Interns invest a lot of time and energy in serving an organization, typically without receiving compensation. And often, they are the most undervalued and overlooked members of a company.
Although many giant corporations offer great internship programs with attractive benefits, many businesses still fail to appreciate them for their honest efforts.
But time has changed, and businesses must understand that just because these interns work behind the scenes, often carrying out small jobs, doesn’t mean their efforts should go unseen. Those small jobs help keep the company moving.
Hence, regardless of how significant or minor their contribution may be, they can still impact the company's development. So, to honor them, companies must celebrate National Intern Day.
Let's discuss the importance of this day, its history, and how you can celebrate it effectively.
National Intern Day: A brief history
National Intern Day is celebrated every year on July’s last Thursday. This year it will be observed on July 27th, which is less than four months away.
WayUp was the first company to commemorate this day in 2017. Also, as implied by the name, it is a day declared to honor interns in recognition of their dedication, commitment, and ongoing support of the organization.
To help you plan National Intern Day at your company, we've compiled a list of engaging activities and ideas. It will help you host a memorable and meaningful celebration for your interns and express your gratitude for their hard work.
10 Creative ways to celebrate National Intern Day
Now that many businesses are adjusting to remote or hybrid work environments or returning to the office setting, it's essential to develop a successful internship program, whether it's offered locally or virtually.
Create a plan to appreciate your interns for the hard work they put in if you want them to feel a part of your company culture. Even a small acknowledgment can significantly increase employee engagement.
Here is a list of 10 creative ideas to celebrate National Intern Day in 2023:
1. Host an award ceremony
National Interns Day is an excellent opportunity to assess the company's potential future recruits since interns are the focus of the day. You can hold an award ceremony to announce which interns will be promoted to the company's permanent employee list.
Through this event, you can nominate interns who deserve recognition for their specific contributions to the organization for various categories.
The nominations could be, for instance, the most hard-working intern in the company or the best team player. This will make everyone feel included and special.
2. Rope in everyone for a potluck picnic
Another fun way to celebrate this day is by organizing a potluck picnic. It allows interns to strengthen their bonds with one another and with their coworkers while sharing meals in a casual setting.
This idea can help establish a sense of belonging within the company as well, which is especially crucial for new interns. It can also assist in breaking down any prejudices or coldness that exist between interns and full-time employees, making it easier for them to communicate and work efficiently together.
3. Arrange for a spa day
Interns are typically quite often overworked in almost all organizations. So, rewarding them with a day of pampering, such as organizing a spa day for them, is a great way to appreciate their efforts.
A spa day can include various services such as facials, massages, manicures, and pedicures to help interns unwind after a long work day. It also allows interns to bond and engage with one another outside of the workplace.
4. Give hand-made thank you cards
Giving interns hand-made thank you cards with heartfelt and personalized notes is a beautiful way to appreciate them for their hard work and dedication on National Intern Day.
Hand-crafted cards allow you to personalize your expression of gratitude, making them more valuable and memorable. With this gesture, the interns will sincerely feel appreciated and acknowledged for their exceptional contributions to the organization.
5. Organize employee engagement activities
Another great way to celebrate National Intern Day is by organizing employee engagement activities that are fun and exciting.
Organizing activities such as games, contests, and team-building exercises can improve relationships and promote teamwork and collaboration. You can also gather feedback using Empuls’s Employee Surveys tool to organize activities considering their likes and dislikes. Additionally, you can arrange for meals to create a more enjoyable atmosphere.
These employee engagement activities can make interns feel more attached to the company and its culture, resulting in a positive experience and possibly motivating them to come back as full-time employees eventually.
6. Throw a lunch party
Buying meals for your interns and other staff is an excellent way to bring the entire office together and express your gratitude towards interns.
Get food delivered to the office for everyone to enjoy, or take your interns someplace lovely for a delightful lunch affair. You can also raise a toast to appreciate them for their dedication and contributions to the organization.
7. Gift them a little appreciation basket or tote bag
Gifting interns a little appreciation basket or a tote bag filled with assorted wellness or self-care products is a great way to show them that their hard work and perseverance are appreciated, especially on National Intern Day. The basket or tote bag can contain items such as:
- Essential oils
- Skincare products
- Bath salts
- Journal or planner
- Set of herbal teas or coffee blends
- Mix of healthy snacks or dry fruits
These items can make interns feel valued and cared for. It also shows that the company wants to encourage and help achieve a healthy work-life balance because they care about their well-being. Additionally, this gesture can go a long way in building a supportive work environment for interns and motivating them to continue putting in their best efforts.
8. Conduct free workshops for their career growth and development
Another way to reward your interns is by offering them training and workshops to help them build their careers. You can't promise full-time employment opportunities for each of them at your company. But you can be assured that if they are well-equipped with meaningful job experiences, they can find a job that meets their needs.
Organize a resume writing workshop in which you and other senior staff can assist them in creating an impactful resume or evaluating their existing one. Educate them on the criteria recruiters seek in resumes, such as niche-based skills and expertise, experience, and qualifications. Throughout the workshop, teach proper interview etiquette as well.
Additionally, you can offer free mentorship opportunities for interns. This can include meeting with a senior team member and observing their work just for a day to understand more about their role.
Allow the interns to ask pertinent questions about their position or industry. It's a fantastic way to learn more about the profession and motivate them to develop new skills for future jobs.
9. Volunteer at a local animal shelter or old age home
Volunteering at a local animal shelter or old age home can be a meaningful experience, especially with interns and other team members on National Intern Day. This activity provides a great chance to do community service and impact someone's life positively.
Volunteering also enables one to cultivate new skills in addition to gaining valuable experience. Interns can strengthen teamwork skills and build relationships while giving back to their community by volunteering together.
Find an animal shelter or nursing home that accepts volunteers in your area. Contact them to express your desire to volunteer and check if you can do it on National Intern Day. If the volunteering program can't be scheduled on that day, check if there are any ongoing initiatives that you and your interns can assist with.
10. Create a personalized appreciation video message
You can also send them personalized appreciation video messages to make interns feel valued and appreciated. These messages can include mentions of their achievements, heartfelt thanks for their contributions, and good wishes for their success.
Organizations can show their interns that they are significant to the team by taking the time to create personalized messages. This gesture can help boost morale and promote a positive relationship between interns and their managers.
To make video messages for your interns, involve the entire team and other organizational leaders. If a few of your teammates work remotely, you can collect their video messages individually and merge them to create a compelling video compilation using a video editing tool.
Recruiting and retaining exceptional talent is more crucial than ever in today's highly competitive industry.
Making your interns and entry-level employees feel welcome at work will have a strong domino effect on your workplace culture and brand experience, benefiting your team, clients, and the community as a whole.