Why Internship Program Awards can Benefit both Young Professionals and Your Company

Most internships take place at the very beginning of a young professional's career. They sign up to learn the ropes, apprentice with some experienced pros, and get those first critical points on a soon-to-be impressive resume. The way interns are treated and how they are appreciated can completely shape their future careers, for better or worse.

One of the greatest points of pride for an employer can be sponsoring a new generation of competitive young talent. If your program is the source of great future employees, word will get around and your employer reputation may soar. But more importantly, you are the first step in dozens of budding careers, and how you choose to handle your interns can become the foundation of great things. 

You might be surprised just how much difference you can make to each internship and your entire industry by incorporating awards into your internship program.

What Are Internship Awards?

Every batch of interns includes individuals who learn to thrive in different ways. Some discover incredible talent, some reveal that they are amazing team players, dedicated hard workers, or show early leadership qualities. These accomplishments are worthy of recognition, but a pat on the back only goes so far.

Internship awards give your interns something that can be placed on a shelf and listed in a resume for the rest of their lives. It transforms reporting their internship accomplishments from "tooting their own horn" to relaying real-world workplace value as expressed by a respected first employer.

Every internship program can and should include an awards program that gives interns something to strive for and unique recognition that can help them unveil their inherent talents in the industry.

Examples of Internship Program Awards

Depending on the nature of your business and internship program, there are dozens of potential intern awards you can give that will not only motivate your interns, but become the first recognition of their skills and value as professionals in the workforce. Here are just a few intern awards ideas that can be given, but you should feel free to use any combination of adjective and accomplishment that fits how your annual interns can go above and beyond as members of the program, support staff on your team, and as future professionals in your industry.

  • Outstanding Dedication
  • Exceptional Performance
  • Distinguished Demeanor
  • Meritorious Service
  • Exemplary Leadership
  • Best Intern
  • Impeccable Research
  • Extraordinary Engineering
  • Flawless Reporting
  • Impressive Presentation
  • Brilliant Implementation
  • Greatest Potential

The Difference an Internship Award Can Make

Granting just one award to an intern can provide the same motivation as a child's first award in school. However, the impact can be multiplied by every prestigious job and paycheck your awarded interns receive for the rest of their career. Everyone knows that your first jobs can shape the success arc of your entire career, especially in smaller industries where professionals know everyone in their field. 

Winning an award in one's internship is listed on those first critical resumes, which creates a launch whose acceleration can still be seen decades down the line. Incorporating awards into your internship program can make a lifetime professional difference for each and every intern that passes through your program.

Greater Acceptance and Better Jobs

From the very first job your interns get after the program ends, winning an award will give them a leg up on more prestigious jobs and help them to show off those early signs of excellence in alignment with their early specialties and talents. Employers will see that they have a real achiever, a precise scientist, or a future leader on their hands, and are more likely to give your young internship-graduates further opportunities to prove themselves.

A Lifetime Pay Increase

Interns who win awards are also more likely to be offered higher salaries and have better leverage to negotiate higher pay from the very start. Instead of starting at the bottom of the income range for each role, they can step up to the middle, or even the top, when paired with their recent GPAs and glowing letters of reccomendation. This can start them on a track to higher earnings for a lifetime, as each job leads to better offers and positions of negotiation.

Accelerated Professional Development

Awards can also show interns their own value, and the importance of professional development. By recognizing your interns who worked hard to learn the skills of your industry on the job, you can also set them up for self-motivated professional improvement with the assurance that their hard work will be recognized and their dedication will pay off.

Self-Confidence and Self-Promotion

Awards also help young professionals fight for themselves in a competitive workplace, walk away from a toxic workplace, and promote themselves when they have earned recognition. Young professionals who know their worth, while also recognized for professional demeanor, can become future workplace powerhouses, champions for themselves and their colleagues, and better at pursuing professional excellence or promotion in future workplace situations.

Unlocking Talented Specialists and Future Leaders

You will also have the proud role of helping your interns realize their own talents, specialties they should persue, or recognizing leadership potential. Almost all industries need more self-directed specialists and capable managers, and the simple act of awarding recognized potential can skip over years of young professionals trying to find their best path to success in your sector.

A Cherished Artifact of Your Intern Program

Lastly, an internship award is something that will be given a place of pride and honor in professional offices for many years after the program is complete. It may become the first in a packed shelf of professional awards, or the inspiration for a future industry leader to show appreciation to their teams in ways that make a real difference.

How Internship Awards Benefit Your Company

There are even benefits to your company for granting awards from your internship program. Interns who embark from your program with awards on their resumes and on their shelves will become examples of the kind of professionals your company have guided into the industry. When your exemplary award-carrying interns succeed, it will reflect back on your company to build your reputation as an employer and authority.

Building Your Employer Reputation

In a time of talent shortage, your employer reputation is more important than ever. By releasing interns into the world with well-developed skills and well-earned awards, word will get around that you are an employer who both knows how to train and how to show appreciation for valuable professionals in your employees.

Competition from High-Quality Interns

A reputation for a great internship program will also earn you competition from the highest quality interns. Interns who want to win one of your coveted program awards will strive for those few available spots, increasing the impressive results of your internship program with every year.

Increased Impact of Employee Professional Awards

When the awards given to your internships gain clout in the industry, so too will the value of other awards you give. If you also develop an award system for recognizing permanent employees' professional achievements, those awards may also provide a more powerful boost to careers, professional value, and team motivation than ever before.

Industry Reputation as an Ivy League Internship

Finally, if your internship program grows in reputation, you may eventually become an illustrious brand known for "ivy league" intern opportunities. This will grow your reputation not only among college graduates, but also throughout your sector as an impressive source of industry professionals.

Designing Your Internship Award Program with DIY Awards

Every Emmy, Grammy, and Nobel Prize starts with a design and fabrication process. While you are forging the titles and recognition that will launch your interns for a lifetime, DIY Awards can help you craft the beautifully engraved crystal awards that will embody your recognition in the hearts and hands of each intern class you graduate. Contact us today to begin your intern award design process.