Crowd-sourced mentor tips
passion + a plan
throw me in the
deep end (&
the right level of
time for me,
space to let me
ask me good
questions (and let
me find the
starter project –
it’s ok not to
know the answers
(let’s figure it out
In the rare cases where there have
been difficulties with internships,
we’ve traced the problems back
to different expectations and/or
low level of engagement &
support in the first couple of
•Your goals &
right project +
right intern +
right support =
We devote the first month to
training. Interns work full time on
the Dev Train. This will pay back
in the 2nd & 3rd month, when you
have an extra developer resource
on your team.
Setting interns up with a small
“learning” project to get them
familiar with the tools, working
style and in the flow is a great
idea. Set them up for success!
• Embed in a team
• R&D Project
Can you give them
ownership of some part
of a project?
a tangible output is
awesome if possible
Before start date
Get your whole team
on board to welcome
your newest recruit,
get them engaged
• Mentor(s) + Buddy
• Map the project
We invite all our interns for a
casual lunch before start date. No
pressure, just to meet the team
and make everyone feel welcome.
• Orientation to training & support resources (online & offline)
• Encourage questions (but help them solve their own problems)
• Ask them to document their learning, to present back to the rest
of the team at the end of the internship
• Remember: technical & non-technical support!
Make sure day one goes smoothly!
First impressions are really
important. Try and remove any
housekeeping glitches and have a
clear plan for the first few hours.
Remember, this could be their first
• Be clear on start/finish times
• Office etiquette
• Clients/VIPs/confidentiality etc
• Xmas party etiquette
Don’t panic, it’s not
you’ve hired mature,
• Clear expectation-setting
• Check in
• Give feedback
• Encourage question-asking
• Share good problem-solving techniques
• 10 ½ minutes TEDED talk by Brian Kinghorn
As a newbie, it’s easy to
get stuck in a hole.
1 minute’s advice from you
could save them HOURS of
Provide context for your intern:
how does their project fit into the
Talk about what they’ll do, why
it’s important, what they (and the
organisation) will get at the end.
• You should be able to pull back training/mentor time
• But remain available & ensure regular check-ins
• Consider re-scoping project if their progress is faster than
• Can you expose to different projects/people/clients/tasks?
• Invite to observe other teams/meetings/events?
• Consider re-scoping project if their progress is slower than
• Can you provide extra training resources or tips?
• Extra tech or non-tech support required?
• Are you getting what YOU hoped out of the experience? Don’t
forget to check in with yourself & team-mates to make sure
you’re maximising the opportunity.
• Documentation… is super-useful to reflect on your mentorship
experience, too ;-)
End of internship
• Wanna keep em? Sometimes interns are available part-time or
full-time after summer. COMMUNICATE EARLY!
• Write a reference or LinkedIn recommendation if you’re
comfortable doing that
• Document & Feedback (from them to you, you to them, you to
future you, from all of you to SoT/Biz team)
We always asked our interns to
present back to the wider team at
the end of their project. It is
great experience for them, and
helps raise awareness about what
interns can do.
• Let us know if things are going well or not well
• Let us know if anything unexpected happens
• Regular summer events – please come along, all welcome!
• Seeking Interns to present at our showcase at the end of Feb –
if you have a potential case study, please let us know
• send us a DM from the website – log in and find the Intercom
speech bubble at the bottom right of your screen
• email us firstname.lastname@example.org