When thinking about working with interns in your wedding planning business, there are several factors to consider. The internship program details under The Fair Labor Standards Act states the following 6 criteria for internships:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded
- The intern is not entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship
If you are looking for interns for your event planning business, contact your local college. The event management and business management programs will have students who are in need of internships. Some of these internship programs at the college must be paid a stipend per semester for working with you. The college may also require written documentation and evaluation at the end of each internship.
When working with an intern, remember they are not an employee; they are learning from you, so that they can go out in the real world and put into practice what they gained from your company. Do not look at the intern as future competition; rather, look at them as someone that you are training in your field that one day will be a peer. If trained correctly, the rewards will be great. When the intern is asked who trained them to be such a great wedding planner, how wonderful will it be to hear the intern mention your name and company. It makes you stand out from the rest of the companies that use the interns only for work and do not provide any training.
An intern should be able to handle any task that is given to them, based on their level of experience and how well you explain it to them. An intern should not be left alone at any given time with a client because you do not know how the client or the intern will react to the situation. You are mentoring and teaching your intern; it should never be a substitute for “free labor.” Reward your interns with positive feedback, lunch, dinner, a token, or a gift for their hard work if you are not compensating them financially.
What has been your experience with interns at your event planning business? Please share with us in the comments.
This is a guest post from Rosie Moore at 27 Miracles Wedding Consulting. Rosie is one of five Master Bridal Consultants in Orlando, Florida. One of Rosie’s assets is that she is bilingual. Aside from wedding planning, she also has a background in nursing.