One of the key factors that resonated in Part 1 of Internships, from Investment to Improvement, was the 'can do' attitude that graduates need when applying for an internship programme. Those with the go-getter mentality and ability to commit their time and efforts gain far more from internships than those who treat it like a box-ticking exercise or a mandatory year.
Jeanette Campbell, from Boston Media House plays an instrumental role in guiding students through the internship application process and assists from input on anything from CVs to dress code and language usage. Campbell says there are more internships now than ever before and for an institution like Boston Media House, that is a positive sign as it shows companies are becoming more attuned to the value of this workplace opportunity.
Campbell further says that in as much as potential candidates need to be committed to the internship process, companies have an equal role and responsibility. In her experience, assisting in matching students and companies, she offers the following advice to companies looking to employ an intern: Don't take on more than you can mentor. Internships rely on the fact that senior members of staff will have the time to walk a professional development journey with the intern. Be sure that you can commit the time and energy into a junior member of your team. The only way they will improve is with direct guidance, feedback, and oversight. Without this input, the intern will not have an opportunity to be guided through their mistakes, be given the opportunity to fail, or the chance to flourish.
Internships aren't a place to find cheap labour. It is true that not all the tasks assigned to an intern warrant a posting to Instagram. There are menial, repetitive tasks that help build tenacity and resilience away from the glamour of the media shine, use these as teachable moments and balance them with other daily tasks that require attention. Most graduates have invested a great deal of effort, finance and thought into their career training. Internships are a symbiotic relationship, respect the intern's process the way you would like the intern to respect your organisation and clients.
Consider the logistical implications of employing an intern. They require workspace, access to technology, data, and proper induction into your company. Exercise a degree of patience as for many first-time job seekers, they are grappling with the realities of the working world, do however create very specific boundaries of what is acceptable and not. Lastly, Campbell says when meeting with an intern, ask yourself, "Do I like this person, and can I work with them?" The technical capabilities are secondary and can be honed daily, culture fit, and attitude are key for a mutually beneficial relationship.
At MediaHeads 360 our intention is to always walk an extended journey with the interns we hire, and we hope that our time investment leads to a situation where the experience gained by the intern makes them attractive in the job market. We hope our insight into this dynamic space inspires you to consider an intern today!