Debunking the intern myths – one internship program at a time

Debunking the intern myths - one internship program at a timeAbout the Author: Riddhi Soni works as an assistant marketing manager at Emporio Marketing, a boutique agency that crafts fashion and lifestyle brands. She provides insightful details about their internship program and how they provide a fulfilling experience to their interns.

Ah, interns. The coffee fetching, paperwork managing, over energetic interns. Isn’t that the myth about being an intern anyway? Well, this is one myth that we certainly wanted to bust from the start of our journey. At Emporio, an internship is never about making pointless presentations and doing favors for your seniors. Internships are a serious business here. From hiring to partying, here are some key takeaways from our journey so far which we think can be helpful for all the employers:

1. Treat hiring interns like hiring employees:
If you expect your interns to contribute to your business, treat them like they are a real part of your organization, and that begins with hiring. We ask potential interns about their past internship experiences and their learning. We ask them if they would be comfortable with the timings and the distance. The most relevant questions are about their professional interests and whether they would like to work full-time in the same profile.

2. Find out who your intern is:
Once interns come onboard, it is a must for us to make them feel welcome. Now that doesn’t mean that we pamper them, but we make sure that they feel included in all activities, gel with their mentors, and understand the office culture well. After a week of observing them, we conduct the first round of reviews where we discuss their strengths and weaknesses. This helps kick start the learning process and instills a sense of sincerity among some of the laid back interns.

3. Make use of that new energy:
While some interns surely have a laid back attitude, there is hardly any lack of fresh ideas from them. A fresh brain in the team means an influx of new energy and different opinions. We try to make the best of that energy by hosting brainstorming sessions, developing brand strategies, and just have some fun overall. While most times, interns get inspired by their mentors, such sessions surely lend some inspiration to the mentors as well.

4. Cut them some slack:
Yes, interns are down to serious business but we never forget that they are inexperienced and bound to make errors. This is just another opportunity to learn, absorb, and re-execute – a mantra even the seniors live by. When things get tense, we collectively take a break and play a round of Jenga or share some personal stories. The important thing is to find a release and start afresh with that same passionate stride.

No matter what, we try to give our interns the best internship experience they ever had. In turn, they become a brand representative, a team member forever, and some even carry on their duties after their internships are over. That’s the kind of interns that we all need, and that’s the kind of internship experience we all need to provide.

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