Friday, April 4, 2008

What Kind of Tasks Do You Give Interns?

This week I got to wondering how best to make use of student employees, interns, lackeys and the like. Is it better to give them dull, menial tasks with little or no measurable effect on the bottom line? Or should you go out of your way to give them interesting, meaningful things to do that helps them learn about your business?

Stella tends to fall on interesting and meaningful side of the fence. I'm a busy and highly paid professional, but, seriously, I don't spend so much time making photocopies that I need to spend fifteen minutes explaining to the student employee how to do the copies just the way I like. Instead I spend 90 seconds just doing it my own dang self.

I will spend fifteen minutes explaining how to use mail merge to generate thank you letters and why it's important to do them as quickly as possible. I do expect you to remember what I have told you, but I am also more than happy to entertain questions about the nuances of the project.

So what do you think? Are you too important to make your own copies? Or should your students and other low-level folk be indoctrinated into the mysterious ways and means of your business to the greatest level possible?

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