I experienced internships early on in life; while I was in college, I did three paid internships – two for Walt Disney World, and one with the Waterford Hotel Group. Each opportunity was a great learning experience; I spent time working with managers at each of my locations to learn more about the industry – at Disney, it was about how to become a greater professional, manage food costs, and more. At Waterford, it was a unique experience, working at both the front desk and in a restaurant learning more about the business while holding down a traditional hourly position.
After doing these internships, I decided that I wanted to someday offer the same great opportunities I received from these great organizations to students when I started my company. So now, as I am in my 6th year of business, I have launched an internship program at Braathe Enterprises.
I tested it out last summer, having a paid intern for 8 weeks, available Monday through Friday, but making their own hours. I quickly learned just having one person on board to completely rely on was not the best idea, but it was a great learning experience for the both of us. The intern learned about all of the aspects of my business, but given the scope of what I do, it may not have been the best idea to setup the internship in that manner.
Now, this spring, I have offered 6 students an unpaid opportunity with a much narrower scope. Each has assigned projects, but works collaboratively online via a discussion board where topics overlap. The time requirements are less – I’ve asked each to commit 3-5 hours per week on their own time to complete the assignments. Each Monday and Thursday, I send them a list of new projects or new ideas I’d like them to explore.
Next post, I will share how I came about finding these interns, and how I framed the internship individually for each to ensure that it is a valuable experience for both Braathe Enterprises and the studies they are doing at college.