Step 5: Conduct Exit Interviews and Follow-Up
Understanding and considering the intern’s view of their experience will enable you to continue recruiting strong candidates for future openings. Using data and information collected at the end of each internship will allow an organization to make necessary adjustments to strengthen their internship program.
Proving the value of your internship program will require hard evidence that your organization is getting a return on its investment:
- Determine what aspects of the internship you want to measure and evaluate. Run an online search for sample evaluations you may be able to use. Note that evaluating the program from your perspective is different than what may be required for the student to receive academic credit.
- Have the intern conduct an exit presentation and provide feedback (if you had them conduct an entry presentation).
- Conduct an exit interview to determine if interns are leaving the organization with a good experience. This provides valuable feedback to upper management for future program planning and adjustments and a prompt response to external organizational messaging. See sample exit interview online.
In addition to qualitative measures, a number of quantitative measures can be developed:
- Common measures may include the number of interns that become full-time employees, the number of requests for interns within the company, and growing numbers of qualified intern applicants.
- In order to successfully measure your program outcome, you should return to the stated program goals and address those outcomes.
It may be beneficial to include department managers, the intern’s supervisor, and the human resource manager in the exit interview.