Innovation Blog

To Ascend Beyond the "Intern"

Greg Zoeller, CIO and Co-Founder at Verbal Applications, believes a good intern is someone who is a creative problem solver. A good candidate would be able to think on the fly without supervision from the executive team while at the same time being cognizant of what benefit they are seeking from the internship. Is it a recommendation? Is it a job? Most importantly, Greg says that an intern should be honest and open-minded. A good intern cant come in with specific expectations and should be willing to adapt while at the same time being open about their limits. If an intern doesnt have the requisite skills to take on a task, she should be open about her lack of knowledge and be willing to learn. This way, both the team and the intern gain value from the relationship.
Danielle Flynn and Cathy McGrath of A Little Easier Recovery are also looking for interns who are reliable and self-motivated. They are also seeking applicants who are professional and well articulated, both in email and on the networking floor. Articulation is very important for the would-be intern. Oftentimes, interns become an integral part of the core startup team, therefore they need to be able to articulate the startups passion as well as the founders themselves.
For Husni Abu Samrah of MobiStine, organization is key to a successful internship. The organized intern should also be self-managed. Every member of a startup team is typically buried in their tasks and even the tasks of others. The common trope is that everyone wears different hats, so must interns. An intern should be able to identify what the team needs and start projects on their own with little supervision from their managers who are often busy with their own tasks that are integral to the maintenance of a startup. Be a self-starter, stay on task, be adaptive and receptive – thats the secret to success!
Global Village Fruits is also seeking interns at the Internship and Hiring fair, and founder Annie Ryu shared a few thoughts on the best candidate. The most relevant skill the intern needs to succeed is to be meticulous. The meticulous intern will produce the best, most complete work. Always look for ways to make practices better and more efficient and always over-deliver on each of your tasks. Startups face many big challenges and often times founders need someone meticulous and grounded to remind them of the many small details that support the foundations of the big picture.
An unlocked gate in Constantinople arguably led to the fall of the Byzantine Empire; maybe if Constantine XI Palaiologos had a meticulous intern, the city would not have fallen. Startups appreciate the intern who makes sure all the gates are locked – ensuring they can push forward, unabated!
Armed with this knowledge, you can become an intergral part of your startup’s core team. Come to our Internship and Hiring Fair on September 18th and connect with these great startups and many more!

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