I Pour Life Business Tips

In early March, like the rest of the world, we were confronted with a new challenge for business: pivot our entire development model of serving at-risk populations to all virtual channels. Luckily the I Pour Life team is nimble, adaptable, and willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill commitments — and they do it with excellence. 

Like many businesses across the country, staff moved to remote offices, Zoom became our most popular app, and we ordered better quality headphones to help us be successful from our home offices. As a Midwest nonprofit, this was great for our staff and the youth we serve, but what would happen to our current interns and the future of our robust intern program?

We quickly restructured our intern framework, expectations, and integration. Below are a few of the ways we adapted to create what has become the most effective and impactful intern program I Pour Life has ever seen.

TIPS FOR ONBOARDING REMOTE INTERNS

  • Kickoff internships on the same day across multiple departments. Host a Zoom introduction to all execs, directors, or managers so the intern knows the leadership team & decision makers.
  • Discuss expectations for working hours. Clarify appropriate response times, mandatory meetings, etc
  • Prepare the intern for a 30 Day Self-Review on Day 1.
  • Create structured tasks around a project, no more general tasks (nobody is stapling papers or making copies anymore). Provide a list or a task tracking document that the intern always has access to. 
  • Communicate key dates that the intern should know about, even if it doesn’t directly connect to their work. This creates a sense of community and belonging to the team. 
  • Weekly face to face scheduled check-in. Pick a date and time and always show up. You will be faced with the temptation to move or reschedule, but keeping your meeting will ensure they feel valued, maintain focus, and are on-track for the project. Bonus points if you can meet with multiple interns at once. 
  • Ask the intern to report after week 1 on how they plan to be successful and vocalize how they see themselves needing support on the project. Follow up with this weekly.

I Pour Life is dedicated to helping at-risk youth develop the skills they need to excel in their transition to adulthood. Our commitment to graduating college students should be no less important as they are experiencing new challenges due to the evolving landscape of the job market. Providing valuable experience to each intern we are graced with is our duty and our privilege. We are grateful for the young adults supporting I Pour Life through a very strange time and for all who will follow in their footsteps as they seek to make a positive impression on the world.

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