Bringing a student into your organization provides new thinking and fresh energy, but what is the secret to harnessing the full potential of your student’s talent?
Employers now expect a much more refined worker who can use their skills to contribute to the organization’s goals; likewise, students expect the opportunity to contribute to organizations in measurable ways. Tapping into potential starts with preparation so your organization gets the most out of engaging a student.
By understanding and structuring your students’ work, you can determine desired outcomes and impact on your organization. Students want to participate in meaningful work aligned with their career goals.
The following seven steps are critical in hosting a student:
|1. Appeal to the right student for your role by crafting specific, not general, job descriptions. This will make your interview process more streamlined in finding the right candidate.|
|2. Prepare to host a student by defining goals, expectations, and desired accomplishments. Outline the project and learning outcomes and ensure alignment with broader team goals and the organization’s mission.|
|3. Provide the student with a mentor, a staff member they can talk to who is in a similar role, and provide regular check-ins. This provides your student with a buddy they feel comfortable with.|
|4. The experience should be meaningful for the employer and the student. Engage your student with impactful projects. Do this by following step five below.|
|5. Determine what the student is interested in and have conversations early on about what makes them excited. Tailor work opportunities according to interests and goals when possible.|
|6. Encourage the student to contribute to team meetings and have a voice. Ask for their input and feedback; their perspective may differ from the team’s.|
|7. Create a safe space for your student to learn and make mistakes. For many, this is their first time in a workplace setting—make space and time for mentorship.|
HIRING A STUDENT SHOULD ADD VALUE TO YOUR ORGANIZATION. TO HARNESS STUDENT POTENTIAL, YOU MUST ASSIGN WORK THAT IMPACTS YOUR ORGANIZATION AND ALIGNS WITH YOUR STUDENT’S GOALS AND OUTCOMES.
Did we miss any preparation steps in hosting a student? What else do you and your organization do to take advantage of the full potential of student talent and create an impactful student experience?
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