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 Test Driving” New Co-Workers Through Internships
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By: Denise Moretti and Kathryn Phelps, February 2006

“Why get involved with an internship program? We say… “Why wouldn’t you?”

The Hamister Group, Inc. has joined a growing list of companies that are participating in internship programs sponsored by local colleges and universities. This program not only provides advantages to the interns, but also to the companies that sponsor the interns, a concept we refer to as a “test drive.” 

From our perspective, posting a job opening and interviewing candidates requires a lot of time and resources; we are reducing these costs by participating in an internship program. In the short time that an intern spends with your company, you are able to learn of how acquiring this individual can lead to a valuable asset for the success and growth of your company. It is easy to understand how an intern will benefit from on-the-job experience. However, we often fail to recognize the numerous benefits to the company, such as the introduction of fresh and creative ideas and a jump-start on short-term projects. 

Why don’t you take them for a “test drive”? 

Due to our strong belief in our system of Core Values, our goal is to hire not only the best and the brightest, but also those individuals who are a fit to our organizational culture. An internship is a form of an interview, or a “test drive” for both parties involved. The intern could potentially display all the necessary personal and professional characteristics your organization is seeking.

Intern Wins:
• Real world experience from the creation of a resume to an interview 
• Opportunity to “try the work on” – see if they like the field they are in
• Targets areas of development for skills and abilities 
• Opportunity to explore the culture of the company in order to discover what kind of atmosphere they are comfortable working in 
• Earn college credit
• Great reference on a resume at the successful completion of the internship 
Company Wins:
• Opportunity to determine if the intern is proficient in the necessary skills and abilities needed for the position
• Matching of skill sets and personality matches 
• Opportunity to see if the intern demonstrates qualities that complement the core values of the company 

Does your company need a “tune-up?

We continually challenge ourselves to explore new and more efficient ways to conduct business; innovation and change is the key to success for any company. Over time, ideas may become stale; interns can bring fresh, creative ideas to the table. Allowing interns the opportunity and freedom to “make the project their own” will only encourage new approaches for the betterment of the company. Their fresh, up-to-date education will aid them in the development of more efficient processes.

Intern Wins: 
• An introduction to the processes and procedures of the company
• Utilizes creativity and new ideas to implement in their project 
• Explores careers and new endeavors 
Company Wins: 
• Creative solutions to problem solving by interns 
• Creation of new programs and ideas for future exploration 
• Intern transfers recently acquired skills to others in the organization 
• An outside point of view can improve efficiency and organization of current practices and processes 

Do you want to “jump start” your projects?

We achieve meaningful results by being the best at what we do. In exchange for providing purposeful work experience and guidance, an intern can help ease your workload. By working on short-term projects, jump-starting new, long-term projects, and revising existing programs and practices, interns can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization. 

Intern Wins: 
• Ability to apply recently acquired skills to real life situations
• Potential job offer or referral when project is complete
• Possible consideration for future job offer upon graduation 
Company Wins:
• Short term projects are finally in the “out” box
• Implementation of new programs and processes are underway
• Processes are revised to make them better and more efficient
• Development of new practices and processes as a result of a fresh point of view 

What are you waiting for? The light is green - “GO”!!! 

How do you get started? The process is easy but it does take some planning to ensure the program is successful. Our recommendations for you to begin:

  • Contact your local colleges and universities
  • Most have a program and support staff that can help you through the process
  • Develop your Intern descriptions
  • Be sure to think about such things as: Who will supervise them? Where will they work? What type of projects do we need done?
  • Be sure to check federal, state, local and insurance requirements before you begin.
  • The career center at your local college may be able to help.
  • Be prepared.
  • Make sure the work is meaningful.
  • Provide guidance; give them the opportunity and freedom to get creative and apply their talents to the project
  • Be “Open”
  • Let the intern leave a mark on the project 
As we’ve illustrated through our experience, internships provide a wide variety of benefits. The ultimate goal is that you find a potential co-worker that fits the position and the company. Bottom line, an internship program is a win-win situation for both the intern and the organization. What are you waiting for? Get involved now!!! 

About the authors

Kathy Phelps, Special Projects Coordinator for The Hamister Group, Inc., is the lead contact for the internship program. She is a graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo with a BS in Business Administration, concentrating in both Marketing and Human Resource Management . Kathy was first introduced to the internship experience while attending UB; she completed an internship with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This experience had such a positive impact on her that implementing an intern program at The Hamister Group was high on her priority list when she began her career. This program has proven to be a success. 

Denise Moretti, Director of Training for The Hamister Group, Inc., knows first hand just how valuable becoming involved in an internship program really is. From August 2005 to December 2005 she was a Human Resource Intern at The Hamister Group, Inc. At the successful completion of the program, she was offered the position of Director of Training. This position was created specially for her. She is a recent graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo with a BS in Business Administration, concentrating in Human Resource Management. Denise resides in Amherst, New York.

Hamister Hospitality Group
| Nashville Smyrna Fairfield Inn & Suites | Nashville Smyrna Sleep Inn & Suites 
Knoxville Airport MainStay Suites | Louisville Sleep Inn | Lebanon Tennessee Sleep Inn & Suites

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Contact:

The Hamister Group, Inc.
http://www.hamisterhospitality.com/

Also See: Hamister Hospitality Group Acquires the Sleep Inn in Louisville, Kentucky / September 2005
Hamister Hospitality Group, LLC Purchases the MainStay Suites Knoxville Airport / August 2005

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