(PRESS REELASE – June 26, 2010) – It was great to see AOL Small Businesss and its top flight roster of board members (all entrepreneurs and/or experts in entrepreneurship) weigh in on the recent dialogue about the changing definition of an internship. As we’ve been noting in our recent blog posts, the hiring landscape looks different in the world of growing businesses. Entrepreneurial organizations, including the most well-funded and profitable companies out there, require a roll-up-your-sleeves mentality from EVERYONE. It’s not about the hours clocked in, but the output delivered. An entrepreneur’s most valuable resource is time, and the incremental value from anyone brought on board must well exceed the time it takes to train and manage.
So how do interns fit into the picture?
Well, as Rod Kurtz from AOL Small Biz notes, “They can be especially important for smaller, fast-growing companies, which are usually strapped for resources and hesitant to make a lot of full-time hires early on.” And smaller organizations have an advantage over big business when it comes to interns. Kurtz points out that while interns can often become gofers at big organizations, in smaller companies, they will have more of a chance to get hands-on experience. Nevertheless, it’s important for entrepreneurs to create an internship program, as simple as it may be, that “brings out the best in who you hire.” We couldn’t agree more.
And it looks like we’re not alone. What did some of the other experts have to say?
- “Interns are very important to an entrepreneurial company. Some of my very best employees have come to us as interns.” Bob Parsons, Founder and CEO of the Go Daddy Group.
- “I have a friend who created his whole business using interns. Before he could really afford to hire people full time, his internship program was his lifeline, and it was a win-win — they helped him launch his startup and he gave them great experience and a recommendation.” Steve Strauss, Columnist and Author, the Small Business Bible
- “It’s a win-win proposition for both stakeholders. The intern receives top-tier mentoring and the business owner acquires a competent, talented and hungry intern at a very cheap rate. However, it’s important in this scenario for the business owner to ensure that the intern who is brought into the organization encompasses the same discipline (work ethic) and beliefs (vision) that the current organizational culture embraces and exudes.” Gary Whitehill, Founder: The Relentless Foundation and New York Entrepreneur Week.
- ” For entrepreneurs who can prioritize, carve out projects, and delegate effectively, interns can be valuable passionate pinch-hitters. They also provide useful market data, access to legions of beta testers and can be easy-to-transition future staff.” Jennifer Hill, ChairWoman, Astia NYC Advisory Board.
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