Tell me what makes the best possible internship!

Hi all,

I’m taking on some interns for the first time (to work with my small festival) and I want it to be the best possible experience for all parties involved. I’m sure there are many of us here who have had internships, good and bad ones at that, and I’m hoping the DiS hivemind can help me with that.

Ideally this thread will be a place where we can share stories about what worked really well with a particular internship and what didn’t work with others. Keep it light-hearted (probably not the best place for horror stories), but not outright silly please.

I should add that they’re already being given lots of responsibility as well as space to try out their own ideas, as we’re a small festival with no other staff than me (and I’m not technically even employed yet) so they’ll be running the festival alongside me.

Ok, let’s hear it!

Getting paid


working with @whiterussian

I’m sure there are many different types of internships, but this is unpaid, part-time as part of their university degrees.

I could be a nightmare to work with for all you know

The reason I’m mentioning this stuff is that for my internship that I did as part of my MA, I got the feeling that no-one really knew what to do with me and they just wanted to check a box that said they’d had an intern but had no real ideas about what I should do with my time there. I made up stuff to do for myself, but feel it would definitely have been a more constructive experience if they’d had specific tasks and responsibilities in mind for me.

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Good management, would offer very frequent 121s (twice a week) for the first couple weeks to make sure they’re supported and have space to ask questions, make suggestions and be heard. After that would keep a weekly check in. When Ive onboarded full time staff members, I do a 90 day Gantt chart plan of what they need to do each week (week 1: intros, learn products up to week 12: assume responsibility for x process) and so any time a new person has downtime, they can go back to the plan and make sure they’re on top of everything or aware of what they need to start working on next. Also means you definitely have a clear idea of basics they need nailed in order to develop further. Obvs YMMV depending on length of stay etc.

In internship, would try in early chats to find out their longer term goals and try to matchmake with someone in the org who does that job or set up a mentorship etc, if possible.

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