Monday, June 14, 2010

Beware: Intern May Turn Tables

I’ve always tried to treat interns at the companies where I’ve worked well. I figured they might end up being my boss some day. While that hasn’t happened yet, I’ve seen my former interns become colleagues and more over the years.

I once wrote a law school recommendation for an intern who later became an attorney. She now gives me free legal counsel. Another former intern became a bit of a job search specialist. She helped me land an interview when I really needed one. I later helped her get a job at the company where I worked. She became a solid contributor there.

Last week, I had occasion to run into another former intern in my first month on a new job. Except this time, the ex-intern didn’t remember me so fondly. He said I had been a little tough on him when he was a student reporter. He’s now an executive speechwriter. He may have been chiding me a little, but there was probably a bit of truth there, too.

Sure enough, I can be demanding of interns. But I’ve always tried to give them worthwhile work, while explaining the importance of even the most menial tasks.

If I erred on one, then shame on me. I’ve always disliked people who couldn’t treat others well, regardless of their standing. You never forget people who brought you under their wings … and those who treated you like something on the bottom their shoes.

So treat your interns well. After all, you never know when they’ll give you free legal advice, get you a job interview or chide you on your new job.


Julie K said...

Speaking as someone who worked as your intern, I always thought your criticism was educational in nature. I still remember you instructing me on being more succinct, and it was a skill I used to promote myself to my next employer. Plus, you just don't have that whole malicious thing going. I think someone has a case of the Mondays (assuming you ran into this perosn today).

- Julie

Doug Bennett Jr. said...

Thanks, Julie. I appreciate that. I've mellowed a little over the years though.

ChiMoose said...

Not only does this post contain some wise advice, it also contains some great news! Congrats on your new gig; looks as though you're in a great spot.
Hope we can keep in touch!