RECRUITING UNDERGRADUATE INTERNS - BEST PRACTICES

It has been a few years since I was last searching, with lots of changes in the interim. I am interested to hear from current searchers to know what works for recruiting and managing productive interns and how that might have changed over time. I'd love to ramp up on collective knowledge rather than learning the hard/old fashioned way.

About five years ago we had very good luck working with undergraduate interns to help build lists and manage the proprietary pipeline. The best interns (in our experience) have been accounting, finance, business, or engineering students from second tier regional colleges, community colleges and the state university system. We had better luck with international students, than American, and we have found that working remotely was very effective. These undergrads, in our experience, were the most intrinsically motivated, easy to manage, very sharp and industrious. The general contract was that we would provide mentorship, teaching and some opportunity for involvement in cursory due diligence, in exchange for lots of research, contact mining and email management.

This worked well as long as we were able to manage the time commitment for mentoring/teaching. We set very clear goals which included ~150 new verified targets per week. The process of managing interns was pretty straightforward: interns that delivered the contact volume required got an hour a week of mentoring/coaching and possibly a recommendation letter, the others fell off the back of the wagon without consuming valuable searcher time.

For recruiting we used the college job boards and craigslist (surprisingly worked well).

We quit using MBA interns early on because of the time commitment to manage, and the lower productivity that we experienced generating our most valuable resource - good quality, verified contacts. There were a couple of exceptions to this. MBA interns were better when it came to niche discovery, and could actually help with die diligence. Generally we found that the juice was not worth the squeeze.

I would love to hear from others on here, what has worked for you? Where you are recruiting? Which job boards are working well.? What has changed with COVID? What are best management practices? Any other tricks that you think will help to enhance the collective wisdom.



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