Both parties can benefit from the internship. The company gains a potential new employee and the intern gains valuable experience. Creating a quality internship, however, requires a clear plan and an understanding of the issues. MentorTrain will guide you through the entire process.
The whole internship process doesn’t start the moment the intern arrives at your company, but even earlier. You need to create a plan and carry out a number of other tasks. The MentorTrain online course has been developed by Erasmus+ and is available free of charge to all interested parties at www.mentortrain.eu. It offers guidance on how to go through the whole process, what to look for and provides valuable tips on where to get more information.
The MentorTrain course
The whole course is free of charge and consists of 6 modules: mentoring requirements, preparation for mentoring, welcoming the trainee to the workplace, on-the-job training, evaluation of mentoring activities, assessment and feedback on mentoring. Each module focuses on one specific issue and is also divided into several sub-topics. It is entirely up to you whether you go through each module in chronological order or whether you choose just a few of them.
For example, in the first module “Preparing for mentoring” you will learn about the legal regulations you need to know when entering into contracts. It offers suggestions for mentoring plans and internship plans, and highlights the need to choose a mentor. Right from the start, you will make a plan for what the internship will look like. You work out what you want to teach the intern, taking into account the field the intern is studying. You will learn what the intern can do for the company, what powers and attitudes he/she can be given, etc.
In the second module, you will get information on how to prepare the intern’s working environment, workplace and, if necessary, other work equipment (protective equipment, etc.) if he/she needs it during the internship.
The next stage is Day 1, when the trainee arrives at the workplace. The course will help you to go through with the intern the characteristics and objectives of his/her work in your company and help you to integrate the intern into the work process.
The internship often includes training, which is covered in Module 4. You need to choose in advance who will conduct the training, whether a mentor is sufficient for this or whether you need to approach a specialist in specific programs or software to provide the training.
The fifth module deals with the evaluation of mentoring activities. It is necessary to communicate with the trainee very often in the beginning, asking him/her how he/she perceives the internship, if he/she needs any advice or aids and if he/she gets lost in the assigned work. It is necessary to communicate his/her outputs and give him/her feedback. It is only after some time that it is possible to let the trainee work completely independently.
The last, sixth module, focuses on feedback to the mentor himself. The trainee has the opportunity to comment on how beneficial the traineeship was for him/her, what he/she would change, etc. The last step will be the full completion of the internship and any discussions about whether the intern is interested in joining the company in some type of employment contract.
Each topic offers structure and guidance
The modules are divided into several topics. The topics have the same structure that tries to guide the course participants in the following way: read, watch, do, additional resources.
The first part is educational and contains information on each of the topics. The second part contains short instructional videos and the third offers the opportunity to actively try out the different parts. The fourth section offers additional resources to explore further.
The course contains a total of 22 lessons, each lasting a maximum of 30 minutes. After completing the course, you will have an understanding of internship issues, a range of information and guidance on how to deal with different situations, information on what issues you may face and valuable tips on where to pick up further information. The course is offered in several languages, namely Czech, English, Spanish, Basque, Slovenian and Estonian.
Author: Jan Beseda
(This article is a paid collaboration within the Erasmus+ Mentortrain project)