Five Intern Etiquette Tips
It’s a special time here at Black Tie Digital Marketing. Because bright minds are making the pilgrimage home to Brevard for the summer, we’ve had the fantastic opportunity to hire a few interns too.
By providing internships for college students we can give them first hand experience in the real world of digital marketing. When thinking about taking on a summer intern there is much to consider. Here is a list of things we believe to be true about hosting internships so they’re beneficial to not only your company but the intern as well.
- Interns do not equal free labor – It is true that they’re being compensated with credits rather than cold, hard cash, but this does not mean you should dump a bunch of busywork on them. They are here to enrich the company and gain real-life experience, not take care of your tedious paperwork and clean your break room. Let them show you what they’re paying tuition for.
- Do give them real responsibilities – These kids are on their way to becoming well-educated adults. Give them a project that means something. It’s exhilarating for interns to work on something that matters rather than taking everyone’s lunch order. Of course, you’ll have final say over any project you give them, but having faith in their abilities makes them work harder and helps them learn by doing.
- Don’t send them on coffee runs – Speaking of taking lunch orders, just because you have an extra body in the office doesn’t mean that they should become the assistant you’ve always wanted, but could never afford. They’re only there for a short time; utilize their skills as much as you can. They’ll get plenty of order taking experience while they’re looking for a, “real job.”
- Don’t be afraid to let them bounce around – If you hired an intern for content creation but find that they’ve got a knack for selling, don’t hesitate to move’em around. This is all about learning and if you can foster a magnificent sales person, you’ve done the world a favor. Since you’re not really paying them, moving them to where they can be the most help is a win-win.
- Do tell it like it is – We love our interns, but that doesn’t mean we need to spare their feelings. If they’ve done something wrong, you need to tell them straight, and tell them fast. This is an opportunity where their job isn’t on the line, and they can bounce back from a setback without freaking out and changing majors.
Treat your interns with respect and give them all the help and encouragement you can. This is the most important part of attending college, and as a business owner you’re in a unique position to give that student the education of a lifetime. We hope you found this as helpful as we understand it to be. And we really hope your summer internship program rocks as hard as ours has so far!