Employers Work on Internship Program Best Practices During Workshop

Cheryl Garrison, director of talent and workforce solutions with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, talks about internships during the Total Internship Management workshop.

Fourteen businesses from Columbia, Greenville, and Laurens visited Presbyterian College to learn how to effectively implement an internship program. Internbridge’s Total Internship Management workshop took place on Friday, Aug. 9 in Jacobs Hall.

“The workshop covered all aspects of creating, maintaining, and improving an internship program and is applicable for public and private sector organizations,” said Cheryl Garrison, director of talent and workforce solutions with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

“Employers left with a solid understanding of the process for developing a sustainable internship program and the tools necessary to do so.”

A Pipeline of Qualified Candidates
The businesses in attendance covered a wide range of industries, from the SC Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon in Columbia to Global Lending Services in Greenville. Although their industries couldn’t be more different, the businesses all recognized the need for an effective internship program.

During the workshop, representatives from the organizations learned how to identify future hires who intern and how to create a pipeline of qualified candidates. The organizations also learned a framework to help them train students more effectively and potentially retain more student interns.

More Prepared Students
Businesses aren’t the only ones who benefitted from the workshop. College students will too, according to Lynn Downie, associate director of the Career & Professional Development office at PC.

She says she learned more effective ways to prepare students for internships and careers after college.

“The training will help me do a better job managing internships, too, and articulating to our current employers some of the best practices which will help improve the experiences our students get,” she said.

Students who intern with any of the participating employers will enjoy a much more robust and beneficial experience in these locations, according to Downie.

“Hiring managers will know how to make the internship meet student needs for training, development and structured experiences,” she said.

A Short Drive for Students and Employers
Downie says the workshop exposed PC students to more potential internship sites and potential employers: PC students have never interned at half of the businesses that attended the workshop.

The reason might simply be a matter of geography: Employers in Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg believe that Clinton is farther away than it actually is. According to Downie, the workshop helped clarify that misconception too.

Garrison agreed with Downie.

“I would highly recommend this workshop to employers,” Garrison said. “Presbyterian College was just a short drive from Greenville and a wonderful host for the event.”

More about Internship Opportunities

The Greenville Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored the event with the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce and the Greenville Society for Human Resource Management.

If you’re an employer, please email Lynn Downie at ldownie@presby.edu for information about posting internship opportunities with your organization.