This form is designed to help you prepare for your internship. It assumes you have already contacted the employer (you want to intern with) and they have accepted for an agreed period of time. It also assumes you have been advised who your supervisor (contact) will be during this time.
So you’ve probably become a bit more accustomed to having an intern around the place now, hopefully, things are going well and the experience continues to be rewarding.
It’s a good idea at this point to take a step back and make sure that you and your intern are getting the most out of the program. Things can get busy and it’s easy to forget the things you outlined at the start.
Here are some tips and ideas for this stage in the internship, just to make sure things continue to tick along nicely.
Keep up the talking with your intern, try and remember that even though they’re hopefully doing a great job under your direction, they’re probably new to most of the tasks you’re giving them. It’s important to try and check in constantly and make sure they’re OK and know what they need to be doing.
Keeping up the engagement with them is also a great way of making sure that you’re not in for any uncomfortable surprises when it comes to the end of the task you’ve set.
It’s also just nice. Talk to them and make them feel at home.
Get Them In Some Meetings
If you haven’t already, try and get your intern into a client or internal creative meeting. It’s a great way for them to see how the teams deal with their business and their clients.
It’s important though before this happens that you a clear on the meetings purpose and what you’re expecting from them in it. If it’s a strictly observe scenario, make sure they know that. Likewise, if you want them to give some input, then it’s a good idea to let them know how that works before you get in there.
All meetings with all clients are different, so choose a scenario that will work best and help the intern be prepared for it.
Getting the intern to present ideas or work is a great way of integrating them in a job and gives them some amazing experience into the more daunting tasks working in agencies.
Remember that it is daunting for most people and that they may be quite nervous.
Have a chat with them first about how to approach it, give them some pointers and maybe even discuss the work first before you show a wider group. Give them an advantage, don’t try and catch them out.
Most of all, make them feel comfortable showing their work.
Giving feedback can also be a daunting experience for someone who’s not used to it. It can be quite a challenge to hear someone taking apart a piece of work or asking them to re-do something differently.
Try to deliver the feedback in a way that doesn’t come across as overtly negative and look for positive ways to get them to do what you need.
Asking why certain things were done and giving clear direction on how to change things is key to you getting the outcomes you want from their work. Make the feedback solutions based and positive.
Making sure the feedback is understood and that they have remembered it is important. Maybe you can ask them to repeat it back to you and the end of the session and suggest that they take notes.
Most important of all is to be calm and clear in your delivery of the feedback and respectful to the time and thought that they have put into a piece of work. Even if it’s not right.
Working As Part Of A Team
Keeping in mind that in most cases, education requires you to work alone most of the time. This can mean that working to deadlines and as part of a team can be a new area for interns to navigate.
Make them feel valued as part of the team and make sure that they are contributing to the project and can see their efforts are worthwhile.
Making sure that they are clear on what they are doing and the job they need to do to support the team can help any frustrations later on. Giving them a direct report within the team means that there’s always a communication channel for them to tap in to.
Making sure they are connected and not isolated when working in a team. Where possible try to get them in all of the meetings, feedback sessions and reviews to help them understand the process in as much detail as possible.
Making sure there are some boundaries around free/downtime is important so that everyone knows where they stand.
It’s highly likely that your intern will have some time on their hands during their time with you, making sure that they are using this productively can save any frustrations or embarrassment on their behalf when they get told off for browsing Facebook.
Communication around this is key. Let them know what’s acceptable and give them some pointers on what they could be doing in the downtime.
Setting a small internal project, encouraging them to work on something self-initiated or their own projects can mean they can still benefit from your advice and feedback, whilst getting to grips with how to manage their time.
If Things Aren’t Great
Managing another person, especially someone with little to no experience can be hard work. Managing anyone can be hard work.
It’s important that you keep communicating with your intern to see how they’re doing, what they are enjoying and what they aren’t and if need be how you can get the program back on track. Remember they may find it hard to speak up especially if they’re feeling uncomfortable.
It’s also important to keep talking to other members of your team and agency to get their advice on running the program too. Share any concerns or problems and try to work through them with the support of others.
Hopefully, some talking and discussion can right any wrong paths before they cause too much damage.
Keep talking to your intern, make sure they’re ok and understand what to do
Make your direction and feedback clear and simple
Be respectful, even when things might be frustrating
Talk to your colleagues and get advice on managing the extra workload.
Keep referring back to the internship plan to make sure you’re ticking off the important things you and your intern discussed at the beginning of the program.