Share your experience with interns

Tyler Dane
2 replies
Having an intern seems like a no-brainer, yet it doesn't seem very popular among indies. For those who have had interns: - How'd it go? - Where did you find them? - Tips on doing it well? For those who thought about it but decided not to: why not?


Nik Hazell
Launching soon!
I've found some great people - typically from sports teams I used to be part of, but also through University placement schemes. If you're in the UK, I can recommend some to reach out to! Really important that you're giving them enough (money/guidance/mentorship/reference etc.) to make sure you aren't taking advantage of them - that's not a good look at all! Make sure the task they're focussing on is defined, straightforward enough not to require too much setup time, and not completely mindless! I find that doing some background research on a new industry, market, or set of products is a good opportunity - something that you don't have expertise on already. *I should add - my work, and the projects I've used interns for, have been standalone, but I am at a 200-person company - meaning I can get someone else to sort out laptops, logins, health and safety, etc :) .
Kafe Dy
I'm a fresh grad, not a business owner, but I've had about four internships. Might be helpful to get some perspectives from an intern. I've had good bad and decent ones. Things to avoid: - The interns aren't really learning anything new, just being a given a lot of low cognitive tasks (I get that that may be the point of an intern, but when you're barely getting paid you want to at least learn things). - No guidance or communication. Asking for things with a high expectation but not being clear on what you want. - It's "part-time" but they give you tasks that require you to work on weekends, or basically full-time. (If that's the case, be transparent about it being full-time). Tips: I've interned for all start-ups so some teams were more organized than others. (Structure is always better). Weekly or bi-weekly alignments are good. If you can give the interns the freedom to work on their own project, with some guidance (or letting them head the weekly meetings if they are doing something you are unfamiliar with), they might be able to do more than you expected. If you aren't compensating well, at least give a lot of learning opportunities or mentorship and build a good rapport (it is a little demoralizing to feel taken advantage of). (Also mostly found these online through university Facebook groups or job sites. You can probably partner with universities, too, for thesis/practicum/ojt).