First off do you have an intern? If not there are a few great avenues to get one! You can start by applying to be a host organization through MarCom’s Internship Program (shameless plug). More information about the program and how to apply can be found at http://www.spokanemarcom.org/internship-program.
There are also great opportunities at local universities to post internships and get involved in student clubs. Reach out to the college’s career center and they will gladly give you a list of events and opportunities to connect with and hire student interns.
Okay! Now that you have an intern there are several things that you will want to keep in mind as you help prepare this young, green and highly motivated individual for a career that will last them decades.
You must first think back and remember why you chose the career path you did. What intrigued you as you entered the workforce and what continues to propel you to achieve greatness in the field. Remembering your internal drive will help you be a positive role model and mentor for your intern.
Second, have a plan. If your intern shows up for their first day and you forgot they were coming, it is going to be a long internship for you and the intern. Think about what you can have the intern do. What tasks are appropriate for them to accomplish? Will you task them with a project of their own? Creating a plan and remembering to empower and not enable is imperative to a successful internship.
The third item to remember is have FUN! Work is tough. Make sure your intern feels like they are part of the team and are in a supportive environment. You want them to ask questions and be inquisitive about the nature of the job. Again, think back to when you were first starting out. What advice would you have given yourself? Hopefully at the end of the internship experience you will want to hire that young, green and highly motivated individual!
Written by Meg Comito, MarCom Internship Chair