Young, inexperienced, distracting…...and a brilliant asset.
It’s intern season - specifically for the younger interns or work experience placements who are looking to get ahead over the summer break of their final school years.
In truth, few employees relish the idea of a novice, temporary colleague to take under their wing. We’ve had two young interns at RCP this summer, and naturally that comes with certain challenges. But when I read this one sided article recently, it seemed that the subject of interns needed rebalancing.
Crucially, interns are - by and large - not fully formed adults. That is the point. They are new to the work environment, and they need to learn how to ‘be’ in it. If they happen to arrive already mature and grounded then they are well positioned to get along in the placement immediately, and that is extremely fortuitous for everyone. But people are made, not born, so if they are less well positioned for the new world they find themselves in, their lack of preparation does not fall solely on their shoulders. Why not make up for the shortfall with patience, and play a part in their next internship or permanent employer being impressed with them from the off?
The article references the kind of bad behaviour (playing video games; excessive flirting) that whilst unacceptable, is not the norm. Nobody would want this behaviour in their office but at RCP we’ve never experienced anything close.
What interns ‘take’ - time, effort, patience - they repay in surprising ways. The interns that have come through RCP added a truly fresh set of eyes to processes that may have unknowingly become tired or obsolete, and their youth (and demographic-specific approaches) provide necessary insights that companies should note. And let’s not forget the power of pedagogy for clarifying things in the mind of the teacher.
If a company finds that its interns consistently disappoint, then it’s likely the hiring strategy and management that is falling short. After all, if these new placements are seen as cumbersome they’re hardly going to give their best. See them as an opportunity and they might just become one.
RCP offers a summer internship, if you would like to take part in next year’s placement, please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org