June 22, 2017

Let’s Talk About:

What Interns Teach Us

Summer's here, and we're excited to welcome new interns to our offices. While we typically think of internships as opportunities for students to learn from us and observe how problems are solved IRL, they're much more of an exchange. We learn quite a bit from our interns, too.

They bring fresh perspectives, unique backgrounds, and contagious enthusiasm. They often share insights around higher education, problems that affect students, and general tech trends in youth culture. Each year, they take that perspective and run a project of their own, collaborating to build something meaningful. It might be a diverting game, a thoughtful resource, or a useful application. It’s impressive to see what they create, and we're excited to see what this year’s cohort dreams up.

Check out Paparazzi, a previous Viget intern project

Community Thoughts on What Interns Teach Us...

  1. 1. Why Being a Mentor is Worth the Effort “Explanatory depth is the tendency for people to believe that they understand the world better than they actually do. The cure for the illusion of explanatory depth is teaching. When you teach something to another person, you discover all of the details that you don’t completely understand yourself. That means mentors make themselves smarter in the process of teaching others.”
  2. 2. 8 Things TED Learned From Our High School Interns Sometimes, letting raw talent approach a common problem yields a novel approach. Without preconceived ideas of how something should be done, they have the freedom to explore different solutions. “We animators have made and seen so much animation that we tend to get stuck on recreating the oldest tricks in the book — but when Franz and I let the students take the director’s chair, suddenly there were visual ideas on the table that we never would have thought to try!”
  3. 3. How Teaching Can Help You Learn Teaching can give you “understanding of different learning and communication styles, along with insights on adapting your message to reach different audiences better.”
  4. 4. 7 Benefits of Hiring New Talent Over Experienced Pros There are some real advantages to bringing recent and soon-to-be grads and onto your team. “New professionals can easily meld to the culture and quickly build the skills the company needs.”
  5. 5. Introducing New Hires to the Company Culture One element of running a successful intern program is immediately making your new hires feel welcome and a part of the team. Hamilton offers ideas about how to do that through a strong orientation, an introduction into the history and culture of the company, and a casual setting to meet the people on the team. “Human beings focus a lot on immediate connections within our companies [...] We invite the whole staff to a game night whenever someone joins the company. There’s free beer, a game (Apples to Apples is perfect for this, but darts works in a pinch), and a ridiculous sort of quiz we invented. It gives people who may never be in the same meeting room a chance to connect as human beings.”

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