We Invented a New Kind of Internship
Most employers cannot spare the time and effort required to sustain a multi-month or year-long commitment to manage one or more high school interns. Budget limitations and liability issues virtually guarantee that businesses will not offer paid internships to individuals under the age of 18. If employers do invest in interns, they usually seek college interns to whom they can offer jobs at the end of the internship if the young adult proves successful.
Either way, employers often assign low-skill, repetitive jobs to young interns who, in turn, become bored and may decide that the business world is not for them.
Therefore, we determined that it was time to invent a new kind of internship experience, morphing from one that provides relatively passive experiences for a limited number of teens into one in which an unlimited number of young adults can participate in a dynamic and demanding program that ties into the student’s interests and helps them shape their career goals.
We Flipped the Ship … The Internship!
Our Rainmakers Internships are:
- short (2 weeks or 14 non-consecutive days), which is a demand that both students and employers can easily tolerate,
- remote (students work online and are never on the business site), which saves commuting and wardrobe costs on the student’s part, and reduces management and liability (insurance costs) on the employer’s side,
- instructional (unpaid), which means the Host employer will be able to spend time helping the student improve rather than demanding and evaluating the student’s work product against a budget expenditure, and
- solicited and secured by students themselves so they gain experience in all the activities they will need to master to secure a job in tomorrow’s shape-shifting workplace.
This redesign also made it a much more dynamic experience for participating students and employers.
Check out our reinvented internship in the bulleted list at the bottom of the page.
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RIPP Prepares Students
The targets we set for our Internship Candidates (participating students) involve the same activities — and point to the same goals — they will pursue as adults when they are seeking and securing employment in tomorrow’s competitive workplace.
There is no better way to prepare young adults for the stress they will face in their future job searches than to ensure they have a chance to practice in a real-time, high-demand simulation of same.
Students will have to prepare performance-base résumés, assess, build, and showcase their skills, do research to identify potential internship business Hosts, ‘cold-call’ potential employers using techniques we teach them, and ‘turn’ their knowledge and skills into a product or process that the business would find useful.
When ‘hired,’ our Rainmakers Interns are expected to successfully deliver an on-time high-quality product/project that satisfies their business Host.
Essentially, our Rainmakers Candidates mimic the process they will need to use to secure jobs in tomorrow’s traditional workplace — or the Gig Economy — for the rest of their lives.
Our Rainmakers Candidates Will Be More-Than-Ready
Most high school (and even college) students walk into an internship with little to no training. That is a recipe for failure and neither the student nor the employer will appreciate what will surely be, at best, tenuous interactions. Employers would much rather have a student who has a sense of what the workplace demands and who will be ready to hit the ground running.
We provide five years of learning, training, and Mentor support (from our volunteer business people) before we expect students to interact with a potential internship Host company.
No matter how young or eager, a poorly trained intern who comes into a business without sufficient understanding of the demands of that world is set for failure. Neither the student intern nor the employer will appreciate what will unquestioningly difficult interactions. Employers would much rather have an intern who has a sense of what the workplace demands and is ready to hit the ground running.
That’s why we provide five years of non-intrusive learning, training, and Mentor support (from our volunteer business people) before we expect students to interact with a potential internship Host company. Our program offers them short bursts of valuable experiential learning throughout grades 8 – 12 that integrates into a variety of academic lessons and is offered online and on-demand during the short fragments of time that busy teens have available.
It doesn’t get better than that!
Professional Contacts Are Essential for Job Acquisition
Online employment exchanges, where job seekers connect with companies looking for talent, often rack up postings of over 450,000 new résumés every week.
Good … even great … talent often gets overlooked when the person who ‘owns’ that talent is only one of almost half-a-million applicants!
In fact, while job boards are all the rage, newest studies indicate that as many as 85% of job seekers secure new jobs through people they know well, who can point them to job openings, can recommend they be hired, and/or can vouch for their character. So here is a case where the old-fashioned way is probably the best way, in spite of all the technology at our disposal.
The time for a job seeker to develop his or her professional network is while he/she is young and not viewed as competition by more experienced workers.
Our Rainmakers Candidates will be able to make dozens of professional contacts as they serve their internships and if they follow our tips and techniques for building a professional network.
Brand Recognition and Other Benefits
Our internship model (short, remote, and unpaid) eliminates the employer’s budgetary, liability, and human resource concerns, and thus opens opportunities for thousands of students to serve internships in which they can learn and practice skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
But there are ways in which a business can gain direct benefit from participating as a Host Company for our Rainmakers Interns.
Participating businesses can increase their brand recognition with individuals who will be the country’s prime consumer age group shortly after finishing our Rainmakers Program.
Managers who are responsible for community relations programs and employee volunteerism can leverage those goals within our Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program.
Upper level managers responsible for the development of young managers can assign their aspiring leaders the task of guiding and managing one or more interns. Upper management can use the project to spot deficiencies in participants’ management techniques and provide necessary remediation.
And perhaps … just perhaps … an outstanding student participating in our Rainmakers program will be so good that a company will wait until that young teen matures and invite him or her back as a full-time employee.