The Perfect Intern

By Lynn Madeley, CEO, Havas Worldwide Southern Africa

I often look at youngsters coming into our industry. The interns. They’re the ones that either light you up and inspire you with their talent and potential, or they are the ones that make you despair.

So what makes some of these people stand out from the crowd, in a good way? Why do you instantly mark some of them as managing directors or creative directors of the future? They slightly intimidate you, they are interesting and from day one they are just a little hot to handle.

The good ones look you in the eye; they have a firm hand shake. They are respectful of the mighty powers in the corner office, but they are not frightened by them. They are interested and keen to learn. Engaged would be the word I would use.

But they also have humility. They know just where they fit in, right at the bottom of the pile and so they are prepared to make the coffee. In fact the really good ones offer to make the coffee and remember how many sugars the whole team takes. And the future stars make a coffee for the tea lady too.

The good ones have self-worth and they like people. You need to like people if you are going to be in our business.

  • They are curious.
  • They are always looking under the rock, or rabbit holing through Google.
  • They ask why?
  • They ask why not?
  • They ask so what?

They are prepared. They have checked out your website. They have Googled the people who work for you and they know the work that you have done. And they have an opinion on all of it, which they are not afraid to share.

They have ideas and they are happy to share them but not because they are cocky and wanting to show off their brilliance, but because they just want to share the idea as it might solve a problem. From the beginning the great interns identify problems and offer solutions. They are natural problem solvers.

And they are responsible. They are on time. They do what they have been asked to do and they do it on time. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t channel it you may as well have no talent at all. And they have enormous stamina and ability to work harder and longer than anyone else in the building.

And yet coupled with being responsible they still have fun. They light up the room with random jokes or stunts that change the energy in a good way. They’re interesting to be around.

So whether you are looking for fresh, young talent, or if you want to be recognized as fresh young talent these are some of the things to look for.

And just remember as an intern, a really good intern that gets offered a job at the end of the day, just make sure you are never boring.

Article Source at Skills Portal