Intern National Ireland


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© INI Intern National Ireland 2011
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Knowledge Base

As an employer you may be curious about taking interns or looking for more information on what exactly is involved and why such a programme actually exists.

What is an internship? »

An internship is not simply an opportunity to get free staff who make mediocre coffee. Infact it's not about that at all, interns make horrible coffee! The programme is built around the need for a connection between the academic and business worlds. For employers to take on skilled and motivated students & graduates who want to add a practical element to their studies, or experienced individuals who wish to change career direction and want to bridge that gap.

How will an Internship benefit my company? »

It will provide your company/business with additional support and assistance to existing staff who are qualified and experienced within the same general area as the intern, at times when such help is needed, but when budget restraints don't permit it.

Why should I take an Intern? »

Everyone needs to start somewhere and by taking an intern you will be passing the baton on to the next generation and ensuring the continuity of knowledge and best practice within your sector. Think about it... someone gave you a chance to start your career, now you are in a position to make a decision on how someone else starts their career.

What type of work can they do? »

Anything that a regular paid employee can do, without jeopardising that employees status within the company. Most interns are fast learners and given the right direction and support, can work out very well in a support capacity for their Host Company. That said, interns do want to develop their skills whenever possible, not just practice what they already know for the entire stay.

How much should I pay them? »

Nothing if you don't want to... an internship is not about financial gain, it's about learning & development. We don't discourage any company who feels their intern should be rewarded so if you feel a stipend or expenses are justified, then by all means offer something, it will be well received. In the case of non-EU citizens you will need to check their visa status before offering any payment as their visa terms may not permit it – if you are not sure, ask your friends at INI!

Is it legal?! »

Absolutely. Internships in most third level establishments are a regular and obligatory part of courses/degrees, they are commonplace throughout the world but most popular & developed in the USA. Interns who have already graduated, and those with experience, are simply volunteering in a professional manner and consent to receive no remuneration for their time.

How is their stay funded? »

Some interns self-finance their stay either from savings or with the help of parents (thanks mom & dad!). However many do receive some form of grant to cover their expenses during their stay. This can come from several sources including private scholarship funds, local government grants, and even the EU funded Lifelong Learning Programme, more commonly known as Leonardo or Erasmus Programme.

Am I obliged to keep the intern after the Internship has finished? »

No. You are under no obligation to keep an intern for longer than the agreed period. It's like a rent & return agreement.

What if I want to keep the Intern on longer? »

Then this is great news, it means we did our job well and the intern has proven their skills and abilities to such an extent that their services are needed for longer. Once the official placement period has finished the intern becomes a 'free agent' so to speak and should be dealt with directly on any conditions of payment/contract in relation to the extension of their stay. Basically any offer by the Host Company for an intern to stay longer should be treated as a temporary contract of employment rather than a continuation of the internship itself.

What if I am not satisfied with the placement? »

We all know there's nothig worse than an unruly intern...If the placement is not working out, and you have taken necessary steps to resolve the issue affecting the placement, then you are under no obligation to keep the intern for the initial agreed duration. We work on a 'one intern, one placement' policy meaning that we strive to match interns correctly the first time to avoid such situations of re-placement happening. Interns are subject to the same company rules/policies and should be treated as any other member of staff if misconduct occurs.

When do Interns come? »

Internships are booked by applicants on an ad-hoc basis so there is no way of knowing when an intern is going to travel until we receive the application form about 8-12 weeks in advance of the intended start date. Once we have this application form we then know exactly when they will arrive.

How long do they stay? »

How long is a piece of string?? Again, for reasons mentioned above, durations are not specified until the booking is made by the applicant. Average stay is approx 10-11 weeks but internships can run for any duration between 4 weeks and 6 months! The answer to the string question is... twice the distance from the middle to the end.

Where do they live when they are here? »

Due to the duration of their stay, most interns opt for Host Family accommodation or private short-term apartment rental as an affordable alternative to short-term serviced apartments which can be expensive. A small percentage of interns do source their own accommodation. We normally find accommodation only after the internship placement has been secured in order to place them on a direct bus/rail link to the Host Company.

Can I take more than one? »

Of course, but try not to overdose on interns! If your company/business has the resources available and the ability to keep more than one intern busy then there are no restrictions on the number of interns you are permitted to take at any one time. Just keep in mind that an idle intern is an unhappy intern.

What if I have a placement available but no Interns are available? »

Then it's clear you haven't been working with us before, or you are not using our placement system to your advantage. Hopefully we can avoid that from happening but if you find yourself in need of interns urgently then you may contact us. We work with partners on mainland Europe who also send interns to the UK and if a placement is readily available in Ireland then an applicant may be persuaded to change destination.

Can I book an Intern in advance? »

For companies with seasonal business, there may be a pre-determined periodic need for interns, or you may find that you definitely need a constant flow of interns - then please contact us with your requirements. Given enough notice, we may be able to advertise this position through our channels and find suitable interns to fit your needs.

Can I interview the applicant/intern before accepting? »

Yes, this is no problem. However as most interns do not arrive into Ireland until just before their placements begin, it would be necessary to arrange a telephone or Skype interview in most cases. There are some interns/applicants who will be in Ireland before their placement is due to begin - this could be for tourism or English language lessons and in this case a face-to-face interview may be possible. Most Host Companies who request an interview, do so mainly to check the level of English. Non-native speakers of English will always list thier level of English in a familiar format, however some will use the European Self-Assessment Grid (click to view/download) which is a clear standardised reference as to the language ability for any individual.

Why should I work with InternNational Ireland over another agency? »

To be completely honest you won't really know the answer to that until you actually work with us – when that happens then you will know why! We won't give you preference because your company is more celebritised than others... we're serious about our responsibility to you and the intern; and try to avoid the scenario where a placement may result in a short-term gain, long-term loss! This, together with full support and assistance to Host Companies and interns makes us the best choice for service and reliability. At no stage will you be asked to work exclusively with us for interns - as they arrive on an ad-hoc basis, all placements will be subject to availability at the time the request is made.

Do you charge a fee to employers for this service? »

No. We would certainly like to, but, Host Companies are an integral part of this programme and without your support, such a programme would not be possible in Ireland. You will never receive an invoice from InternNational Ireland for this service. Offering to pay us to get the best interns won't work either.

Where do I sign-up?! »

Well, you're smart enough to read this and also navigate through our website so we're sure that you will have no problem to find our contact details which are hidden within this website (hint: go to Contact Us section). Remember, by registering your interest to take an intern does not put you under any obligation to accept an intern unless you wish to.