“Obviously the agenda of this post is not to brain wash all students to think The dorm Shop’s intern program is the best. However, what you can learn from this is what to look for in an employer, when you’re job hunting in the future, or looking for an internship opportunity of your choice. An internship is a quick way to earn money, but if you can do that while making networking with like-minded people, learn how a business runs, and handle important projects, you are left a little richer and smarter by the end of your internship. Also, a terrific story to tell in your interviews later in life.” – Jay Bagri, Founder, The Dorm Shop.
At The Dorm Shop we realize, that only hiring interns and getting our work done is not what an intern program is all about. What gets the company + students – the maximum benefit, and sets an average internship apart from a truly legendary one, is a program, which teaches you more during your free time than you will learn in your classes.
We are a startup – we learn and unlearn quick – that’s our forte and over the last few months we have gone back to the drawing board several times to tweak and make our intern program truly rewarding not only for you but also for our company.
Here is what we have learned thus far:
1. Vary Responsibilities: We give our interns both day-to-day team responsibilities (as an entry-level employee), as well as a long-term project. Students (and most people) like to learn, so we show them as much about our business as possible. Projects given are meaningful to our business and a real learning experience for you. Plus, you end up with something substantive to talk about in your interview with a future employer (which might be us). Once you graduate working for a startup would be a risky proposition but during an internship it is a far better option as you can directly communicate with head of all departments and share ideas and views.
2. Bring the Interns into the Company Culture: Even though are team is spread across the nation and many a times we have interns working from remote cities we still make it a point to chill over coffee/dinner once in a while whenever anyone from the core team is in your city. Let loose and interact as friends. This works as an ice breaker and gives both the interns and the management team to discuss topics apart from work and makes things fun. Who doesn’t like a free meal any ways!
3. Offer Feedback: This we have found is really important as feedback not only motivates but also teaches our interns how things happen in real life. Whether this is through monthly meetings with your supervisor or an end-of-internship review session with the team, you need to know how you did and what you can work to improve.
4. Workplace Flexibility: We have no fixed timings or definite number of hours. Instead we structure the program in such a manner that you like doing it. It’s more of simulation game like age of empires or sims city just that your decisions have a real impact on the company’s performance. It is very difficult to get such responsibility in a bigger organization.
5. A Mentor Program: we assign each of our interns with a mentor. This relation that develops between a mentor and a student goes far beyond the internship period and the mentors remain available for help and advice throughout.
We hire interns who are the best at what they do and we respect that. Paying our interns is as important as paying our management heads.
These are just a few things we have learned as employers but as mentioned earlier we can unlearn aspects which do not really work and are open to suggestions. What do you seek from your employer? Let us know.
Just a little more about us:
What the hell is this Dorm Shop?
From the desk of guys who brought you pretty much nothing before this!
-The Dorm Shop