Dear El Cardinale’,

Summer’s getting close and I’m wondering about hiring some interns to help out at my firm. What’s the best way to find good candidates? And how much training or oversight will I need to provide? Or is having interns a waste of my time?

– The Practical Practicum

Dear Practical Practicum,

A good summer internship can be great for everyone involved. You will find that interns have passion for the opportunity that is contagious for your team. Not only do interns bring new energy to the team, often they bring new ideas and leadership on projects that have been messes no one else has taken ownership of. As you know, the job market is tight. Especially in the Carolinas. These interns may be great future talent for you in a few years.

When I’ve hired interns at Cardinal, I’ve been impressed by the quality of the students and pleased with how much they helped my office. I have had over a dozen interns over the years, all of them from the UNCC Center for Real Estate, which I am involved. The interns tell me that they get practical experience in commercial real estate and were able to go on to productive careers. But you have to be mindful of two things: Who you hire, and how you manage them once they are working for you.

The fact of the matter is is that interns fail when an employer is not committed to their success. Without some planning in advance, the intern can become disillusioned and your staff resents what feels to them like having the intern at their heels. But this can be overcome with the steps I have provided. These tips must be working because this has been the #1 download from our website for the past three years!

To find the whitepaper, click this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click to download “Leveraging the Power of Interns”.

I’m still in touch with some of my former interns, who have done well as analysts, brokers and leaders within the industry. Our time together was a “win” for both of us. I wish you the same success this summer.