About the Author: AR Bhargavi, a former automobile professional, is the founder director of Fundamentor, an award-winning aptitude development program for school students. She talks about the situations in which hiring interns helped her the most.
As we are a young startup in the domain of education, life is always challenging. We have to constantly scale to meet content demands of schools, parents, and students. Hiring permanent employees is a tricky task. Finding great people who are a good fit for your company’s culture takes time, and time is a luxury an early stage startup can’t always afford. In such scenarios, hiring interns has always helped us solve our immediate and urgent problems.
Based on our experience, here is when hiring interns helped us the most:
1) For short-term specific projects: Certain short duration projects are best handled by interns. We had specific content requests from schools to be built in two months. The skills we needed included high school level mathematics and excellent communication skills. We used interns for these projects.
2) When time and cost are of the essence: Interns helped us respond faster to our customer demands. We had to deliver new content in a short span and the team was overworked with other activities. By hiring interns, we could take on the new task and hence, a new customer.
3) To get new ideas: We were lucky enough to hire interns with good potential who proved to be great assets. They infused enthusiasm into the work, quickly understood the work expected from them, and delivered quality output. They were brimming with new ideas and suggestions, allowing us to learn as much from them as we hope they learned from us.
As we needed people strong in academics, to create quality output, we chose virtual interns. We found some great interns located in IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, etc. These days, when geography is history, it would’ve been a shame to not hire them because of locational constraints. And not even once we’ve regretted our decision of hiring virtual interns.
From our experience, a few pro tips for working with virtual interns would be:
• Set clear expectations right from the beginning to prevent any confusion later on.
• Follow-up on a regular basis so that you get a clear idea of the work progress and any difficulties that interns might be facing.
• Be patient and crystal-clear in all your communications.
Facing similar situations in your company and looking for a solution? Please post your intern requirements here.