RE: managing interns

Subject: RE: managing interns
From: "Julia Cemer" <jcemer -at- wavelink -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 11:18:41 -0800

Just to clarify a couple of points:

These will be just-graduated-from-college interns and it is a paying
internship (20-25 hours, I think).

I have no choice in the matter. Company wants "interns", so that's who
they are hiring. I'm more than a little nervous as to how it will play
out and what things will look like when I return.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gene Kim-Eng [mailto:techwr -at- genek -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 12:00 PM
To: Julia Cemer; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: managing interns

The interns are supposed to run the doc process while you're out
on leave? Ouch.

Assuming that your "interns" are real interns, i.e., college students
or inexperienced new grads who are there for a learning experience,
this would not be a good idea. Hosting interns is usually *more*
work for you, not less, because the time and effort expended in
teaching the newbies, doublechecking everything they do and
correcting it in a manner that educates them is going to be greater
than any work they end up doing for you. Hosting interns is not
getting temporary office help, but contributing to the development
of new members of your profession in your industry.

OTOH, if your "interns" are actually experienced writers your
company is just taking advantage of a weak job market to exploit
as cheap labor, all you'll need to do is familiarize them with your
doc formats and company processes, then go home. The hardest
part will be figuring out a way to be able to look at yourself in a
mirror. If this is your company's plan, I would press for one
contract writer with project management experience rather than
a pair of interns.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Julia Cemer" <jcemer -at- wavelink -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:29 AM
Subject: managing interns

Does anyone have any good resources (articles, books, etc) or ideas
about managing interns? I've been told my company will be hiring two
interns for my documentation team this summer. I'm currently a team of
one and will be going on maternity leave in June. I feel like I need to
start organizing a program so things don't turn too chaotic while I'm
gone, but I don't know where to start.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.


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