People complain that interns are too much to manage and they screw work up more than they help. However, I think that if you really take the time to hire the right person, treat them with respect, and train them well, they can be an enormous asset to a team. I was fortunate to hire and work with a phenomenal intern this past year who brought a fresh energy, intuitive understanding, and a strong work ethic to our small but mighty office. For me, she was a gift; I could delegate tasks and know that they would be completed well, and I valued her second set of eyes on many of my own tasks. Today is Tahira’s last day, and I wanted to share this quote from her extremely insightful reflection:
I’m leaving with a new understanding that philanthropy is not just about the money; the money facilitates the action and its spark inspires change.
What I love about this – besides that she hit the nail on the head with what I, too, love about philanthropy – is that Tahira was hired as an office intern but was able to intuit so much more. It’s a reminder that those of us fortunate to have a stable job have a unique ability to mentor an intern; we can place them in an environment where they can be both an asset and an active observer. It’s a win-win.