Stepping Up: Leadership as an Intern

Here we are: another Monday, another late blog post. This week, however, I am almost glad that I am late, as it allows me to write about a fellow intern who just started today. He is in my department and has not worked at my company in the past. In addition to this, my supervisor’s “hands-off” management style means that it is almost entirely up to me to get the new intern up to speed.

This is somewhat of a surprise for me. While I knew that I would certainly play a role in training the new intern, I did not realize that it would be almost entirely on my shoulders. I certainly was not put together today, and did a lot of rambling through various facets of our work. Even so, this structure has me over the moon. Working alongside someone else proved to be very interesting, and the hours passed far faster than on any other day. I am going to work to move forward in a more organized fashion by putting serious thought into the best way to structure the training to get the new intern up to speed.

I think it is also of value to discuss the strategy that my supervisor is using here. She is letting me take responsibility in this, and hoping that in teaching I can learn. I know this, she told me as much in an earlier meeting. I absolutely welcome it! I am not-so-subtly interested in working for this company after I complete undergraduate school, and this is a fantastic chance to prove my ability to work with a team.

I am worried that I may step beyond being “helpful” into being a “know-it-all” or “overbearing.” I initially wanted to be present as someone who he could ask questions to when they came up, not as the person arranging first-time instruction. While I feel OK about my efforts so far in this regard, it is certainly something I want to keep a watch on.

Even so, I am looking forward to speaking more on this in the future, as I think this particular situation is going to be very interesting from a Leadership Studies standpoint, and may even form a solid base for my internship essays.

One thought on “Stepping Up: Leadership as an Intern

  • August 1, 2019 at 10:50 am
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    So, you’ll need to think about how to work with this individual, how to structure work (if you will be the one assigning tasks to the new intern), etc. Interesting…you will have to think about the way in which you develop trust and the kind of relationship you have with this individual. Good to know that your supervisor did acknowledge that she was consciously choosing to have it unfold this way, with you as the primary orienter for this new person; clearly she has a lot of respect and faith in your abilities. I look forward to hearing more about how this all plays out…

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