20 October 2010 Six Tips For Running An Internship
But what about the other side of the coin? Based on my own expiration and many of my friends’, here’s six things I’ve learnt on how to run a kick ass internship…
1) Make them feel like one of the boys
Give them their own desk, stationary, computer, email address, rubbish bin, phone; you name it. Nothing says “temporary” like coming into work and having to wait for a chair.
2) Don’t start the first day at 9am
Especially if it’s a Monday. No one is ever prepared for an intern to come in first thing in the morning. On the first day give them the morning off and do an induction that afternoon. Make day two the big day they can get started.
3) Give them more than enough work
Perhaps the biggest complaint among my friends who have done internships, there’s never enough work. Which kinda surprises me given how busy everyone is always complaining they are. There’s often no expectation on an intern’s capability, so make sure you’ve got something lined up when they come back from a two hour task half an hour later. This is generally why an intern will leave at 5.30pm.
4) Give them feedback on everything
Pretty self explanatory. On every task they do.
5) One long meaningful project is best
Rather than giving them a number of tasks each day that don’t really mean anything, try to work out a project that will last the period of the internship. It allows them to think a bit deeper, keeps them occupied and they walk away feeling like they’ve actually achieved something.
6) Sit them next to someone rad
Don’t sit them next to other interns. Put them next to someone who they can annoy all day with questions and who will show them which places to avoid food poisoning from at lunchtime. I sat next to Praveen during my last internship and learnt a heap just from him. Makes a massive difference.
What does your organisation do to make their internships kick ass?