Internship Responses

Subject: Internship Responses
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 07:37:51 -0400

Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for advice about having an
intern over the summer. I heard from both sides of the table, and they were
thoughtful and immensely helpful. Thanks to you all. Many postings were
anecdotal, which helps me a lot. I want to do this right the first time. I'm
frankly not as worried about how a veteran would be handled in our company,
because a veteran is presumed to be more experienced and capable of speaking
up. I find that veterans are able to be full team members, with all the
toughness that requires. However, an intern can't be expected to be so
resilient. I've been worried for quite some time about ruining one of the
intern's limited opportunities for expansion and experience. We're
interviewing the first candidate next week and your comments will be in our

The upshot seems to be that it's like parenting. I have to be firm but
understanding and keep an eye on the intern. The intern will need good,
simple, vital work to perform and will probably need more monitoring in it
than a more experienced hand would need. We have a project ready for him/her
right now, and it's not clerical. It's marketing, hard-core stuff. Not
sales, either. It's going to be something he or she will remember, believe
me. We're in a growth surge right now and we're going to put our intern to
work on a pivotal piece of the marketing effort. That's why we're looking
for a marketing intern, rather than a technical communications intern.

This internship is going to be a marvelous experience and I'm looking
forward to it. Again, thanks to everyone.

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Creators of the Clustar Method for task-based documentation

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