Q. How can I prevent a student from leaving an internship when such an incident would reflect poorly on my school?

June 24, 2010 at 10:15 am | Posted in Intern Support | Leave a comment
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by the Intern Coach

A. First, take a look at the scenario from various viewpoints before making a decision and taking action.

  • Talk to the intern. Find out why your intern wants to leave his/her internship. If it’s a personal problem that is affecting performance, suggest that the intern see a school counselor to resolve the issue. If it’s a conflict with a co-worker, you may be able to have the intern switched to another department. Evaluate the validity of the intern’s concerns and decide on the next step.
  • Talk to the supervisor. Ask the intern supervisor to weigh in on the situation and offer any insight that could help you understand why your intern is unhappy with the internship. You may find that the intern supervisor is dissatisfied with the intern and would appreciate your help in removing the intern from the position. Or the intern supervisor may suggest a more positive solution to the problem, resulting in keeping the intern.
  • Evaluate the problem. Review both conversations and organize the facts. If you feel that the best solution for all parties involved is to terminate the current intern’s position, then it’s your responsibility to take that action. Make sure to let the intern supervisor know you hope to place future interns with the company.
  • Make an informed decision. Remember that a student leaving an internship is not necessarily a poor reflection on your school. It’s better to terminate a bad situation than let it build into a major conflict area, which could then reflect poorly on your school. Your proactive response and effective solution to the problem will win praise from all parties and reflect well on your school and on you.

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