An ode to our interns.

Late in August this year, our team had two interns start with us – Sarah and Nicole. Today is their last day in the office … and never have I been so sad to have to say goodbye.

For the last 3 months they have been a part of the biggest journey that our team has ever been on … they have ridden the highs, coped through some fairly crazy stress and knuckled down to get the job done.

In the words of Nadine … they upgraded the term “intern” to “indispensable”.

So what exactly made these interns work out so well? Bit of luck? Bit of magic?

No … this was planned magic … and everyone came to the party to do their bit. Check out what made them so good.

What we did well. 

Whilst most of the awesomeness of Sarah and Nicole is on them … I do think we had a small part to play in how the last 3 months played out.

I knew from the outset that this would not be an ordinary internship with routine and structure … in fact I knew it would be quite the opposite. So I created a spreadsheet with all the hours and activities, and before anyone committed, they were very clear on the expectations.

They knew what was negotiable and what was fixed and mandatory.

I also knew that there would be days where I needed them to just be able to get on with stuff because I wouldn’t have time to manage them closely – so both of them had “simmer tasks” which they could get on with if it happened to be one of those days.

What made them exceptional. 

1 // Flexibility 

This was not an internship that consisted of ‘normal’ hours. Throughout the internship, Sarah and Nicole directly helped us run 5 events, whilst supporting us on a further 3 events.

Hours were all over the place and they had to be flexible with us. I’m grateful that they agreed to my crazy schedule from the outset.

2 // Independence

When you are running 8 events in 2.5 months … things tend to get a little crazy.

Although I always give interns simmer tasks – not everyone responds to these in the same way. Nicole in particular created an epic library of videos from genYOU footage for us … something that we can continue to share with you in all the months to come.

3 // Willingness to do ALL the tasks

On any given day, these guys were doing anything from potting plants, to cutting up name tags, writing blog posts, creating an event mobile app or helping out at events.

Both of them embraced all tasks with consistent enthusiasm. At no point did I ever feel like tasks were beneath them … they knew things had to get done and just got on with is regardless.

4 // Working it out

This is where I particularly take my hat off to Sarah. Somewhere along the way we gave her the task of setting up an event mobile app. Although this wasn’t hard (we chose a great app to go with), it was full of unknowns.

I was no more clued-in on how to do some of the things than she was. But every time we threw something at her, her answer was simply “okay no worries – I’ll work it out”. And she did!!!

5 // Going above and beyond 

We are a team of three … the interns took us up to 5. Which meant they were given the opportunity to really take on responsibility that employees with more experience may otherwise not be given.

On the day of our biggest event, Sarah was even the stage manager for one of the two main stages. Something she had never done before, and a task we would not normally give out lightly.

She seized this opportunity with both hands. This meant extra meetings, even moving a uni assessment and plenty of after-hours texts from us. But she loved it … and so did we!

In conclusion … 

So there you have it … so simple … but the formula to an epic internship … I cannot thank Sarah and Nicole enough for what they have given us in the past few months. I can only hope that they enjoyed the experience just as much as us!!