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How Would You Use A College Intern (15 hours/week)

I need some tasks to give a college intern to keep busy

   
2:18 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have a college intern for 15 hours a week that I'm having trouble coming up with good tasks for him to do.

Background info:

-I have enough writers already, so "write content" isn't an option
-He would not be comfortable on the phone
-Very good at repetitive tasks
-We run a portfolio of websites across dozens of niches and our focus is organic traffic generation

What should I have him work on? What would you have him work on knowing the background info?

3:28 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm having trouble coming up with good tasks for him to do.

Would it be better for both sides to pass him onto another organization? 15 hours is nothing.

He would not be comfortable on the phone

Depending upon career path, he will need to be. Teach him. Put him in some deep water. I know that there are at least a couple of books or monographs dedicated to telephone skills. If dedicated, he'll learn something he needs, and under some stress. This could be ideal. If he's okay with in person conversation, then the jump to telephone skills should not be overly taxing and you won't likely be 'dragged down', so to speak.

He'll get nothing from repetitive tasks if already a strong point; though you probably would.

our focus is organic traffic generation

That sounds like 'write content', so unless he has, or can be taught, some IT skills, you have no current need. On the other hand - although YOU might not need any more writers, maybe he would benefit from the experience; writing to word count, to deadline, to unique wording and phrasing that one finds only on the internet. It's only 15 hours a week. Surely one of your current writers could be put on some sort of 'special project' to 'shift' the time allocation.

IMO, a successful internship should be a little scary for both sides. If he is comfortable and doing something that he is already pretty good at, then he is 'marking time' for the credit and you get free work. Lots of internships are run this way; the easy path for both. If he is pushed beyond what he is already good at, there could be rough patches for both sides. Harder for you (unless he direct reports to a delegated person), but far more valuable to him.

What you both want out of this (and are willing to put into it) directly impacts what you have him working on.

4:17 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Have him set up some A/B tests to optimize your CTR
7:11 pm on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I agree w. D.B. here! The idea of learning is to spread your wings, learn things they aren't comfortable with. Because someone is uncomfortable with a thing means they are too lazy (or insecure, or whatever) to do that thing and this is an area they need to work on.

As for what to assign, what tasks don't you like? Assign them! Don't get too compassionate, and think, "I'd hate it if someone dumped that on me." You are giving them a challenging learning experience, getting used to dealing with unsavory tasks, which is completely true. This is what life is about!

3:15 am on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I would have them attempt to build reciprocal links with high PR sites.
3:37 am on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I would have them attempt to build reciprocal links with high PR sites.

How well networked is he? Some non-recip .edu links on some nice pages would be a plus for most people. Maybe he can learn how to learn that he can 'know people' and make 'connections' almost out of thin air in the right circumstances.

My client .edu links all came from 'inside jobs'. Yeah, they were paid. One-time 'bonus' - longterm plus.

6:21 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Not to be rude, but if you can't think of a meaningful job for this intern, then why did you hire him? You clearly do not need him and you are wasting his valuable time. This is morally inexcusable in my opinion.
10:17 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



To be fair on the OP it may have been arranged by his boss.
1:29 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Not to be rude, but if you can't think of a meaningful job for this intern, then why did you hire him? You clearly do not need him and you are wasting his valuable time.

Any job right now is valuable. Also, considering he isn't confortable with socializing and is good at repetitive tasks makes me think his time isn't that valuable to begin with.