Mentor, Schmentor…I just want Free labor…
So, intrepid manager, you’ve got yourself a shiny new intern…now what?!!
If you’re like MOST managers, you’re going to make the choice of relegating your intern to the dirty and mundane tasks in your department that none of your paid employees want to handle - filing, data entry, putting covers on TPS reports, etc. Trust me when I tell you that they won’t resent this ONE LITTLE BIT!!!
Who could possibly take exception to having their fragile spirit crushed and their youthful enthusiasm left in a pile of steaming rubble?
First…if you’re a brain surgeon, flying a trans-Atlantic 747 or carrying the nuclear football for the President, I can see the wisdom in keeping interns relegated to some of the more mundane (i.e. safer) tasks you encounter throughout the workday. However, if national security is not at risk and you spend your days brainstorming headlines for a marketing campaign or developing some code for an online app, where’s the harm including your co-op student in the fun? At worst, you get some ideas that might need a little work/they get valuable experience. At best, they come up with some killer contributions/they get valuable experience. I’m not going to lie, it WILL take more of your time to mentor and train them, but the rewards are well worth it once they start applying that training. Each opportunity to contribute makes it easier for them to make a bigger impact in the future.