Planning Your Internship

What do you want the intern to achieve?  

Choose a project that is important to you and will give the intern a clear goal to work towards. If you can’t find one big project then the workload could be spread across a number of areas or a few smaller projects.    

Desired outcomes

  • What specific results do you want an intern to achieve and by when?
  • Do you envisage any obstacles to achieving these objectives?
  • How will you measure the success of these results?
  • How do these outcomes fit with wider business objectives?

What does the project need?

  • What skills does the intern need to complete the project?
  • What soft skills do they need to fit in/contribute?
  • Which skills are essential and which are desirable?
  • What skills do you and/or the existing team have?
    • This will help you to identify the essential skills an intern will need and those you can help them to develop.
  • Does the intern need to complete the work in person, or can they work remotely if required?

Thinking carefully about what is essential is important. Getting this right will help you write the job description. For students the internship is an opportunity to use their existing skills and develop new ones. Skills might not be fully developed but when recruiting you can look for potential.

This internship gave me a level of experience I would not have got anywhere else

Former Student Intern ​​​​​

Plan your support    

Management time

  • Set aside time for the intern. With clear direction, support, encouragement, and sufficient challenge, your intern can make a huge contribution.
  • Your intern will need a designated line manager. You could have multiple managers for the intern depending on the project they are working on but usually they will need one main point of contact for formal personal and professional development meetings.
  • Think about the frequency of meetings that you want and the project will need.
  • Do you have sufficient cover during the summer holiday period?
  • Plan how you will evaluate success and offer feedback.
  • Communicate about their workload from the beginning and try to be flexible to accommodate their progress. Make sure you have ‘backup work’, some interns are extraordinarily efficient (often as they don’t have many meetings, emails, or other admin to work through each day).


  • What training will the intern need?
  • What training can you offer in house?
  • Will other team members have time to help upskill your intern?
  • Consider external or online training.


  • What equipment will your intern need to do their work?
  • Is there space for them to work in the office?
  • Can you support them to work remotely if required or preferred?

You are welcome to get in touch with the Careers Service for more support around planning an internship. 

A clearer timetable would have been useful as I felt guilty near the beginning for not having any work to do.

Former Student Intern