For those planning to intern, or those currently interning, I want to thank you for all of your help. This is my ode to interns, a thank you letter I will never mail (but should).
Below are a few of the reasons why interns are the absolute best and every intern should realize the importance of his or her job and the gratitude supervisors have for them.
Another brain for brainstorming
In my office, brainstorming is a daily ritual and often requires the help of many people. Cue the intern.
Our interns are amazing at brainstorming; I could brag all day about them, and as wonderful as they are, they aren’t unique.
If you have an intern, utilize him or her for brainstorming ideas, and if you are an intern, never be afraid to offer your two cents when your boss makes an offhand comment about being stuck.
Our interns have saved me so often because of their unique and often brilliant ideas.
Willing to do it right
Making mistakes is part of the process; however, even I understand when someone points out my mistakes and asks me to fix them.
Our interns not only listen to directions, but they also thrive on constructive criticism — emphasis on the "constructive."
I have come to an intern multiple times and gone over his or her projects, both the good and the bad. When I ask for the project with the corrections, interns do it with a smile.
Our interns check in with us on their projects to ensure they are doing them right.
I remember being an intern and being worried my supervisor would find this to be obnoxious, but it's not the case at all. Usually, I give interns projects I do not have time to complete, and if they don't do it correctly, it means I have to do it, anyway.
If you are an intern, never hesitate to ask a question on a project.
A teaching tool
At my office, the junior staff works heavily with the interns. As a junior staffer myself, teaching interns has been a great learning tool for me.
Often, I leave out instructions or explain things in complicated ways, so having the immediate feedback of the intern's work helps make me a better teacher.
Willing to do the boring work
Possibly the bane of the intern’s workday is the boring work that gets passed down to them because the full-time employees simply do not have enough time. While this work may seem like “busy” work, it isn’t; it’s vitally important to the company.
Sometimes, we have interns look around the Internet for images to put in client deliverables or go through multiple excel sheets. All of these are vital for getting projects out on time.
The interns never complain and often do a more thorough job on the projects than many full-time employees would have done.
I have to admit, even if I have 100 things to do, I often find myself feeling bored and counting down the minutes to when I can leave. I wish I could do my job with half the enthusiasm our interns have.
The interns enjoy being able to write something creative and fun. While I do, too, I rarely smile about it as much as they do.
No demeaning tasks
I interned at seven different companies, and only one of them asked me to get food or coffee. Please, never ask your interns to go get you food or do a personal errand; this is not why they submitted their applications to your company.
It is unprofessional and flat-out rude to the intern. Either pack a lunch or have someone deliver it to you.
A busy intern is a happy intern
You can ALWAYS find a good task for an intern. Often, if I do not have a specific task, I will have him or her assist me on whatever I am doing.
While this can impede my timeline, it provides a constructive environment to the intern.
Make sure you have your intern's day planned before he or she walks in the door, and if you say you will assign him or her a task, do so immediately.
No office gossip
As an intern, it always made me uncomfortable when employees bad-mouthed each other in front of me, and it made me wonder what they said about me while I was out of earshot.
Remember to never try to engage the intern in office gossip and be careful what you say around him or her.