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Let’s Talk Interns | May 2024 Roundtable Recap

by Laura Patriquin | May 08, 2024

TeamKC Roundtables bring together a network of HR and recruiting professionals to discuss relevant topics.

This month, T-Mobile hosted the TeamKC network to discuss best practices for intern programs. 


  • Faced with labor shortages, recruiters are expanding the grad year ranges of their target intern pools.

  • Recruiters want to get interns committed early — but beware of losing their interest if you don’t keep them engaged before their start date.

  • Creating a comprehensive internship experience that incorporates professional development, networking with other interns and fun community activities gets interns “sticky” to both your company and the KC region.*

* Pro tip: TeamKC offers KC 101 content to get your interns fully engaged for the summer.

Talent recruiters talking around a table 


Experience Level of Interns

  • Grad year requirements of interns vary by company/industry, ranging from minimum completion of college (sophomore year) to all college students or even high school and above.

  • Early exposure can help students gain a better understanding of niche industries or trade-specific fields.

Recruiting Interns

  • Talent acquisition professionals are doing the bulk of their recruitment in September/October for the following spring/summer, then revisiting campuses in the spring for brand awareness or to fill vacancies.

  • Some companies have intern programs that run year-round rather than summer-only.

  • Communicating to colleges that career fairs may streamline students through the application/interview process can help drum up interest.

  • For interns hired several months in advance of their start date, sending communications every two weeks and periodic care packages keeps them engaged (and ensures they don’t drop out last minute).

Talent recruiters talking around a table

Intern Programming/Professional Development

  • Having two or more start dates for interns can be difficult to manage but accommodate different school schedules or various activities of high-performing candidates (ex. Greek life activities, volunteer work).

  • Find a balance between getting intern productivity while giving them a more holistic KC/company experience.

  • Encourage collaboration between interns – even beyond their department – and provide mentorship opportunities for early career professionals.

  • Involving interns in various stages of projects – especially when they won’t be around long enough to see a project go from conception to fruition – gives them a bigger-picture view of your company’s work.

  • Offering optional professional development, including LinkedIn/resume seminars, can provide interns with industry-specific tips in these areas.

Intern Benefits

  • While housing isn't always provided, some companies offer housing stipends or sign-on bonuses regardless of living situation.*

  • Some companies offer other monetary benefits, including phone or gas stipends.

* Pro tip: TeamKC offers a network of resources for recruiters looking to connect their interns with housing options in KC.

Thank you to T-Mobile for hosting!

Looking to elevate your talent attraction and retention efforts? Contact TeamKC to join the network.

Danielle Hilton, managing director of TeamKC, standing with Lacey Foster of T-Mobile 

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