What can I teach the new intern

A new intern who is a college student joined my team at work recently. I wanted him to be left with bundle of experience and insights before going back to school. So I began to brainstorm what he could earn from this experience.

The two major points I shared with him were:

  1. Since we are a fledgling platform service, he can learn how a platform is built from scratch. Witness how we can pull in suppliers, customers and other partners. He should ask questions how a task given to him will create value to our platform and get a good idea of how Uber or Airbnb started. Also, understand that the small task given to him is contributing a lot to our company’s vision.
  2. The world is a big place if you are willing to explore every corner of it. So I can send pieces of information or links that show different ideas, fields of business, innovative ventures and other interesting stuff. I like collecting data like this anyways. He may find something that falls into his passion.

But what I really want him to become is a person who shows compassion, gratitude and foster social companionship at a workplace. I am really trying to set a good example for him by giving detailed guidance and feedback and appreciating his hard work and so on.

I came across many types of seniors I reported to in the past. Some were lazy, gave me shit, used me as a scapegoat and vented out anger on me for no valid reason.

I’m ending that where I am now. I won’t pass it on. Making the world a better place can happen in small ways.

I will show kindness and gratitude towards everyone at work, especially to my juniors. Many employees recognize mistakes, while they overlook hard work. This murders motivation.

Luckily, I had seniors that I still consider as role models too. They helped me to stand my ground as someone who passes on positiveness even though shit happened down the road.

For example, at my first job at a magazine company, I was able to book an interview with a rookie singer whom my friend taught English to. My friend helped me get this gig. But the manager of the singer was extremely rude and if I gave in, it would have reflected badly on the company.

The editor-in-chief told me that I didn’t have to do the interview if I didn’t want to. My respect for her hiked to another level when she made sure this incident didn’t put a dent into my friendship with the girl who hooked me up with this interview. She motivated me to work hard and be a good person. She was firm but courteous. This is the reason why no one ever took advantage of her.

Authority is earned. Those who work with people they respect are highly productive. Many studies show this.

We don’t say thank you enough at work. We never get out of our way to really help each other. We really should change that. That’s how we get inspired and ultimately, be happy.

I do not know how much impact I will have on the new intern or my peers at work. But I would ask for nothing more if they make an effort to pass kindness forward like I tried.