Should I Let My Kid Intern at My Company?

Too close for comfort or an invaluable teaching experience?

Many high school and college students and graduates seek internships throughout the year and during summer or holiday breaks. Kudos for these young men and women for being go-getters and showing interest in entering the workforce at their stage in life. Internships are invaluable experiences where these young people will gain knowledge and skills they could never learn by reading books, researching online, or while in the classroom.

As per Monster, "Employers overwhelmingly point to internship experience as the most important factor they consider in hiring new college graduates for full-time positions." So not only will an intern get hands-on training, but they are giving themselves an edge above those seeking the same jobs in the future. Along with workplace background and know-how, these interns will also have an opportunity to make connections for networking, as well as develop a sense of self-confidence in the workplace environment which is much different than what they're used to in the classroom.

Interns aren't the only ones who benefit from the experience. Employers do too. According to Inc., "Student interns inject energy into an office setting, bringing creativity and enthusiasm that tenured employees may lack, and (another) benefit of interns is the opportunity for current employees to test their management abilities." Additionally, an intern who does a great job can be a valuable new full-time employee once they graduate. They already know the ins and outs and have a stepping stone upon which to advance from.

If you are a parent, supporting your child's choice to seek out an internship or convincing them to do so seems like a smart idea. That said, if you are a business owner, should you allow your own child to intern with your company? Or, if the company you work for is seeking interns, is it a good idea for your child to apply?

As long as you don't give your child special privileges or treat them any differently than the other interns, and they meet the criteria required for the role, your child will benefit from interning at your company as much as, if not more than interning for another company in a similar or related field. Your child will gain new insight about you outside of what they are used to seeing when you are in the "parent" role. Additional respect will come forth and this new dynamic will teach you a great deal about one another.

In a more conventional sense, "An intern provides an extra set of hands that can often help accomplish goals or finish projects," as per The Balance. And who couldn't use some assistance around the office? Plus, you will have the chance to help your child succeed in the future. The Balance adds, "When employees have to carefully teach a crop of young people how to do tasks and accomplish goals, it can often motivate them to personally act as stronger leaders." As a parent, you've been doing this on a personal level for years, but now you can add another layer to what you instill in your child.

If your child is interested in working in the field you're in and an internship position is open, give your child a shot. If you won't find the interaction distracting and the other employees are on board as well, this could be a parent-child experience that neither of you will soon forget. And if your child excels, he or she may just become part of the team!

For more benefits of interning for both the intern and the provider, see Brigham Young University's list of "pros." Good luck!

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