Think Interns are Entitled Starbuck’s Groupies? Think Again.

Got Interns?

If you’re an entrepreneur who is serious about growing your business and have yet to include student interns in your business plans, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

As a real-world example, let’s check out the background of a select group of students who secured internship positions with an online start-up launched in 2010 – interns that can only be described as “over-achievers”.

This is important to note: these are real people – at a real start-up.

Student and Community Leaders

Many of these interns have held leadership roles in student, community, political and government organizations including:

  • Student Government Association Treasurer, co-founder of a county Student Chamber of Commerce, and a leadership post in Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity
  • Campaign managers of Congressional House and Senate candidates
  • Senior Vice President of Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity chapter
  • Phi Theta Kappa Chapter President
  • Governor-appointed Youth Commissioner for the Louisiana Serve Commission

Student Entrepreneurs

A sampling of the new business ventures being developed by these students:

  • Service that manages databases and designs and distributes newsletters for small businesses
  • Online service to find and connect with college roommates
  • Marketing and branding company providing services to local businesses
  • Digital interactive training apparel
  • Online supplemental reading service for college students
  • Business strategy and branding consultancy serving start-up and Fortune 500 clients

Federal Government

A number of students have served on the staff of US Senators; one has held three successive summer internships with the US Department of Energy.

Fortune 500/Large Company Experience

Some of the companies these over-achievers have worked with in their young careers include:

  • Marvel Entertainment (part of Disney)
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Nabisco
  • Northwestern Mutual Life
  • Underwriters Laboratories
  • Novartis

Accomplished Bloggers

Though they have very different backgrounds – from engineering to business to communications – all of the students hired by this company are talented writers. Some blog for well-known publications, such as the Washington Post, while others blog for numerous start-up companies.

Family and Friends

Many of these interns are highly committed to their families and social circles. Some are single parents. Others are oldest siblings helping younger brothers and sisters transition into adulthood. Still others are helping their parents and peers deal with troubling economic times – all while they develop their own careers.

Yes, Ms. and Mr. Entrepreneur, we’re talking about college students and interns here. These are not Starbuck’s groupies full of entitlement and lacking in work ethic. These are the leaders of tomorrow, actively engaging in the entrepreneurial experience while learning real-world skills.

So I’ll ask again: Got interns?

About the Author: Joe Gagliano, a founding member of YouTern and our CMO, brings years of start-up management, strategic planning, marketing and market research experience to the team and his blog posts. Joe, who runs our learning center for interns, also brings a passion for start-ups, entrepreneurship and mentorship to our team.

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