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Looking For Good Interns? It Helps to Plan Ahead
A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
By: Tamara Schweitzer
Summer internship season is quickly approaching, but does your business know how to pick the best recruits and make the most of your internship program? Z University, an internship resource site for students and employers, has created a DVD designed to help employers develop effective internship programs.”Blueprint for Internship Success” illustrates the nine critical building blocks of a successful internship program, according to Z University research. One section of the video offers tips to employers on how to use interns to increase productivity, including projects that interns can perform for almost any business. According to a recent five-year study on student productivity by the Internship Institute, supervisors can gain up to 225 full work days of productivity by understanding how to manage interns properly.The video advises employers to start planning ahead by establishing relationships with universities in order to boost interest in their company. It also discusses interview techniques, the use of self-assessments, how to manage resources, and how to provide students with guidance and structure during their internships.”It’s so much more rewarding to manage and mentor students and much more profitable to dramatically increase productivity and to develop and test drive potential employees,” Matthew Zinman, president and founder of Z University, said in a statement. The DVD is available for download at: www.zuniversity.org/blueprint.asp.Social Networking for StartupsRaising start-up capital just got easier thanks to RaiseCapital.com, a new online community where budding entrepreneurs can showcase their ideas and capital needs.The site works by connecting entrepreneurs and investors through online social networking, allowing anyone seeking start-up funds to pitch their ideas to potential investors through text descriptions, photos, and streaming videos. Investors can then sift through business ads and evaluate them, with contact information for those that catch their interest available on the site.
The service is free to investors, who are allowed an unlimited number of contacts. RaiseCapital’s technology also allows investors to track every contact they have made, search for opportunities by zip code, receive industry e-mail alerts, and even create a list of companies they want to watch.
“RaiseCapital.com is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Richard Singer, CEO of RaiseCapital.com, said in a statement. “For less than the price of a daily latte, entrepreneurs get quality exposure to find the capital they need.”
Securing Digital Assets
ZyXEL Communications, an Anaheim, Calif.-based broadband-networking firm, has launched a new data protection and sharing application designed especially for small businesses, the company announced this week.
Among other features, the NSA-2400 allows the Microsoft Business Server to backup company data without downtime, and has a storage capacity of two terabytes of data, the company said.
“The NSA-2400 is an affordable way for small businesses to secure and share their digital assets and further validates our commitment to all-in-one and easy-to-use solutions,” Munira Brooks, vice president of sales and marking at ZyXEL, said in a statement.
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Summertime and the Interns are easy. You can find them by the dozen; if you are a halfway decent business and you can offer college credit for the work they do for you. Corra is thinking of getting a few as well.
But as this article shows, finding good interns can be tricky. There are a lot of lazy kids out there, anymore than there are a lot of lazy anything. For every kid who wants to actually learn something, there are probably a hundred who want to breeze through on the way between breakfast and bedtime.
Of course some of what young people are bad at is merely kid’s stuff. They’ll grow out of it. Or maybe they won’t. We all know at least a few folks who are gray and wrinkling but with the emotional values of an unhealthy fourteen year old. But Corra digresses.
If you are hiring interns, run background checks, the same way you would do it for your regular job candidates. Hopefully, the background checks will come back clear, but some of you may be surprised by what you find. So run a criminal check, at least, and if they are driving for you, Corra strongly urges you run a Motor Vehicle Report. It’s an ounce of prevention and makes good sense, lest you have a bad seed, known today as an emotionally challenged personality, stealing from you, harassing employees of the opposite sex, or otherwise messing up your work place.
Check them out before you hire.