We all get only one chance to create a lasting first impression – Be it personal or professional – and companies know that very well. That is why welcome kits to new hires are such a rage. Likewise, it is also crucial to give interns gifts, for they are sure to be as great ambassadors for the company as an employee would be.
Interns are fresh talent. They join a company with fresh and innovative ideas while getting to know what the industry really works like. A growing number of students are taking up internships every year and companies are building well-structured internship programs. Interns are “eager to please” their employers, and so it becomes crucial for the companies also to make them feel welcome.
Here are 15 welcome or thank you kit ideas that you can give as intern gifts.
1 Why is it important to give intern gifts?
Even though the pandemic forced 50% of internship programs to be canceled, companies took to technology to keep some or most of the programs going. This brought in a lot of anticipation to the interns and employers alike. The majority of students agree that there is indeed a significant gap between the classroom and real-world knowledge. Internships are a great way to help the students find out their strengths and opportunities while allowing companies to test-drive the new talent.
This brings us back to the original statement – creating a lasting first impression. When the intern as well as the employers are happy, it goes a long way to create a lasting bond between the two. You can choose to give intern gifts as a way of welcoming them, or as a way of thanking them when they complete their internships. Or do both!
Some more reasons why giving intern gifts are important
- It reinforces a positive onboarding process and gives a memorable experience of Day 1 in the company.
- It introduces the intern to the company’s culture, especially if you include a small pep-talk about the values of the company during the gift-giving session.
- Gifts boosts the interns’ excitement and keeps them engaged. I mean, who doesn’t like getting gifts?
- Interns feel appreciated and will be happy to give their best to their projects.
- It works as a great icebreaker and puts the intern at ease.
We find that if we give these intern gifts in a bundle, similar to a welcome kit we would give to a new employee, interns are much more zealous in their work. Here are some ideas on how to package your intern gifts.
2 15 top-notch intern gifts to welcome or thank them.
2.1. Branded company swag
Let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want to brag about starting to work for the first time ever? The ideal intern gift for such people would be the classic branded company gear. Carefully curated branded everyday items would be something your intern would want to flaunt for the rest of their life. Your kit can include –
- Laptop sleeve
- Coffee Mug
- Tote bag / Laptop bag / Backpack
2.2. Stationery kit / Office supplies
Every intern would be keen on taking as many notes as they humanly can. Empower their inner stenographer by gifting them office supplies as intern gifts. Your intern gifts kit can include –
- Pen, Pencil, Markers
- Post its
- Desk cleaning supplies
- Folders & storage box
Pro tip: If the intern(s) really impress you, then you can go an extra mile, get this zippered portfolio for them to carry the stationeries in.
2.3. Charging Station
If your office has a go green initiative and has reduced usage of papers to the bare minimum, then your interns will have to do with all the available gadgets possible. Get them a charging station as an intern gift and help them keep a wire-free desk.
2.4. Chalkboard stand
An eco-friendly substitute to post-its. We personally find chalkboards to be extremely helpful in writing down tiny reminder notes in ol’ fashioned school style. Depending on your décor, you can go for these vintage-style tabletop chalkboards, this mini chalkboard, or these trendy hanging chalkboards.
2.5. Electronic gadgets
Another classic intern gift or a welcome gift worthy of a company dealing with IT or ITES. Even if you are not a tech company, here are some electronic gadgets you can gift your interns to remind them of you every time they want to use a gadget –
- Wireless Earbuds
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Microfibre cloth
- Echo / Alexa
2.6. Employee handbook
If an intern is considering full-time employment post their internship, then an all-inclusive employee handbook will be a great idea for them to familiarize themselves with the company’s rules, policies, values, and culture. This can include –
- Company’s introduction – history, mission, vision, values, programs, etc
- Messages from the leadership team
- Internship terms & conditions
- Benefits & perks
- Code of conduct
- Job/Project description
You can also add a fun customizable section that the interns can fill it with their memories of working with the organization
2.7. Desk Plants
Who does not like to be around some greenery? With cities all turning into a concrete jungle, and most of us stuck inside an air-conditioned office or between four walls of our homes (for remote workers), a little splash of green would be an invigorating experience. When your interns want to give you their best, help them bring out their best by sprucing up their workstation with these desk plants as intern gifts
- Snake Plant
- Chinese Bamboo
- ZZ Plant
- Aloe vera
- Peace Lily
- Bird’s Nest fern
- Bonsai Bougainvillea
Though unconventional, books related to the project can be a great intern gift. Books that are top ranking in providing knowledge on the practical application of the subject of internship would be considered as a god-sent gift by the interns.
Additionally, you can also give them some of the corporate motivational books that they can read, relax yet learn something that will help them survive the (cruel) world. Here are the top 5 books that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recommended for leadership knowledge.
- Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard by Clare Carlisle,
- Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects for Humanity by R. Buckminster Fuller,
- The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values by Brian Christian,
- The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies by Scott E. Page,
- Power of Creative Destruction by Philippe Aghion, Celine Antonin, and Simon Bunel.
If you do not wish to scare away your intern with these intense books, then you can select 1-2 from this list of 100 Best Internship Books of All Time
2.9. Work from home essentials
Well, frankly we prefer working from the office, as we get to meet our colleagues and have that human touch. Interns, if working from home, really do miss out on a lot of the personal touch that speeds up the learning curve. A small intern gifts kit comprising the below reminding them that anyone at work is always available for help would be genuinely appreciated by a nervous intern –
- Self-care kits/eye masks
- Assorted chocolates & cookies
- Custom stickers
- Desk lamp
2.10. Safety essentials
Let us all agree that COVID-19 is here to stay and we have to deal with it. Vaccinated or not, it is crucial to follow the basic safety procedures. So, why not send in branded safety kit as an intern gift –
- Face masks
- Pocket sanitizer
- Small hand wash
- Surface disinfectant
- Disposable gloves
2.11. Goodies & Snacks
This is yet another classic. What’s more, this is appropriate all year round. Turn it up a notch and give your intern gifts some assorted goodies and snacks that reminisce them of the holidays – Pumpkin flavors for the Fall; Christmas gift hamper for the winter; Beach gift basket for the Summer, etc.
2.12. Scented diffusers
We are so keen to suggest scented candles but are restraining ourselves given that they are a fire hazard. So, swap them out for electrical diffusers or reed diffusers with some invigorating fragrance of essential oils.
Something that everyone will love. Monthly or quarterly subscriptions to various services would be a great intern gift. Use the initial few days to get to know them better and gift them a subscription to one of these, and your intern can recall you/the company even after going back home –
- Netflix / Amazon Prime
- Healthy snack boxes
- Pet food
- Tea or Coffee
- Book of the Month
- Gym membership / Spin classes
- My Garden Box
- Daily Harvest
2.14. Gift cards
A gift that can never go wrong. Send your interns a gift card from a portal they love – Amazon, Uber, Kindle, DoorDash, anything. After all, the choice is never underrated.
2.15. Hire them!
Seriously, can there be a better intern gift? Especially if the intern had performed exceptionally well and are actually eager to continue working in your organization? Call in on your intern as they near the end date and gift them the offer letter to send them over the moon in happiness.
3.1. Should you give your intern a gift?
Intern gifts are the perfect way to welcome interns into the organization. It makes them feel welcome and boosts their excitement. Intern gifts are something that they will want to flaunt with their friends and family, thereby giving more exposure to the organization as well.
3.2. What is the best gift for an intern?
Intern gifts can be a combination of company items, motivational and/or feel-good things. Treating them to lunch, getting them company swag or something that’s not boring & helpful in their internship would be great.
3.3. How do you say goodbye after an internship?
A handwritten thank you note, maybe from the intern’s manager and the people they worked with would be a perfect goodbye after an internship. If you had not given them an intern gift while welcoming them or given a simple one, you can consider giving a larger/better intern gift along with the internship certificate.