One difficulty we face in the administration of minority internships is the challenge of ensuring that the internship opportunities go to the most deserving people. It is important to note, right from the outset, that we are talking about minority internships: which implies that these are internship opportunities created with affirmative action in mind. It follows, then, that every effort has to be made, to ensure that the affirmative action benefits the intended people. And that is not always easy.
All said and done, there are three practical things that can be done to (at the very least) increase the odds of the minority internship opportunities going to the most deserving people. Firstly, the internship opportunities have to be widely publicized, in order to get a huge pool of applicants from the targeted minority groups. Secondly, the application procedures for the internship opportunities have to be reasonably simple, in order to ensure that as many of the intended candidates as possibly apply. Thirdly and finally, the selection process for the people who ultimately get the internships has to be very objective, rigorous and transparent.
Through those measures, the odds of minority internship opportunities going to the most deserving people are greatly enhanced. But it is important to note that these measures are not always easy to put in place. Publicizing the internship opportunities can, for instance, be hard if the budget for advertising is limited or if the internship positions have to be filled urgently. And furthermore, coming up with a selection process that is objective, rigorous and transparent is not always easy – especially in situations where all applicants seem to be deserving cases. Applying the criteria in a strict manner may also not be easy in cases where numerous applications for the internship opportunities are received, and where selection has to be done electronically. Of course, this is likely to become less of a problem as more internship opportunities for minority groups come up. That is because with the increase in the number of internship opportunities available to minority groups, we are likely to see less competition for each internship opening.