June 19, 2014 - Front Section
Though some may bemoan the hassle of training a new intern every three months, the rewards truly outweigh the costs. I am fortunate to have had mentors who have supported my career goals when I was a college student and each semester, I look forward to managing a new intern seeking to do the same in his/her career.
Whether you are excited about the new group of college interns joining your company this summer, or wondering what on earth you are going to have them work on, here are some tips I have found make the experience positive for both the organization and student:
1. Give your interns a "real" title. In my first college internship I was given the title "marketing associate." It made me feel pretty special. Having a traditional title also allowed me to be more well-respected by those I communicated with outside the company, and in-return, get more done.
2. Don't solve all their problems. Naturally you need to spend some time training your intern to the methods of your team and familiarizing them with your company standards, but be sure to give them space to solve problems on their own. It saves you time and allows them to develop their problem solving skills. Google is usually a pretty good place to start... or they could pick up the phone and ask someone!
3. Bring them to meetings and Cc them on everything. One of the most valuable skills I learned during my internship is how to properly interact with people in the business world. Understanding communication (both online and in-person) allows you to build relationships, an essential foundation for a successful career (especially in real estate!).
4. Social Media. Most of us in the commercial real estate world could use some help in our busy day managing our company's social media account. Leverage the fact that college interns are usually social media gurus. This does not mean you can just hand over your accounts on a silver platter, though. Review and approve all posts before they go out.
5. Business 101. There are tasks that you've likely been stretched too thin to focus on, but would be challenging for an intern. Have them work on those to-do's and increase department productivity!
Danielle Simbliaris is the marketing manager at Campanelli, Braintree, Mass.