It’s National Intern Day! This is the one day a year when these hardworking, mostly young souls receive well-deserved appreciation. It’s also a great opportunity to commend the importance of the role of interns in general.
Having an intern program is a win-win situation. It gives aspiring professionals the opportunity to ease into the workforce while providing employers with young perspectives and extra sets of hands.
At Smart Meetings, we were lucky enough to hire several summer interns. Full disclosure—I was an intern myself not so long ago. And I can confidently say that working with our editorial interns, Sara Wildman and Joe Mogannam, has been a very valuable experience. Wildman has written some truly impressive digital content while Mogannam has helped streamline backend processes for the website.
“Prior to this opportunity, I was unaware of the extent of the meetings industry, but I have gained a vast knowledge of all its different elements,” Wildman says. “I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to be surrounded by hard-working, talented professionals. I will take the skills I’ve learned here and apply them throughout my life.”
Mogannam also values the experience he gained. “The most valuable skill I developed at Smart Meetings is teamwork,” he says. “I worked with many departments, and this allowed me to realize how important it is for everyone to put in 100 percent commitment.”
Anyone working in the meeting and event planning industry knows how fast-paced and stressful it can be. Therefore, meeting professionals highly value interns’ contributions. We all rely on them, but we need to better explain why they’re so fantastic. Here are some of the main reasons meeting planners love their interns, and not just on National Intern Day.
1. Fresh outlook
Bringing in a new set of eyes always benefits a brand. And what better way to revamp strategies, diversify materials and update methods than enlisting a newbie? Meeting and event planners are expected to stay up to date on the latest technology, social media, products and trends in general. Having a youthful perspective will broaden your perspective.
2. Genuinely eager
Interns join the team because they really, truly want to learn. Their enthusiasm about the industry and work in general is almost guaranteed to pep up your spirit. Plus, in the passion-driven meeting and event planning field, it’s crucial to remember why you’re working each day—and interns’ positive attitude will remind you.
3. Detail management
Remember those moments when you kept reiterating something so that you wouldn’t forget it before you wrote it down? Well, interns are a much better version of your pen and paper. They can keep tabs on those oh-so-important, but easily forgettable, details. Which venue were you supposed to call back? What time is your flight Thursday? Just ask your interns!
4. Management reinforcement
Internships stimulate mutual learning. As interns absorb industry fundamentals, management is able to sharpen and potentially develop new leadership skills.
5. New connections
Whether your interns are temporary or end up working for you full-time, establishing connections with them is very important. It’s comforting and rewarding to establish positive connections, and who knows, your paths might cross again sooner than you think.