I host many interns at my office. I feel it is important for me to stay in touch with upcoming technology, techniques and ideas in the field if I work with a cleaner or fresher mindset for a few months of the year.
To select these lucky recipients of a 2-3 month unpaid tour of duty I receive transcripts, resumes, writing samples (one being the reason why they want an internship) and letters of recommendation. Then there is the interview often on the phone or skype and follow up phone calls to the references.
Often we order our selection based upon the paperwork. And after 10 years I still can’t help myself…When you see that student with the 4.0 excelling in every category and a perfectly written essay is it so tempting to just hire them off the submitted papers. But again, after 10 years of working and interviewing these kids…you don’t really know until you have spoken with them in person, if they have the drive and ambition to want to learn and be part of the team. I have found that often the ones who look perfect on paper may not end up being the first choice after the interview. (for many reasons)
That does not mean I look only for C students or that A students some how don’t deserve the grade, what I am looking for is focus and drive and a willingness to try to figure it out and submit on deadline. A good student does not always make a good worker. It is different being a student then working in an office as part of a team. Remember those group projects your professor would assign and some member of the team would fail to submit their part. Or do a poor job on their section of the project. Well guess what..that is how it is every day in the working world. Yes you can try to do it all yourself but at some point a good company looks to hire folks who just intuitively know their responsibility and how to pull their weight.
I saw a tweet someone published that says don’t praise someone for being smart praise them for working hard. It was linked to this Forbes article called The Trouble with Bright Kids. It’s a fascinating look at what we do to our psyche when we praise the smarts not the effort. Some of us end up attributing the results to something we can’t control….That is a powerful thought. One is empowering the other stifling.
So what (you are saying to yourself) does this have to do with a cheap trick? What I am talking about is application, not the written one but the physical one. And that is free advise to a student looking for a job, an internship or an opportunity. You do not need to have graduated from the top expensive school or have a long list of accolades, to do well you only need hard work. So give me a C student with A student drive and ambition over an A student with C student ambition any day. Or better yet give me an A student with A student drive!
Those who want to know more: We take on interns 3 semester a year. If you read the article you know what needs to be submitted and what kind of person we are looking for. You can find out more about RedEye at our website. Job Ops.