If you’ve been assigned by your company to look for interns to assist in operations research duties, you may find that this is basically like looking for new employees – the plus side is that you’d be facing people who are mostly idealistic, excited and eager to please; the negative side is that they’d be inexperienced and would have greater possibility of producing lower-quality work than what veteran professionals are capable of. One great plus that outweighs whatever disadvantages would be that interns require a fraction of the wages of professionals (some interns do not require salaries). So if you’re looking for operations research interns, here are some pointers to remember:
- Plan out the job responsibilities and tasks of your interns. This should be your very first task. To guide you in your intern recruitment process, you should have an outline of things – qualities, training, education, etc – you are looking for in a good intern. You’d also need to think of the responsibilities that you would require the intern to fulfill, and your objectives for hiring. With these plans at hand, you’d be able to gauge how many interns you’d need or to see if your company would actually be better off hiring a full-time professional instead.
- Utilize job search engines. Go to job search engines and post your required internship jobs. Some search engines you could try include jobmonkey.com, indeed.com and monster.com. Also try out the website internships.com, which let you post internship ads for free.
- Coordinate with local colleges and universities. Many courses require their students to undergo an internship program. Take advantage of this opportunity and contact nearby colleges and universities and express your need for available operations research interns. The first avenue for you should be the school guidance counselor’s office, since this is where most of the students go when they need to be pointed to internship opportunities. You could also contact relevant departments, such as the Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Programming Business Management and Industrial Engineering. Apart from simply giving key personnel in the college a call, make sure that you also leave brochures with them about your company which students could take home with them. Ask also if you could send in somebody to put up posters around the campus that broadcast your company’s needs for interested interns.
- Assign somebody to train the interns. Part of the things to help you prepare for recruiting interns would be to have a key personnel to guide the interns especially during their first few days on the job. This will ensure that the interns would be able to make themselves useful right at the onset.
- Think of perks that your company could offer the interns. You could include this information in the brochure, to encourage more applicants to choose your company to intern in over others. You could propose to your company to offer interns even a minimal salary, or you could set up structured training programs that would be a great add-on to the interns’ resumes.
There you have it! These are just some helpful hints to keep in mind when you’re in the process of finding operations research interns. Remember, the interns are there to learn as well as to try their hand in the operations research industry, and so avoid sending them off on coffee errands – at least, not all the time. Good luck!