When I was an intern I felt so unwanted. I was well aware that I was an added stress. My mindset was that I just wanted to get stuck in and help as much as I could. Understandably I couldn't just step in and take big projects on with little to no experience.
However I wish I had been treated with a great deal of honesty and transparency, this is something that ran over into my first few jobs too. So 10 years on I had the privilege of having my first ever intern come down. I realised how busy the week was going to be but I was determined to treat him with respect, honesty and transparency. I wasn't going to simply get him to run for coffees and do the towels.
I mean he did do those things but I also took 1-2 hours a day to talk to him about the industry we were in, the different areas of the business we have to consider and also how we run the business day in day out. More than anything I wanted to share some honest messages that I wish I'd been told at that age. In no way was I being condescending and claiming I had all the answers... if you know me you will know that is not my way. But I did have some things I wanted to pass on to him from my own experiences.
1. We don’t have it all figured out. Those that claim they do are ones who will damage you long term.
2. There is not one method to achieve a task. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and ask 'why' to conventional methods.
3. Communication skills are invaluable. Verbal and non verbal. If you nurture these skills opportunities will open up in front of you.
4. Listen, smile and ask questions. Care about people.
5. Life is not linear. Expect failure and don’t think that there is going be one clear route.