On the last Thursday in July, companies across the United States honor National Intern Day. This year, National Intern Day 2023 is taking place on July 25, 2024. While the celebration is an unofficial holiday—it was recently invented in 2017—it’s a fun opportunity to recognize and appreciate your interns for all their hard work.

Why celebrate National Intern Day?

If you use an internship program to identify and cultivate top talent, it’s important to create a positive intern experience. When interns enjoy their time with your company, they’re more likely to recommend the program to others and apply for permanent positions in the future.

Recognition is a key part of the process; like other employees, interns want to feel appreciated. After all, they can work long hours, often for minimal pay. By celebrating National Intern Day, you can get the entire company involved in showing gratitude for your interns’ efforts. Your participation in National Intern Day also demonstrates a commitment to a supportive and inclusive work environment.

How to celebrate National Intern Day

National Intern Day is a flexible holiday—you can go all out with a big celebration or keep it simple and affordable. The key? Be authentic in your appreciation, and tailor your event to the needs of your interns.

1. Host a networking event

Internships are all about building skills, exploring different career tracks, and developing relationships. Speed up this process for your interns by planning a company-wide networking event. Set up in the conference room, and ask all employees to pop in throughout the day to chat with interns and build stronger connections. Alternatively, host an around-the-world event where interns visit each department and learn about the different roles in the company.

2. Allow intern shadowing

Allow each of your interns to choose an employee to partner with for the day. The intern can shadow the employee, attend meetings, go to lunch with the team, and ask questions about job duties. It’s a unique opportunity to learn more about a dream job or explore an interesting career path—and at the end of the day, the intern will have a new professional relationship and a better understanding of your company.

3. Advance interns’ careers

For National Intern Day, show your appreciation by helping interns further their careers. Ask each person about their aspirations, and come up with a way to get them closer to that goal. Options include:

  • Writing a letter of recommendation for future jobs
  • Recommending the intern on LinkedIn
  • Making an introduction to an industry professional
  • Setting up a lunch with the manager of the intern’s desired department
  • Paying for a relevant professional development course
  • Suggesting jobs that might fit the intern’s unique skills and traits
  • Offering to review the intern’s portfolio

4. Put your appreciation into words

Reach out to the employees who’ve worked closely with each intern and ask them to write notes of gratitude. Be specific with your praise; for example, you might mention their innovative ideas, emotionally intelligent communication, persistence in finding solutions, or finely honed technical skills. By mentioning individual traits or abilities, you’ll create a meaningful memory and help each intern recognize their unique professional strengths.

5. Treat the interns to lunch

On National Intern Day, provide lunch for your interns as a thank you for their contributions. Consider ordering in; that way, you can spend more time enjoying the camaraderie and less time in transit. If you have room in the budget, invite the whole company—it’s a great way for interns to bond with other employees.

Whether you’re planning a celebratory meal or adding food to another National Intern Day event, Grubhub Corporate Accounts streamlines the process. With the most ways to order, you can accommodate internship programs of any size and ensure everyone’s dietary needs are met. To find out more, get started.