Five ways to attract top talent through an internship program

A recap on Govig’s Summer Internship Program

Internships are not only a competitive process for students. Attracting top talent on the company side can be a difficult process as well. With internships sometimes looking the same on paper by presenting similar ‘real-life’ work, what can a company offer to set themselves apart?

Govig & Associates not only provided its first class of seven summer interns with ‘hands-on work’ experience with leaders in the executive recruiting industry, they also offered students extra ‘life learning’ through educational seminars, as well as additional opportunities for self-improvement and team-building.

Here are five tips on how to make internships stand out among the crowd and attract top talent.


  • 1.) Create an intern project program

Beyond working on daily tasks and projects in their respective departments, Govig tasked their sales, social media and human resources interns with a special assignment: a summer intern project.  The interns researched and developed their own projects on various topics. At the end of the summer, they presented their projects to the executive team with the opportunity of their ideas being implemented by the company.

Projects ranged from ideas to increase company brand awareness at Arizona State University to a proposal to enhance company social media through establishing Snapchat geofilters and creating more video content.

By tasking interns to draft their own project ideas, they are given the autonomy to express their ideas creatively. Knowing that leaders in the organization will hear their voice gives them a sense of pride in taking ownership of their projects. The extra responsibility of an intern project also teaches them effective time-management skills.

“Juggling an intern project and day-to-day work is difficult, but it prepares you for a real job, so it’s important,” said Alexa Pereda, a Govig summer sales intern. “It makes the internship more than just superficial learning, it is more applied and you get more out of it.”


  • 2.) Offer additional “life-learning” seminars

Hosting seminars on topics such as Corporate Do’s and Don’ts and Wealth Management shows interns that you care about their professional as well as personal learning.

Tim Crown, co-founder and current Chairman of the Board at Insight Enterprises, spoke to Govig interns on how to achieve success and happiness in their lives.

“I really enjoyed Tim Crown’s presentation on how to achieve happiness in your career,” said Melissa Schonberger, another Govig summer sales intern. “It’s very helpful to hear about how he got where he is today in (the IT solutions industry).”

It is not common for school curriculum to cover personal financial literacy. Social Media and Design Intern Francisco Diaz said that the wealth management classes from Kate Seastone of Simplicit Financial were really informative, especially the components on saving strategies, opening a credit account and managing debt.

By providing interns with worthwhile knowledge and handouts from experts in their field, they can start to connect the dots on what additional skills are needed to get them from college to a successful career.


3.) Host outings for interns/staff

Interns should feel like they are part of the team, even if it is only for a few months. Inviting them to staff meetings but also to other activities outside the office can create camaraderie.

Interns at Govig bonded over outings at an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game, tested their teamwork at the Epic Escape Game Phoenix, as well as volunteered at Feed My Starving Children where they packaged meals for children in need.

“We wanted the interns to not only learn and become better team members inside the office but also provide them with other fun team building and volunteering opportunities,” said Todd Govig, president and CEO.


4.) Provide consistent check-in points with a mentor or supervisor

Weekly or bi-weekly touch base sessions with interns allows managers to give necessary feedback on what interns are doing well and what they could improve. When interns have a mentor or supervisor whom they can have an open conversation with, they are more likely to ask questions, be more involved at the office and ultimately produce valuable work.

HR intern Brittany Ater really enjoyed her one-on-one time with her manager and felt like the feedback she received gave her more confidence during her internship.

“I liked the hands-on experience and the trust I was given when screening candidates,” says Ater.


5.) Let the interns express their voices

At the end of the day, the internship should hopefully provide a great experience. Ask interns to fill out a final evaluation sheet to get a sense of what the interns enjoyed and what could have been improved about their experience, a Inquire about how their internship helped to advance them professionally, how helpful were additional learning sessions or seminars and what tips they would give to future interns.

Another tool to showcase an internship program is to highlight an intern’s experience or voice through a personal blog. Read about one intern’s summer in “10 Things I Learned During my 10 Weeks at Govig.”

Insights from an intern blog can be used to make adjustments and improvements for future intern programs but could also provide material for future company marketing materials.

Creating a successful internship program may take time, but by implementing a structure that offers students more a complete learning experience may set a company on its way to attracting top talent.

Are you searching for a hands-on business internship? Learn more about opportunities at Govig & Associates by checking out our LinkedIn Company Page or email [email protected] and get in touch with a recruiter today.