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What to Expect When You’re Expecting… an Intern

At times owning your own business can be hectic. Actually, I think hectic might be an understatement. When the work starts to become unmanageable and you can feel your hair falling from the root- don’t throw in the towel. Find an intern! Trust me when I tell you that interns save lives. Or I like to think so at least. (I’m an intern so I might be a bit biased on the subject)


Once you decide to enter the promised land and bring an intern onto your team, be sure you are fully prepared. Having the extra help is useless if you don’t use it wisely. Plus, it’s a total waste of the intern’s time to twiddle their thumbs waiting on you to find pointless tasks for them to complete. When expecting an intern think about….


TO DO LISTS… Have a detailed list of things you need them to do. Daily/Weekly/Monthly, whatever best suits you or your business needs. Personally, I prefer a daily list just in case I need to ask questions. However, giving your intern a good chunk of things to do will keep them busy and not continually asking, “okay boss what’s next” every five minutes.


SET GOALS/EXPECTATIONS… They are obviously interning for a reason- to gain experience to further aid their career search. Make the internship worth their while! At the beginning of the internship sit down with them and make a list of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goals*. These will help ensure the intern gets the most experience out of the internship.


CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM… Please for the love of Pete, tell your intern if they are doing something right or wrong. If you are going to invest the time in having them as a team member, invest enough time to actually help them be a GOOD team member. Provide helpful feedback and take pride in the work that your intern does while they are under your wing! Most importantly, be sure they leave better than when they started.


Interns can be a saving grace if you use them properly. Especially during peak seasons, they are able to take on some of the extra work to lighten your load a bit. There is no shame in admitting you need a little help every once in a while. When you find yourself admitting this, find yourself an intern!


*For more information about SMART Goals, contact Duke Hamm (DHamm@FocalPointCoaching.com) or Justin Helman (JHelman@FocalPointCoaching.com) of Focal Point Business Coaching.


A note from Christy: Morgan has been a wonderful intern for WholeHeart Communications. We discovered Morgan at IndianaIntern.net. Check out this free resource to find students looking for internships in Indiana.

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