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Way To Grow

Give interns a role in your business -- and watch your marketing efforts bloom.
May 1, 1998

For many small businesses, hiring interns--whether paid or unpaid--is a creative solution to both staffing problems and tight budgets. By bringing interns on board and letting them handle projects suited to their abilities, you can stretch your resources to remarkable lengths.

Let's say you own a sporting goods store and you need some work done on your database so you can market your inventory more efficiently. Or maybe you have other marketing tasks that can provide real-world business experience to a willing student. Finding the right person to fill the position may not be easy, but if your local community college or university offers an internship program, you might be able to find the perfect candidate. By hiring a talented student, you can accomplish essential marketing tasks and give an enthusiastic, motivated student some hands-on experience.

In addition, when interns handle marketing projects, it gives other staff members time to tackle projects that have been postponed. Plus, interns can be valuable "fill-ins" when regular employees are away from work.

Leann Anderson is the owner of Anderson Business Resources, a Greeley, Colorado, company specializing in customer service, marketing and business etiquette. E-mail her at

Course Of Action

The key to making an internship work lies in both parties being prepared. So before you contact the marketing department at a college or university, think about what you need from an intern:

Not only do interns help you in the here and now, but they can also be a source of future employees. Finding a quick learner through an internship may save you from having to search for good employees later.

For more information on hiring interns, see "Legal Aid," November 1997.