Building an impactful internship program for your organization can be the rocket-fuel your company needs to scale and break through to the next level. Here at eBoost Consulting, we refer to our internship program as the "life-blood" of our organization. Over the years, our team has put in thousands of hours developing our program into one of the most sought after internships in all of Southern California. From DJs to MBAs to PhDs, many different types of Rockstars have taken the eBoost Internship Program challenge. Many different people have wrapped themselves in the eBoost flag and continue to wear it proudly and say, "yeah ... I'm an eBooster."
When Micha Mikailian and Johnny Chan launched eBoost Consulting seven years ago, they also began the eBoost Internship Program. Just like eBoost Consulting, overtime, the eBoost Internship Program has evolved into something quite special.
With millions of lives touched, we're motivated to take it to the next level and evolve it to create worldwide social impact.
Today, the eBoost Internship Program has transformed into Community Boost Consulting, the world's first performance-based non-profit organization. Community Boost Consulting's mission is to inspire young entrepreneurs to innovate groundbreaking strategies that accelerate and scale social impact for as many non-profit organizations as possible.
CBC's mantra elaborates on our key metrics for intern success- Inspire, Innovate, Impact. Consider what success looks like for your interns and allow them to thrive through exceeding your organization's expectations.
When done right, an internship program can drive a tremendous amount of value for your organization. Young entrepreneurial-minded interns can bring a creative spark that can really ignite and inspire your employees. Often, intern curiosity and enthusiasm will open up the idea flood-gates, as well as bring a welcomed challenge to the stale status quo.
Building a powerful internship program can also stock your organization's Rockstar talent pool. For example, over 50% of eBoost Consulting is comprised of intern alumni. We've found that an internship program is a great way to test drive talent. Evaluate your existing program and create new opportunities for your current team and future team members.
By now, you understand that your organization not only needs to have an internship program, but that your organization also needs to have an internship that exists to inspire. Let's breakdown my top ten tips, so that you can build an impactful internship program that will help take your organization to a whole new level.
After Boot Camp, all intern classes begin Leadership Labs. Modeled after a program that originated at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Leadership Labs culminate into the Executive Challenge where our newly-prepared interns must sit across the negotiation table from Southern California's top executives and role-play challenging business cases.
Our initial training might seem like a lot, but it's by design. Every team that graduates training is fully prepared and ready to tackle any and all client work they encounter. Not to mention, the majority of interns say things like, "I learned more in four weeks of eBoost training than I did in four years of marketing courses."
After running your interns through the training ringer, I can't stress enough how important it is for your interns to feel as if they are genuinely a part of your company culture and team. Often interns are working for pennies or even just for the experience, so it is extremely important to make them feel like a part of your corporate family.
Seize every opportunity you can to put your interns in front of clients. As Director of our internship program, I understand that can be a scary thought. However, by giving your team as many client repetitions as possible you will exponentially accelerate their growth. Like I always say, "Reps, reps, reps, give 'em reps." If you're still worried, consider that the majority of clients realize interns aren't perfect and will embrace the opportunity to help develop a young person with high potential.
From day one we provide feedback frameworks to encourage and require every intern to give each other honest, transparent and concise feedback. Being able to give and receive feedback will empower your intern team and accelerate the time it takes you to take them from lower yield to higher yield. In addition to demanding lateral feedback, we also welcome all interns to give feedback to their directors as well as our very own CEO.
Bringing in and recruiting top talent can be one of the most resource intensive parts of running an internship. However, I recommend assigning the responsibility for recruiting and hiring to the next intern class. Who better to understand what it takes to be a Rockstar intern than the current intern class? Not to mention, being on the other side of the interview table for 10+ interviews really accelerates the interns learning on how to be a great interviewee as they graduate the program and enter the workforce.
What separates an okay internship from a great one? Mentorship. Young talent walks through your door because they are looking to become great. It is your job to get them there. No one is born a great mentor, it takes practice, experience and most importantly, it takes a tremendous amount of care.
Think of your interns as surfers. They are constantly in the moment, trying to stand up and deliver the most powerful and smooth ride they can on whatever wave they've encountered. It's your job to make sure that they are always riding the perfect wave. You want to give them waves that are challenging, that push them to exceed any expectations that they have ever set for themselves. However, you don't want to push them into a wave that is going to immediately wreck or drown them. Even worse, you don't want to give them too much down time in between waves and you never want to leave your interns paddling around uninspired.
I can't stress enough how important it is to give your interns complete ownership in their work. Whether it's an important project or event, by giving them 100% ownership you will accelerate their growth and development. In our program, each intern serves as the "A" (project manager) and is the front person on several non-profit client accounts. As the A, they hold 100% of the accountability. By giving interns such a high level of responsibility, you will see that the vast majority of the time, your team will not just exceed, but surpass your expectations.
The harder you push your team, the harder you need to celebrate. It is so important to take time to celebrate your team's accomplishments and acknowledge all of their hard work. When I think back to my eBoost intern days, it is the times we went out and grabbed dinner and drinks after a huge win that culminated my internship experience as the best internship I ever participated in. While celebrating, take time to reflect with your team on the challenges and hardships they conquered in order to get to where they are today.
I truly believe that my intern team can accomplish anything they set out to do, I believe in them more than anyone in their life ever has. Believing that your intern team can accomplish anything and everything is by far the most important thing you can do to evolve your internship into something that drives immediate and scalable impact, both for your interns and for your organization.
Last, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to every single past eBoost intern that has ever walked by the eBoost graffiti mural and sat down in the coveted Orange Room. Without your dedication to excellence and desire to learn and create, the eBoost Internship Program would not be where it is today. I am not only excited, but I am also very humbled to be given the opportunity to lead the eBoost Internship Program into this new era; I am excited to create Community Boost Consulting. This would not be possible without all of you, and this would especially not be possible without all of the hard work and love put in by the one and only Johnny Chan. Thank you. Let's get ready to accelerate.
Cameron Ripley, Associate Consultant, eBoost Consulting,
Director of Impact, Community Boost Consulting
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