In 2007, when Migdalia Carrero took over the internship program at her previous employer, she created intern toolkits that contained valuable information to help interns with their experience at the company and to provide managers with guidance on how to oversee their interns.
“Both of these toolkits were intended to enhance the employee experience, while providing them with a tool with information and resources in a ‘one-stop’ manner,” says Carrero, recruiting manager, university recruiting programs at Ellucian.
“It was also intended to help reduce the number of questions or requests that I received.”
When she accepted a position as university recruiting programs manager with Ellucian, one of Carrero’s first tasks was to create both intern and intern manager toolkits that aligned with the company’s program structure and offerings.
The toolkits Carrero developed address the following information:
- Intern Manager Toolkit—Includes first-day experience and managing your intern checklists; information about program elements such as onboarding, mentoring, benefits, payroll, and the project fair; and a schedule of events. The toolkit also offers guidance on how to best engage, develop, and ultimately convert and retain the best performing interns. It also lists key resources and contacts that are available to them.
- Intern Toolkit—Provides interns with an overview of the company and its programs, and details about its values. It also gives them information on what to expect and what is expected of them in terms of mentoring, taking charge of their career, building a personal brand, managing their future, socializing, networking, intern events such as the project fair, and benefits. Finally, it lists key resources and contacts that are available to them.
The information is generated internally based on the most common questions or requests that the URR team receives.
“We designed the intern toolkit with retention in mind,” Carrero says.
“We want to be able to provide them with information that will help them understand the company’s mission and values, and what’s expected of them so they are sure this is the company they want to work for.”
Created in PDF format, the toolkit is available to interns through a welcome e-mail from Ellucian on their first day on site.
Meanwhile, intern managers receive access to their PDF toolkit in e-mail after Ellucian’s annual manager information sessions that are held each year in each of the company’s locations—the United States, India, and Mexico.
“We follow up the information session with an e-mail that contains the toolkit,” Carrero says.
“We send the toolkit to all new and experienced internship managers. Since we update yearly, we want to be sure they have the latest version.”
Carrero shares several tips for creating effective intern and intern manager toolkits:
- Base the toolkits on the questions interns and their managers have—Answer these questions for them. Also, empower them with resources and contacts so they can find information on their own.
- Make sure the toolkit reflects your organization—Ensure that the toolkit represents your organization’s culture, mission, and values.
- Add interactive elements—Ellucian’s toolkits have an outline of topics that the user can click on to take them to that slide and icons to move around the slide.
- Keep it fresh—Update your toolkit at least once a year so it will have the most current information and can include answers to new questions or requests that your interns and managers have.