the type of experience being offered.
But while the number of unpaid internships is growing, the number of paid internships are growing, too, some surveys show. Research on the internship market by Seal and Nunley suggests that roughly 70% of internships are part-time and 60% are unpaid. Whether they’re paid or not, internships are here to stay. In a simulation that Seal and Nunley worked on, in which fake résumés were submitted to employers in business-related fields, résumés with internships were 14% more likely to lead to an interview request or some kind of callback than résumés that didn’t list such experience.