I wanted to share with you my newest post for The Daily Muse a publication for smart young professional women. I began my career as an intern so I know first hand how these experiences can make or break the first stages of our professional lives. In this article I share what I have learned about being a good intern manager, it hasn't always been smooth sailing but it has definitely been one of the most rewarding things I have done thus far...
Looking back on my early career, I realize that many of the skills that have helped me stay employed in the “real world” didn’t come from what I learned in lectures, but from the internships I pursued while I was a student. I was lucky to have great intern supervisors that allowed me to learn (sometimes through trial and error), believed in my potential, and gave me hands-on experience that’s helped me succeed.
So, now that I have my own interns to manage, I try to provide them with an experience that’s just as great as the ones I had. And I appreciate now more than ever that a great experience doesn’t just happen. If you’re a first-time intern manager, read on for tips on how you can help your interns be successful (and develop your own leadership skills at the same time!).
1. PrepareBefore your intern sets foot in the door, think through what, exactly, her job will entail, and what duties you’ll have her take on. Create a job description and develop a work plan that outlines her responsibilities and goals for the duration of the internship. Sure, it might be more convenient to just have her do whatever comes up (or start cleaning up that spreadsheet you’ve been avoiding), but creating a structured plan is important for several reasons. You’ll make sure that you’re providing your intern with work experience that’s actually valuable, you’ll make sure you’re using her time well, and you’ll give her a guide to reference through the internship—plus you’ll have a clear set of standards for evaluating her performance.
Read the rest of this article at The Daily Muse.