Summer Interns

How do you properly address a summer intern's responsibilities? Also, are there any signs of tech hiring? If so, where?

April 9, 2004

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

For starters, call and introduce yourself, give the intern an overview of the project, and get a feel for his experience and level of expertise. Ask what he wants to get out of the internship, then discuss the responsibilities you expect him to take on.

Also, ask if HR has provided an orientation--work location and hours, dress code and so on--and offer to fill in any missing pieces. Invite the intern to come in before his start date to take a quick tour and meet others in the department.

In other words, treat him as you would any new staff member. And remember that summer interns may be worth hiring after graduation. In fact, for the third straight year, employers rated internship programs as their most effective method of recruiting new college graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2004 Job Outlook survey. During the 2002-03 academic year, employers converted more than 38 percent of their interns into full-time staffers.

Once your intern is on the job, give him regular feedback on his performance. Be open to the intern's ideas, too. He's new to the work world, but as a student he's probably learning about emerging technologies all the time.

Dear Career Coach

From where I sit, reports of an uptick in tech hiring have been grossly exaggerated. Despite eight years' experience, I've had nary a nibble. Got tips?

Don't give up hope. A recent poll by IT consulting firm Robert Half Technology found that 11 percent of CIOs plan to add full-time IT staff in the second quarter, the largest hiring increase forecast since the third quarter of 2002. When asked which technical skills are in short supply, 79 percent said Windows admins, while 21 percent cited networking as the specialty most in demand.

Still, some experienced IT people, especially those with A+ and MCSE certifications, are taking a cue from plumbers and electricians and making house calls. Geeks On Call (, for example, offers franchise opportunities in what IDC cites as a $300 billion SOHO support market.

The initial investment is steep--$50,000 and up--but Entrepreneur magazine ranks Geeks On Call one of the 100 fastest-growing franchise opportunities in the United States.Independent regional service companies are another option. Geek Housecalls (, for instance, offers e-mail and wireless-network setups, as well as troubleshooting and repair, for a minimum $75 charge. Technicians are paid an hourly rate.

Send your questions to [email protected]

Game Plan>If you think instant messaging is the greatest invention since Red Bull, you're not alone. Sixty-four percent of the 1,009 site visitors polled by The Emily Post Institute said IM is a "useful business tool," while 35 percent said IM is "inappropriate or rude." To keep co-workers and employers on your side, heed Instant Messaging Planet's comprehensive guide to enterprise IM etiquette.


Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights