A Blog by CRMMARC
In the previous and first episode of this seven part blog entry on CRM for internship management we discussed the reasons for schools and universities to establish and maintain direct relationships with internship providing companies. A CRM system is a great tool to store the information that you collect about internship places and the companies providing them.
The internship providing companies can come to you through three different routes: (1) they can approach you themselves because they are looking for an intern, (2) a student can tell you that he or she want to become an intern at a specific company or (3) you A n institution can find them as a result of an active search.
To support the first route (a company approaches you spontaneously), it is smart to set up a web form so as to be able to collect required data in a standard way. This web form could feed data directly into your CRM system, but it is always wise to setup a scripted business rule that notifies somebody in your organization to validate the externally entered data. It is my strong believe that the request for an intern should at first be handled centrally, and not at the faculty level, because the company that enters the request might be a potential supplier of internship places for different faculties. Also, only on a central level all previous experiences with that company (if any) can be overseen.
In the design web forms for the requests of interns I have seen many times that educational institutions tend to think too much inside out, for instance by asking the company for which study program they can provide an internship place. They then forget that the names of the programs of study is their specific language. They should ask the companies which skills can be acquired during the internship (what the student will learn) and then make the translation to the program themselves.
Another web form can be setup to allow students to enter information about internship companies they found themselves in the CRM system. It is my opinion that these entries should always be checked. Is the company really capable of guiding and assisting the intern? Does the company acknowledge the student’s claim about the skills and knowledge to be acquired during the internship? Therefore, it is important that all relevant information to be able to answer these questions is collected through the student web form. (Contact information of coaches and guides at the company, skills to be acquired).
Finally, to support the last route to acquire internship places, most CRM system out of the box contain a lot of very useful functions, like the ability to make selections, send emails in bulk, manage events, etc.
In the next episode of this blog entry on CRM for Internship Management we will discuss the next phase in the process: qualifying internships.