4 Ways to Add Diversity to Your Intern Pool

By Ashley Mosley

SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- Internship programs are always evolving. Especially with the slew of controversies many programs have faced recently, you may be looking to reevaluate your goals and priorities to avoid similar issues.

One area many internship employers hope for is diversity. In fact, according to research conducted by my company, InternMatch, 81% of companies say diversity is a goal for their organization. It's easy to see why: Diversity, both in terms of background and educational experience, can help to create stronger ideas, offer varying perspectives and secure a multitude of skill sets.

But how you can incorporate diversity into your internship program? Here are four strategies to consider:

Participate in a diversity career fair.

A diversity career fair is a great place to find a wide range of candidates for your internship program. No matter if the diversity career fair is hosted by a university or a diversity-focused organization, it's important to attend in order to find diverse candidates. These recruiting events, which can either be in-person or virtual, can turn around your diversity initiatives and bring you closer to a more well-rounded team.

Try this: Partner with a university or organization to get a diversity career fair started. This will help you to get the ball rolling with your diversity initiatives, while working with institutions that may have a lot of influence.  

Check out hackathons.

If you aren't familiar with hackathons, now is a great time to get involved. Hackathons are essentially contests, primarily in the tech field, that allow you to see students and young professionals pitch, program and present a certain idea or solution to a problem. This allows you to see how a wide range of people would solve an issue over a set time.  Organizations such as Microsoft participate in hackathons, which ensures they are first in line for top talent.

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