Small business: Taking on an intern - Mediajam

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Mediajam director Janelle Rennie with intern Ashleigh Castle.JPGPhoto / Supplied
Mediajam director Janelle Rennie with intern Ashleigh Castle.JPGPhoto / Supplied

Janelle Rennie, director of Mediajam PR talks to Gill South about taking on an intern.

We have just employed our first intern at Media JAM to help us with the 37 brands we represent.

What do you pay interns?

An internship is unpaid, there are plenty of current and graduate students eager for work experience.

What are they hoping to learn with you?

They're hoping to get a foot in the door so to speak. To get some real hands on learning, and experience for their CV. As an employer, seeing that someone has interned for a company on their CV looks great. It's usually unpaid so it shows a willingness to learn and work hard, which as an employer is what you want to see.

It's also a great chance to apply some of the things they're studying into practical situations and to sometimes help student establish whether our industry is the right career path for them or not.

Where do you find them?

The universities arrange internships for some students. We also have students and graduates email us asking if we're looking for interns and help in-house. Normally they are doing a communications or marketing degree.

Do they join in the brainstorming?

Yes absolutely, fresh ideas are always helpful. It helps with their understanding and learning of how things really are in the real world.

What tips would you give other small businesses thinking of bringing in interns?

It's definitely worth bringing in interns. Good interns are hardworking, are eager to learn and are grateful for the opportunity. I kicked off my career with an internship at the end of my second year of the University in Canterbury.

I then continued to work on projects with that company throughout my third year of university and was offered a full time position with them straight out of university. I'm now extremely grateful to be able to offer students the same opportunity that I got.

Next week: How can you tell when your business is really in trouble? When do you put your hand up for help? Send your stories of survival or closing down and moving on to me, Gill South at the email link below:

- NZ Herald

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