While all interns can be useful to your company, it takes a great intern to be an invaluable resource.
Great interns are the best. But the qualities that set them apart, make them more successful, and make your work life a whole lot easier, can be difficult to identify.
While personality traits are formed from an early age and fixed by early adulthood, emotional intelligence can change and improve over the years. Now what sets great interns apart from the rest is their ability to apply emotional intelligence skills to their everyday work life.
They are not after instant gratification
A great intern always strives to work beyond the boundaries of what they are hired to do. They are never ones to say “that is out of my job description”. They are not intimated by new challenges nor do they feel entitled to anything. They know that if in the beginning they put in the work, in the end they will receive the recognition and compensation.
They are courageous
When an intern is not afraid to speak up when others are; whether they want to ask a seemingly simple question or they want to challenge an executive decision, you can rest assured that your intern is a keeper. However, with that said, they always know to think before they speak. In other words, they balance their courage with common sense and timing.
They know there is always room for improvement
Complacency and laziness are never part of a great intern’s work life. They have an unshakable belief that things can be improved, and you know what? They are right. They know that there’s never such a thing as good enough, when it comes to their personal growth. Even when things are going well, they are motivated to keep on going. Great interns apply this belief to their professional lives too - there is always a way to improve the way one or the other system works.
They are responsible
Speak to any manager and they will tell you that one phrase they hate to hear is “it’s not my fault”. These words do not exist in a great intern’s vocabulary. They are accountable for everything they do, whether the results are good or bad. And when something does go wrong, they make sure that their mistakes are brought to management’s attention rather crossing their fingers and hoping that no one finds out.
They are marketable
While marketable can mean many things to many people, in the work environment it means that internally, awesome interns have an aura that gives off positive vibes to those they work with, and makes them likeable. Externally, it means management can trust that they will represent the company well. Managers know they will be able to send out their interns to meet with clients without worrying about what they will say.
They can handle conflict
They neither seek to start any squabbles nor do they run away from them either. Great interns can maintain their composure and keep their cool when bringing across their positions. They stand firm against any personal attacks and never use tactic themselves.
In closing, there’s no greater feeling than knowing that you’ve scored yourself the best of the best. But even if you’ve made a great hire, you need to ensure you check in with your intern and help them in reaching their goals. After all, they are new to the industry and with your help, they can learn a lot.