Summer is around the corner, and there are a plethora of super intelligent and passionate students looking for free work opportunities. If you're in need of another hand on deck, but you don't have the budget to hire an employee, consider hiring an intern. Students will be grateful for the opportunity to prove themselves in a real-world setting -- getting the job experience they need to be competitive in the workplace. And you'll be happy to get the support staff you need, without putting your bank account into the red.
If you need help writing website content or editing your book, target students in the English, journalism, and communications tracks. If you need help with developing or promoting your business, target students in the business, marketing, and communication tracks -- the latter of which will be especially keen on promoting your business through social media.
These kinds of internships are the most coveted, because students get hands-on experience putting their studies into practice, as opposed to making photocopies, fetching coffee, and doing other mundane tasks around the office. In addition, it's thrilling to be a 20-year-old and in charge of running some aspect of a company. Your intern will love you for that trust and incredible opportunity. Just be sure to pick students who are juniors or seniors, have high grade point averages (I recommend no lower than 3.4), and have excellent references.
In my own case, I ran numerous mentorship-internship programs over the years, where I hand-picked communications students and taught them everything I know about media, marketing, and PR. While I didn't pay them, I did arrange for them to get school credit, wherever possible. When I was a freelance journalist, one of my interns was so talented that I had her writing my pitches and ghostwriting an article by the end of the program. When I was running a wellness company, Dancing with Pain, my intern organized my classes, ran my social media campaign, and landed me interviews with LA Yoga and ABC News. She even came a hair's breadth away from placing me on Oprah!
But can youth really run my business?
Let me put it this way: I started my media, marketing, and PR work as a high school student in San Francisco, when I got together with my close friends and organized a student group that protested California budget cuts to education -- called SOS: Save Our Schools. We organized rallies and actions that involved thousands of students, as well as government officials from the city and state levels; we got ourselves all over the top local newspapers, radio, and television stations; the California State Teachers Association started an organization named after ours; the mayor sent us a letter saying that he could not ignore the passionate voice of young students; and I believe it was at least in part because of our efforts that the budget cuts ended up getting reduced - among other things, saving the honors and Advanced Placement programs, which were going to be cut.
Which all goes to say, yes, kids can do stuff. Give them a chance, and give your wallet a break. It's a win-win all around.