Summer is drawing to a close.
Yep, you read that right. This summer went by way too fast!
Somehow, my son is going into high school this year, and my daughter is going to COLLEGE! And if you're a parent to a school-aged kid (or kids) like me, then you're probably starting to shop for school supplies. And dorm supplies, in my case, which is a bit surreal!
You know who else would appreciate some back-to-school gear? Your summer interns.
If you've got the budget for it, give your intern some stuff! Shirts, pens, water bottles, mugs, hats, notebooks, a bag even, and everything with the company logo on it. Everyone loves stuff - especially the free kind!!
It should be a goal of yours to send your intern back to school having had a good summer. You want them to be excited about the work they did for you and the experience they gained. Giving them company swag is just one way to do that. Plus, it's free advertising! There's a pretty good chance they'll wear the shirt around school in full view of their peers.
Ending the internship on a high note (with free goodies) has benefits that may not be immediately obvious. But trust me when I say that there are some pretty big benefits, even if you didn't extend a full time offer to your intern (which, side note... your interns should be going back to campus knowing where they stand with you... are you going to be offering them another position or no?)!
Remember, your interns are members of the incoming full-time workforce.
Whether they're coming to work for you after graduation or not, did you set them up for long-term success in their internship? And does the intern feel like they're set up for long-term success? Or, do they feel lukewarm about the whole experience? If this individual is about to enter the post-grad workforce with an terrible attitude, that doesn't bode well for their career.
No, you want your intern going back to school contented, and you want them graduating with prospects that they can be excited about.
Word of mouth is also a big factor here. Like I already said, giving them swag will put your company logo in front of more people, which is never a bad thing. But also, once they're back on campus in September, the first thing people are going to ask them is "how was your summer?" And it would behoove your company if they answered "Great! I had an internship at [your company name here], it went well and they offered to have me come back after I graduate!" Just like that, a positive impression of your company was formed in the mind of your intern's friend, and that friend may remember you as a good place to work for later down the line.
If you were connected with your intern through their school's career services or a professor, that's yet another reason to keep the intern happy. Successfully networking with a college career center can create an incredibly rich pipeline of talent for years to come. Or if not the career center, maybe directly with an influential faculty member. For example, my cousin is a college professor and he often finds internships for his students at companies where he has connections.
So buy them some swag, be clear about where they stand with your organization, and assure them that you valued their time at your company.
In the case of interns, you reap what you sow.