How Can You Tell If An Intern Will Be A Good Fit And Should Grades Matter?
NOCHE staffers interviewed dozens of employers in the region to learn about selection and hiring best practices. We wanted to know if anyone has a secret formula.
Quite honestly, we also wanted to know how important employers think students’ grades are when making hiring decisions.
As expected, the answers and the philosophies varied.
Some employers told us they wanted to see evidence that the interns take school seriously. Others said they would far rather see evidence of creativity and passion.
The statistics lined up like this:
Of 16 interviews where the question was asked, six employers said that they did not care at all about grades; four said grades were very important; two said that grades were somewhat important and another four said that it depends.
Please keep in mind that this was not at all a scientific poll. It was just an interesting discussion.
Speaking of interesting.
Let’s listen to a few of the employers talk about the issues.
ROLE OF INTERNS IN THE WORKPLACE
Andy Halko, founder of Insivia, a Cleveland-based high-tech marketing company, has a lot to say about the role interns play in the workplace.
“I usually never look at GPAs, I never ask about grades, it doesn’t mean anything to me.”– Halko
THE CRITICAL ROLE OF INTERNS
Annette Kramer, director of talent management at Vizion Solutions, also believes that interns have a critical role to play in organizations of all sizes. But she has different ideas about how to assess whether interns will be a good fit.
“I’m looking for someone who really has the ability to learn.”– Kramer
MORE MEANINGFUL THAN GRADES
Ellen Burts-Cooper is the Senior managing partner of Improve Consulting and Training Group. And grades and even students’ majors are not at all what she looks at when deciding who to bring on for summer internships. Instead, she said it’s something much more meaningful.
“We don’t look for an intern with a particular passion in a certain area. Whatever they’re interested in, we find a way to harness that talent and help them develop it further.” – Burts-Cooper
EXPERIENCE IS KEY
Jodi Marchewitz sifts through 400 to 500 resumes every spring looking for the 22 perfect candidates who will help the start-up companies at FlashStarts find success. She explains what she hunts for on resumes.
“If they haven’t had some type of real world experience, I won’t even look at them.” – Marchewitz
And you can check out ideas from others here:
FIND THE RIGHT FIT
Andrea Cole, internship and partnership coordinator, with ESPN Cleveland and Good Karma Brands.
“We look for interns that we want to work with and who we feel want to learn.” – Cole
RESEARCH COMPANIES BEFORE MAKING DECISIONS
Sunny Lurie, Owner of Advanced Performance and Fast Focus Careers
“I would say to do a little research on what the business is“ – Lurie
Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring Interns:
- Hire interns the same way you would full-time employees
- Look for interns who want to learn and be flexible
- Seek those who display passion and energy
- In some cases, be willing to ignore interns’ majors and grade point averages
- Real world experience