“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” - Chinese Proverb
It’s been a busy couple of weeks with two new hires and seven interns starting our internship program. Yes, I said seven! They were chosen from over 30 applicants and we expect a lot from them. But none of us has any spare time to manage them. So, we have a basic orientation day where we lay out expectations, send them on a fun, competitive tour of downtown, and introduce them to our intern projects document.
I don’t believe the old way of teaching works very well for most students. Sit down all facing forward, listen to a teacher talk about something, then answer some questions that will tell you how well you memorized the lecture.
Really? Is this the best we can do? Is this preparation for anything resembling real life?
We have always offered internships not only as a way to get some extra help for events, but also as a way to give real world experience to students who don’t get much otherwise. Every now and then it becomes too big of a burden for our team, but every now and then we see an intern take on a project that changes their life. My favorite story was a couple of years ago. There was a video contest to win free furniture that none of the staff had time to work on. So I handed it to our fresh off the boat intern Mel. She had been looking for a job after college, and not having any luck, decided to head to Dallas and try out our internship.
Mel rocked the video and we won $20K in Turnstone furniture, only mildly embarrassing us (no, I am not linking the video…SEO be damned).
The experience helped Mel gain confidence and start applying for jobs a little differently. Apparently Google appreciated that because she landed a job in their Tel Aviv office. She’s since gone on to Facebook and is rocking it.
Win, win I’d say!
In the end, it wasn’t amazing tutelage or even showing her what to do. Mel figured it out and applied that learning to her job search. She did the work. She gained benefit not only for herself, but our team as well.
I can’t wait to see what our new interns do!