How to Run a Project Management Internship

A project management internship or job training program can be a win-win for managers and candidates looking for experience. If you are an employer, there may come a time when it makes sense to bring on an intern to help grow the business or provide support.

There are many reasons to consider an intern over an employee.

  • Bringing on temporary or seasonal help
  • Grooming a less-experienced applicant to for a future full-time role
  • Giving talented students college credits and a referral

Taking on an intern can be a very rewarding experience. These are some things you will want to consider when searching for the ideal project manager intern.

How Much Do You Pay an Intern?

A project manager intern’s pay scale can range from unpaid to upwards of $30 an hour. An unpaid intern may earn college credits instead of money for their time towards graduation. The timeframe of work is typically a school semester of 10 to 12 weeks, and hours may be part time.

Paid job training programs will bring in better quality candidates. Depending on the intern’s grade, role, and the size of the company, you can expect to pay between $15 and $40 an hour.

Read more: How Much Do Project Managers Make?

Where to Find Interns

Similar to searching for full-time employees, you can find interns in a variety of ways. Try any of the following to find your next intern:

  • Company job page: Post the internship details on your company job page just as you would any other role, and include instructions on how to apply.
  • Career centers: Find eligible students through high school or college career centers. Speak to guidance counselors to find the best fitting students.
  • Portfolio reviews: Attend public graduation portfolio presentations to meet creatives with experience in motion graphics or digital design.
  • Job fairs: Pay to represent your intern program at career fairs, where candidates will come to you.
  • Job sites: Network and promote your project management internship program on job boards and career-orientated social media sites, such as Chegg Internships or Indeed.
  • Referrals: Obtain referral candidates from someone you know personally or within the company.

Read more: 2021 Guide to Becoming a Project Manager

What to Assign to a Project Management Intern

An intern will be eager to learn the business and role with good direction from a dedicated manager. Create a job description for the role as you would for a full-time position.

An intern would be great at conducting necessary research on a specific topic, proposing their own ideas for a new concept or product, observing experts in the field to learn from the best, or critiquing existing policies or processes for improvement.

Important Skills to Teach an Intern

An intern will arrive fresh and ready to learn all your opportunity allows for. Some important skills to teach a project management intern include:

  • Observation
  • Evaluation
  • Industry-specific skills

Above all, you want to set them on the path to success for owning and managing any kind of project.

Read next: Agile Project Management Methodology & Principles

Anne Meick

Anne Meick is an author, copywriter, and digital project management consultant, leading digital teams and projects in highly regulated industries. She is the founder of Writers' Connection and blogs on writing, editing, and book publishing.