A few weeks ago QIntern Rayla Novais da Costa told us about her time as a Nanotechnologist at Applied Nanodectors. Now, Dr Victor Higgs, founder and managing director of the organisation writes about why all small companies can benefit from employing an intern.
Why did you decide to offer an internship in your company?
We are currently developing our new sensor platform for medical applications, and using an intern gives us short-term support to help us manage our workflow to accomplish immediate business objectives. The internship helps the student understand the challenges of working for a nanotechnology based SME. The student gains experience, develops new skills, and it allows us to assess her abilities for future job opportunities with Applied Nanodetectors Ltd.
In what way has your company benefited by having an intern on board?
The intern worked on testing and development of our new sensor platform and her work allowed us to improve the sensor fabrication process and develop some new applications.
How has the QInterns scheme made a difference to your company?
The QInterns scheme enabled use find students with the correct skill set for our internship project. We were provided with a list of potential applicants in a very efficient way. All the student application letters were well written and well researched. The students who were interviewed were well prepared and very professional.
What made this internship a success?
The internship was very successful and we have made a significant step in the sensor platform development. Also the student’s proactive approach and dedication to detail enabled a greater scientific understanding of the sensor fabrication process. As a consequence of her internship we have accelerated the sensor development program.
Would you take an intern again and what is your advice to other small-medium enterprise companies in relation to taking on interns?
We will definitely take an intern to work on future projects. Interns can help small companies in many ways by increasing productivity, testing drive talent and finding future employees. My direct advice to SMEs considering setting up an internship, is to identify a specific project that a student could work on, develop a job description for the project, review student applications and carefully interview the students to ensure they meet the company requirements.