The perfect intern


By Lynn Madeley, CEO, Havas Worldwide Southern Africa

I often look at youngsters coming into our industry. The interns. They?re the
ones that either light you up and inspire you with their talent and potential, or
they are the ones that make you despair.

So what makes some of these people stand out from the crowd, in a good
way? Why do you instantly mark some of them as managing directors or creative
directors of the future? They slightly intimidate you, they are interesting and
from day one they are just a little hot to handle.

The good ones look you in the eye; they have a firm hand shake. They are
respectful of the mighty powers in the corner office, but they are not frightened
by them. They are interested and keen to learn. Engaged would be the word I
would use.

But they also have humility. They know just where they fit in, right at the bottom
of the pile and so they are prepared to make the coffee. In fact the really good
ones offer to make the coffee and remember how many sugars the whole team
takes. And the future stars make a coffee for the tea lady too.

The good ones have self-worth and they like people. You need to like people
if you are going to be in our business.

They are curious. They are always looking under the rock, or rabbit holing
through Google. They ask why? They ask why not? They ask so what?

They are prepared. They have checked out your website. They have Googled
the people who work for you and they know the work that you have done. And
they have an opinion on all of it, which they are not afraid to share.

They have ideas and they are happy to share them but not because they
are cocky and wanting to show off their brilliance, but because they just want to
share the idea as it might solve a problem. From the beginning the great interns
identify problems and offer solutions. They are natural problem solvers.

And they are responsible. They are on time. They do what they have been
asked to do and they do it on time. You can have all the talent in the world, but
if you don?t channel it you may as well have no talent at all. And they have
enormous stamina and ability to work harder and longer than anyone else in the

And yet coupled with being responsible they still have fun. They light up the
room with random jokes or stunts that change the energy in a good way.
They?re interesting to be around.

So whether you are looking for fresh, young talent, or if you want to be
recognized as fresh young talent these are some of the things to look for.

And just remember as an intern, a really good intern that gets offered a job
at the end of the day, just make sure you are never boring.

Visit the Careers Portal website
to view the latest intern opportunities

Would you make the perfect intern? What do you think an intern should do to
make a good impression and get a permanent job?