Monday, August 24, 2009

Intern Legacy- (Beyond Photocopying Your Butt)

There are a lot of great things you can participate in and experience as a summer intern. You can sit in important strategy meetings, you can help organize and plan for sales calls and if you are really lucky you can become the official Twitterer for the company. But while these experiences are great for uncovering your interest and padding the resume they often lack one thing- Legacy.

That's right, very rarely what you do as an intern is adopted into the mainstream business model of the company or maintained after you have returned to campus. This intern legacy is difficult to achieve for two core reasons:

1: Lack of engagement from the intern. (no secret here, it's an internship a brief fling in the workforce. Many will simply try to fly under the radar and get through the experience simply collecting college credit and not truly involving themselves in the business)

2: Lack of trust from the employer. (many employers are not willing to really leverage their interns. Scared of giving them a "too important" project and simply treating them as a gopher)

Now for a shining example of an intern who engaged and a company that trusted him.

Facebook's latest feature that allows users to update their Twitter accounts from their Facebook page was developed by none other than Michael Gummelt a Junior intern from Stanford.

Quote from Gummelt:
"I was able to build this new feature from start to finish as a summer engineering intern. Next month I'll head back to school, but I'm excited to see my work here live on through all of the people who now will both share on Facebook and tweet on Twitter right from their Facebook Pages".

This is a awesome example of intern legacy!
Side note- Facebook may have plenty more opportunities for intern legacies:

Based on a recent report from Bloomberg it appears that Facebook is poised to grow, looking to boost their staff by 50% this year.

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