Fundamentals for Leading The Greatest Internship
So, you’ve hired an intern for your organization, now what? The reality is setting in that soon someone will be learning from you and possibly shaping their future success around the tools and systems you help them develop. If you want this to be a great internship for both the intern and the organization then you need to begin with prayer and get ready to do work. Here are five fundamentals for leading the greatest internship.
In order to end well, you must begin with goals in mind. Ask yourself, “What do I want the intern walking away knowing, believing, and doing when it comes to this job?” While they are with you, what systems do you want them to learn, what books do you want them to read, and what tasks do you want them to accomplish. What do you want your intern to think of when they think back on their time with you? What experience do you want to give them and what memories do you want them to make? These questions can also drive your recruitment strategy. To read 5 Simplistic Steps to Recruit the Best Interns click here.
What will the intern’s daily schedule be and how will the schedule flow throughout the day? Have you created both big and small projects for the intern or are you simply giving them busy work? Daily, you will need to communicate with your intern so determine now what those meetings will look and feel like. Another great tip is to create some extra projects that are without a deadline so that they always have something to do.
Without a plan, your weeks will turn into months and opportunities will fall through the cracks. When you break an internship into weeks it is easier to think through different subjects you would like to teach the intern and then focus on those areas weekly. If you have an intern with you for twelve weeks then determine what the top twelve subjects you would like to teach are and in what order. For a yearlong intern you can still focus on twelve topics but just take extra time teaching the same subjects from different angles. It is also wise to meet weekly to evaluate the previous week and plan out the coming week.
When you think monthly, think evaluation. After the first month, you can give your intern an evaluation and receive valuable feedback that may prevent a bad experience. Ask what goals they reached this past month, find out how they are managing their work load, see if they have experience frustrations, and determine if there is anything you or your team can do to make things better. When you evaluate early and often you avoid issues growing bigger and can cater the internship to meet expectations from both you and the intern.
Most likely your intern is only with you for a time and will be moving on to the next thing. Your job is to help the intern succeed not just when they are with you but after they move on. Point out their strengths and encourage them to continue growing in those areas. Help them see the things they need to work on and also help them know how they can be a better future employee. If you are able, walk them through the interview process and help them see ways they can make a better first impression while leaning into their strengths. When you contribute to the future success of the intern, they will view this as a great internship.
Following these five fundamentals will give you a remarkable advantage when it comes to leading the greatest internship.
Corey Jones is the lead children’s pastor of Southern Hills Christian Church in Carrollton, Georgia. In his spare time, you can find him at a local coffee shop or fighting crime in Gotham. Corey wants to encourage and equip those around him and can be found on social media at @COREYRAYJONES.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.