How to quell an intern uprising

Written by: Meghan Matthies, Bassel Saad and Emily Vickruck

Like a delicate flower, interns need to be carefully nurtured if you want them to bloom.

Here are four tips and tricks for maximizing productivity, maintaining team morale, and quelling intern uprisings. 

Be nice (and patient).

Adding an intern to your organization is equivalent to introducing a tamed animal into the wild. To increase your intern’s chance of survival, create a welcoming environment and acquaint them with your organization’s work processes. Remember, tools you consider basic may seem futuristic or even magical to new interns. Introduce them gradually to avoid breaking their sanity. 

Play calming music.

Interns are notoriously skittish. Avoid startling them with loud and sudden noises. Instead, play calming music* to reassure them they are in a safe space. 

*Disclaimer: “calming music” is a relative term. Depending on your interns, it can range from 80’s synth-pop to industrial Death Metal.  

Feed and water your interns.

Feeding and watering your interns is essential to their growth. Contrary to popular belief, interns cannot live off of occasional compliments and leftovers from the office kitchen. Foods that interns have historically been partial to include: chips and dip, wine, pad thai, and tacos.

Praise your interns.

As the newcomers to the group, interns often feel like they have to prove themselves. Guide their efforts and give praise where praise is due. This will reduce the likelihood of a coup orchestrated by disgruntled interns, a problem that has plagued corporations for many years. 

Congratulations!  

If you’ve followed the instructions in this guide your interns have (most likely) survived. They’ve grown into competent team members ready to strike out into the world on their own. As they navigate innumerable job interviews, letters of recommendation and networking opportunities can be invaluable. Provide your interns with the tools to blossom and you will forever have appreciative individuals who can’t speak highly enough about your organization.

To the sagecomm team: 

Thank you so much for an amazing four months, we couldn’t have asked for a better placement. We will greatly miss being a part of the sagecomm family. We learned so much under your guidance and feel ready for wherever our career paths may lead us. Keep on making the world a better place, and teaching people how to Matter More

 - Bassel, Meghan, and Emily, sagecomm Intern Team 2016

Bonus Tip - *Always make sure your leaders have enough to do. They're easily distracted. 

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