20 October 2010

Six Tips For Running An Internship

Old timer Julian Cole wrote a cracker of a post, Six Tips to Nailing an Internship. I was fortunate enough to do two internships with Naked Communications and George Patterson Y&R, and would def recommend his list for any students looking for some experience.

But what about the other side of the coin? Based on my own expiration and many of my friends', here's six things I've learnt on how to run a kick ass internship...
1) Make them feel like one of the boys
Give them their own desk, stationary, computer, email address, rubbish bin, phone; you name it. Nothing says "temporary" like coming into work and having to wait for a chair.

2) Don't start the first day at 9am
Especially if it's a Monday. No one is ever prepared for an intern to come in first thing in the morning. On the first day give them the morning off and do an induction that afternoon. Make day two the big day they can get started.

3) Give them more than enough work
Perhaps the biggest complaint among my friends who have done internships, there's never enough work. Which kinda surprises me given how busy everyone is always complaining they are. There's often no expectation on an intern's capability, so make sure you've got something lined up when they come back from a two hour task half an hour later. This is generally why an intern will leave at 5.30pm.

4) Give them feedback on everything
Pretty self explanatory. On every task they do.

5) One long meaningful project is best
Rather than giving them a number of tasks each day that don't really mean anything, try to work out a project that will last the period of the internship. It allows them to think a bit deeper, keeps them occupied and they walk away feeling like they've actually achieved something.

6) Sit them next to someone rad
Don't sit them next to other interns. Put them next to someone who they can annoy all day with questions and who will show them which places to avoid food poisoning from at lunchtime. I sat next to Praveen during my last internship and learnt a heap just from him. Makes a massive difference.
I think sometimes organisations think they're doing interns a favour by taking them on. Which is completely true, just make sure the intern is getting the most out of it. I certainly appreciated it and they will too.

What does your organisation do to make their internships kick ass?

17 October 2010

Happy Third Birthday

Today my blog celebrates its third birthday. Over the past 365 days I have...
+ Posted 70 times.
+ Had 16,765 visits.
+ Had 29,224 pageviews.
+ Received 441 comments.
+ Peaked at 657 RSS Subscriptions.
+ And 35 email ones.
+ Completed an internship at George Patterson Y&R.
+ Started my career as the Social Media Manager at George Patterson Y&R.
+ Ran a $100,000 campaign.
+ Appeared a few times on the Gen Y Marketing Podcast (not really an achievement, just giving them some love)
+ Completed my third year at university.
+ Celebrated my twenty first birthday.
And just in case you're interested, here are my statistics from last year's birthday.

I certainly didn't give this blog enough attention over the past year. I kicked off my career while uni and work commitments have certainly taken priority, although in many ways getting a job was one of the reasons I started this blog so all is well. Who knows what will happen to this space over the next twelve months. Either way, I hope you continue to read and comment. Thank you.

05 October 2010

Zac Sells Out

Perhaps naively, a few years ago I promised I would never run AdSense on this blog.

Well I haven't quite broken that promise, but perhaps I've come close.

I was recently approached by someone to include a link to their website in an old post of mine. The link was fairly relevant to the post and I bet you couldn't find it if you tried.

They said they would give me $100 to do it. So I accepted.

Am I a sellout or what?
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
Pigs Don't Fly © Copyright Zac Martin