What Interns Have Taught Me

August 24, 2011

As someone who has managed the Greater Media Detroit Internship Program for over 8 years I have learned many things.

I think the most beneficial thing is that you need to give your intern staff the real work experience that you would want to get if you were an intern.

I am constantly putting myself in their shoes and looking to see they are learning from working on the event or project we give to them.  It’s so important to ask yourself, will our interns finish their time with us having learned about radio, business and team work or with a feeling like they did some free labor for a radio station.

If an intern is treated as part of the team and is given projects that make them research and learn, as well as participating in street events, we have seen them come away feeling empowered to take the next steps in their education and career paths.  And of course, they did a great service for the station.

Today’s interns can also teach us a great deal.  We need to our part.  Get to know their goals in our industry, what unique skills they possess.  You may find you have a social media superstar on your intern team and you don’t even know it.

I’ve been fortunate.  The vast majority of the over 650 interns who have passed through the Greater Media Detroit program in the last 8 years thank us for one of the best experiences they ever had.  Even better,  just about all of them tell me that they learned more than they thought they would and will recommend the internship to anyone that asks them about it.

That to me is success!

Ben Perez is making Greater Media great in his role as Promotion Manager for  WRIF/WCSX/WMGC-FM in Detroit.