Want some interns or residents of your own? Here are a few issues to keep in mind before the students show up.

  • Expose them to client meetings. “Early on, my contributions to meetings were very small, if anything at all. Just being able to see advice being delivered in real time was the most attractive part. Gradually, I became able to contribute,” says David Bowman, a former intern and current full-time associate advisor at Hamilton Capital Management in Columbus, Ohio, which has a close relationship with nearby Ohio State University.
  • Teach workplace skills. Young people may not know the ground rules for a workplace. “Whether it’s a little more texting than is appropriate or wearing something that is inappropriate or calling someone by his first name when they should call him Mr. Last Name, we teach all this stuff,” says Jon Yankee, a partner at FJY Financial in Reston, Va. “A lot of interns are still kids, and internships are their first professional experience in a work environment. It’s important not to blame the person for this.”
  • Hire smart, coachable people. “I don’t mind explaining things, but not over and over. We had one unpaid intern, and he was overpaid at free. Everything I gave him ended up worse than when he’d started,” says David Hultstrom, president of Financial Architects in Woodstock, Ga., who has worked with Emory University in Atlanta, Oglethorpe University (in Brookhaven, Ga.) and Kennesaw State University.

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