Managing summer Intern

Z0sickxZ0sickx Posts: 136Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
we had a brainstorm at work the other day on how to make an internship meaningful and resume builder for our future summer intern but came to the conclusion of a couple of things.

1) Likely won't have any new tools to be built/engineered
2) the toolset we have in our environment for the most part are running and we could teach the intern how to use it, but not exactly resume builder either besides knowing how to use it

so my question to everyone is how would you provide meaningful experience for a summer intern (unpaid), ideally they would lead a project with supervision but thats not a likelyhood to happen. as a former intern my myself even my good internships we would be sitting around goofing off a lot but we want to minimize that. any/all ideas welcomed.

Comments

  • pirlo21pirlo21 Posts: 26Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'd let him take help desk tickets like hardware/software troubleshooting, run ethernet cables, setup printers, etc. It depends how tech savvy the intern is, some just don't know anything.
  • ErtazErtaz Posts: 854Registered Members ■■■■□□□□□□
    Z0sickx wrote: »
    we had a brainstorm at work the other day on how to make an internship meaningful and resume builder for our future summer intern but came to the conclusion of a couple of things.

    1) Likely won't have any new tools to be built/engineered
    2) the toolset we have in our environment for the most part are running and we could teach the intern how to use it, but not exactly resume builder either besides knowing how to use it

    so my question to everyone is how would you provide meaningful experience for a summer intern (unpaid), ideally they would lead a project with supervision but thats not a likelyhood to happen. as a former intern my myself even my good internships we would be sitting around goofing off a lot but we want to minimize that. any/all ideas welcomed.

    Internships can go a lot of ways. I've seen kids get tasked with so much menial work that they find some place to hide to avoid it and I've seen kids sit around and soak up $25 an hour to be on break all day. It takes a measured, managed and balanced approach to do it right. Your questions seem to show the right concerns. Is there a project not centered on your toolset that desperately needs attention? Inventories come to mind, assessments also spring to the forefront. Updating and verifying procedures is another. While menial, these are things they can learn that are a crucial aspect of compliance and security.

    The politics of the situation come into play as well. If this another employees daughter/son/niece/nephew they may expect the *entire* focus to be on their development and not see the value in these exercises.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,570Moderators, Registered Members mod
    I want my interns to get meaninful experience while at the same time helping with our workload. The biggest roadblock is that most of our cool/useful data requires high levels of access that an intern simply can't have. I also don't want to leave them stuck with useless busy work. We foufn the perfect compromise by assigning them to our R&D projects. My team is very busy and although we have time alloted to R&D we can't always use it. Last couple of years we've made great process refining our intern selection process and have had superb success onboarding people that get a quick overview of our ideas, they go research and test stuff, and report back. We've already converted two into major projects.
  • Z0sickxZ0sickx Posts: 136Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'd let him take help desk tickets like hardware/software troubleshooting, run ethernet cables, setup printers, etc. It depends how tech savvy the intern is, some just don't know anything.

    Though we do helpdesk, it would be to technically challenging since its all tool specific. we're not a datacenter nor do we have one and the "datacenter" we have onsite is restricted.
    Internships can go a lot of ways. I've seen kids get tasked with so much menial work that they find some place to hide to avoid it and I've seen kids sit around and soak up $25 an hour to be on break all day. It takes a measured, managed and balanced approach to do it right. Your questions seem to show the right concerns. Is there a project not centered on your toolset that desperately needs attention? Inventories come to mind, assessments also spring to the forefront. Updating and verifying procedures is another. While menial, these are things they can learn that are a crucial aspect of compliance and security.

    The politics of the situation come into play as well. If this another employees daughter/son/niece/nephew they may expect the *entire* focus to be on their development and not see the value in these exercises.

    Right we don't want to give them work for the sake of giving work, we would want something meaningful that helps them and helps the government. there is a tool we have that does need help, but they would have to focus the entire cycles on it, and from a value perspective we didn't believe it would benefit them to work on a DoD tool thats been ingrained for 9+ years, but rather holistically get them involved with along with the other tools.

    there is some "politics" but more we didn't want them around C&A crew we don't need more paper pushers in our field lol.
  • Z0sickxZ0sickx Posts: 136Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    I want my interns to get meaninful experience while at the same time helping with our workload. The biggest roadblock is that most of our cool/useful data requires high levels of access that an intern simply can't have. I also don't want to leave them stuck with useless busy work. We foufn the perfect compromise by assigning them to our R&D projects. My team is very busy and although we have time alloted to R&D we can't always use it. Last couple of years we've made great process refining our intern selection process and have had superb success onboarding people that get a quick overview of our ideas, they go research and test stuff, and report back. We've already converted two into major projects.

    getting them privledge to sensitive material won't be an issue so much since the process to get them access will be in motion prior to them onboarding.

    so to summarize where we are at.
    1) give them access to tool A and run some situation scenarios
    2) give them access to tool B to explore
    3) take them to an actual datacenter
    4) weekly checkins with intern
    5) what meaningful work to give intern?? (our biggest issue)

    so we have things for them to do like i said but something that gives a positive experience for 3 months is where we are at a loss. additionally this isn't something we planned on having for our organization, more it was pushed down from HQ that we would have one. otherwise i know someone is going to say "then why do you have an intern coming with no actual work to do", just trying to get the best experience for a future intern with what we got to work with
  • EANxEANx Posts: 896Registered Members ■■■■□□□□□□
    Z0sickx wrote: »
    so my question to everyone is how would you provide meaningful experience for a summer intern (unpaid), ideally they would lead a project with supervision but thats not a likelyhood to happen. as a former intern my myself even my good internships we would be sitting around goofing off a lot but we want to minimize that. any/all ideas welcomed.

    I would never have an intern leading a project, with or without supervision. That's just asking for trouble. I've previously used them to organize some part of the organization that had gone haywire and I've used them as note-takers and project coordinators.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 283Registered Members ■■■□□□□□□□
    As I have started my job last week, I'd say my experience is similar to an intern's, and may be able to provide some insight.

    My biggest issue is multitasking, go easy on it. They gave me a 15-day plan, which nobody really stuck to at all. Days 1-5 was supposed to be for going through the video training and on day 6 I was supposed to shadow someone for an hour before going on phones. Well phones was Day 3 (with no shadowing prior), and Day 1 I didn't have speakers so watching the videos would lead to me staring at a mute video. I am now 7 days into the job and am jumping between the videos, the phones, tickets, and a couple other little side projects they wanted me to do.

    Presumably the training regimen was only supposed to call for 5 hours of tickets and calls for Day 6, but I was doing that every single day since Day 3. I've had little gains from the video training simply because I can't watch 5 minutes without it being interrupted by a phone call, then coming back an hour later to try and remember what exactly I was watching and answer a surprise little quiz that asks for very specific details that you have to enter very exactly manually such as "you have to make sure to schedule patch deployments _______ in advance", the answer in that blank is "2 weeks" including the weeks, and if you enter "14 days" you got it wrong, oh also you need to score 80% or higher to pass the exam.

    Sticking a new guy in a various multitasking situation to me is like asking someone to do the job fast before they can even do the job right. Don't do it.
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