Give Your Intern Roots And Wings


“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: roots and wings.” – W. Hodding Carter II


“Good parents give their children roots and wings: roots to know where home is, and wings to fly off and practice what has been taught them.” -Jonas Salk


Interns, regardless of age, are at the starting point on a particular career path. They are seeking knowledge and hands-on, practical experience to launch or advance a career.  A good Internship Manager is central to a valuable internship experience.


An Internship Manager wears many hats. The Internship Manager is the person responsible for hiring, onboarding, training, assigning, supporting, guiding, monitoring, and developing an intern. In addition to the responsibility of being a leader and a mentor, sometimes being a manager can feel like you are a teacher, other times a friend, other times a counselor, and sometimes even a parent. An internship can be a critical time of short-term and long-term growth and development. A strong Internship Manager can be a catalyst helping the intern build a bridge to a successful future. The work is crucial. When your interns succeed, your company succeeds.


Give Your Intern Roots

A root anchors. It is a foundation. A strong manager provides clear expectations, encouragement, wisdom and direction. A quality manger helps their intern define and pursue their career goals by connecting internship tasks assigned to their field of interest.  A healthy company provides a safe environment for growth and learning – a safe place to land. Belonging, confidence, resilience, trust, appreciation, and respect are the results of a nurturing internship ‘home’. When interns are not punished or ridiculed for mistakes or are assisted through challenges or adversity, they develop a sense of connection that lasts long after the internship experience has ended.


Give Your Intern Wings

Wings symbolize flight, travel, and progress. The internship is an educational experience designed to help a new professional develop into their potential. A time for interns to learn about themselves and learn professional skills that are transferable across industries and occupations.  You give your intern wings by allowing them to practice and implement the new knowledge. You give your intern wings by allowing them to choose their own career path instead of leading them down the path you have taken. Wings empower an intern to become a life-long learner When interns are given freedom and creativity along with boundaries they gain a sense of competence. They soar. By giving your intern wings you are creating a domino effect of good in the world.


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Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career development. She has a strong background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.

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