I was recently asked by Lisa over at The Domestic Diva about how to go about finding a summer intern. Since this is a wonderful question that would have been very helpful to me a few months back, I thought I would go ahead and write a post on it...
I was very fortunate to be approached by our local Art Institute regarding internships. I was actually just looking for a student that may be interested in freelance Pattern Making work, but when I was on the phone with the career office, they actually recommended that we bring on an intern. They invited me to participate in their quarterly internship fair, which is where I met Kristen, our current intern. I would highly recommend this process to any Entrepreneur that is in need of help and willing to mentor young talent.
The honest struggle...for me, I find it a bit challenging to balance the work that needs to be done and the work that I know she would find more enjoyable. I truly attempt to give her more projects that will peak her interest and expose her to new things, but in all reality, since she is only here a few hours a week, I am usually in desperate need of her help on inventory and packing orders. I am fortunate that she is flexible and always willing to help, and as I bring on more help in the coming weeks, I am hoping to have more time to mentor her on the more interesting sides of the business.
I was equally lucky and blessed with our NYC summer intern joining us next week, as she contacted me. I always love to see ambition from young talent, so this effort on her part, really set her apart.
If you are open to the idea of bringing on intern, I would recommend posting on a free site such as www.craigslist.com. I would also recommend contacting your local colleges and putting the word out to their career services office. You will be amazed at how many students would love to have the opportunity to work behind the scenes in a smaller company, as opposed to getting lost behind a desk at a larger corporation. If your internships will be unpaid, the typical requirement is that 1) you're very upfront about this with the students, 2) you are giving your time to mentor the student while they are contributing to the business, and 3) they are able to receive credit for the internship through their school program.
I will tell you this, it has been a huge relief and blessing for me to have Kristen as part of the team and I am really looking forward to Veronica joining us as well! I truly hope that one day this experience is tremendously beneficial to them, and maybe they can put their experience to work here at RuffleButts once they graduate!