Building out an internship program seems like an easy enough concept, right? Students and young professionals who are just starting out want experience, and maybe your company could use the extra help. However, it’s not quite that simple. Especially when you recruit and hire interns from all over the country.
When your interns temporarily move to your city, there are a few things you must consider before they all get there. Otherwise, you may end up with a lot of questions and an administrative nightmare. Below, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider when relocating interns for the summer, or the semester.
1. What Do Interns Need?
One of the first and most important things you need to consider is how you're going to get your interns from Point A to Point B? Relocating interns is a whole different ball game than your average relocating employee; and the steps and procedures that need to be taken are different.
For starters, interns need a lot of support. They're likely still in school, and things you'd typically expect your full-time employees to figure out on their own are things you'll have to handle and mediate for your interns.
For instance, the act of moving in itself, let alone all the details involved, such as figuring out shipping, short-term housing contracts, tax ramifications, and more, is likely something your intern has never dealt with before. Is this something your company wants to provide assistance with?
Additionally, where will your interns live once they’ve figured out how they'll move? How will your interns find temporary housing? Will you offer them a lump sum of cash, a stipend or a living allowance? Or will you source and secure intern housing for them?
Interns need as much information, education, and support, as you can give them. This will not only make their relocation experience less stressful, but it makes your job easier in the long run too.
2. What is the Cost to the Intern?
Accepting an internship in a different city is a big monetary risk for students. While many relocating interns will receive some kind of cash flow (such as a monthly allowance, stipend, lump sum, or even a paycheck), their costs can trend higher than someone relocating to a city permanently.
Since most internships only last a few months, many interns have no need to ship their furniture across the country. That said, this means they won’t have furniture and will look to their employer to provide it.
Many companies will recommend a short-term or corporate housing provider to their interns in this scenario. However, because these accommodations are fully furnished, the average cost of rent is usually much higher. Thus, the domino effect of costs begins.
One way to make the cost of housing more affordable is intern roommate matching. Not only does this make things cheaper, it can also help with social adjustment to the new city and job. While this is one way to keep rent down, UrbanBound recommends that companies help out with the housing costs, if not fully-subsidizing intern housing altogether.
3. Remember—Interns Relocate Twice!
Interns not only have to move to the new city, but they need to move home again afterward. So you have to consider how you're going to get them to their new city, as well as how you're going to get them home. This is why having vendors that support your intern needs is crucial. Ensure that your organization has access to a partner that will allow your interns to book their transportation easily and at an affordable rate.
Additionally, because interns must move to and from a location, shipping their goods isn't very cost effective. It's usually smarter to set them up with intern housing—that is, a place to live that's already fully furnished with all the things they'll need (furniture, internet, bedding, towels, etc.) While this sounds like it would be more expensive, shipping goods can end up being very costly, especially when you consider the cost of shipping those items twice.
How Intern Relocation Technology Can Help
Relocation technology can play a huge role in helping relocate your interns for the summer. UrbanBound’s intern relocation software helps you communicate all important information from one central place. On the intern dashboard, interns can find roommate contact information, company documents, city education and moving resources. Plus, UrbanBound can help you find and secure intern housing with our vetted supplier network, so it’s one less thing to worry about! Learn more about UrbanBound’s intern relocation software.