The Power of Internships
Ever take the time to consider what impact an internship had on someone and what impact did it have on you and your organization? As we look forward to International Interns Day, yes it is a real thing (there is a holiday for everything today, July 9th is actually National Sugar Cookie Day and Cow Appreciation Day, so go eat a cookie and have a glass of milk) it got me to thinking about the amazing interns BRAVO! has hosted. So we took a look back and made a list of them and I was a bit shocked; from our first intern in 2009 BRAVO! has hosted 28 since then and continues to do so.
If you had told me 10 years ago that our first intern, connected to us through an industry educator and colleague who raved about this person and believed BRAVO! would be a perfect fit, was going to be the start of something that would grow to 28 (as of now) and impact me, I would have said no way. Well WAY! Many stay connected, some not, but I remember every one, their personalities, their strengths, challenges, dreams and hopes for the future. Each one was and still is an integral part of BRAVO!, our events, our legacy and my life. They came from as far as Gibraltar and as close as Bethesda, some stayed for 3 weeks some for years, they built relationships both professional and personal, some which will last a lifetime and others wont but were still important and valuable when they were. They have gone on to be event professionals or not, they have explored the world, pushed themselves, evolved and embraced their life’s journeys and each one made ME a better person.
When you think about taking on interns I think we believe the benefit and value of the internship is for them, they get to try on a “real” job, gain professional experience, understand a bit about life after school, and we will provide them with skills to continue on their path to wherever it leads them. It is not as easy as you may think to have interns, they are employees and have to be managed but they are worth it. At BRAVO! we make sure that anyone who was/is an intern understood a few things and truly believed them; one is they are a BRAVO! team member, not just “some” intern but someone we believe will be a positive addition to projects and more, we required them (and anyone at BRAVO!) to ask questions about anything and everything (nothing was/is off limits),to “Think Out Loud” they bring a fresh perspective and new ideas and for many we made them create blogs (check them out on our website)! We are committed to making sure these internship experiences are valuable, none of the “cliché” intern roles – getting coffee, picking up dry cleaning, filing etc., though I did have one (Yes Danielle that was you) who begged me to have her get coffee so she could say she was a real intern LOL. Everyone including interns must be engaged and feel valuable to maximize the experience.
What I didn’t realize 10 years ago was how these remarkable interns would impact my life, but they did and still do; they made me a better listener, a better communicator a better storyteller, they keep me young and current, all of which I believe has made me a better leader. For all of that I am so thankful and can’t wait to continue to watch our interns grow and am excited at who else will become a BRAVO! Intern.
So all the way back to the beginning of this, our curiosity got the best of us and we reached out to the 28 interns, to see where they are, what they are up to and what were some of the things that impacted them during their time here. Some have responded some have not but we hope that by the time it is International Interns Day you will have enjoyed looking back with us.
Let us know how an internship you had or hosted impacted you.