The team over at 31 Bits has a stellar intern program; in addition to being one of our favorite companies oriented around giving back, they are also known for teaching and treating their interns well. We picked up on their secrets from founders Alli Swanson and Jessie Simonson. Here are their 5 tips for giving interns the best experience.
1. Begin with a Scavenger Hunt!
Over the years we’ve realized that many of our interns are unfamiliar with our “Costa Mesa neighborhood” when they first start their internship. What better way to get to know each other AND the area than with an old fashioned scavenger hunt?! We send them out to our favorite local donut and coffee shops, fashion boutiques, and of course – the beach!
2. Attend Events
We make a point that every intern attends at least one event on behalf of 31 Bits! Whether it’s selling at a women’s conference or a special shopping night at a local boutique, it gives them a chance to interact with our customers and share the story, as well as network with people they might be able to connect with in the future.
3. You’re never too old for a “Field Trip”
We schedule field trips to other local organizations and brands we have relationships with. This allows our interns to get a behind the scenes look at how other companies operate, and they’re able to discover other career opportunities that might be of interest.
4. Learn from each person in the company
Every week we have a different member from our team share with our interns about their role in the company and their personal journey that led them to 31 Bits. This is a great way for them to learn more about the ins and outs of our company, and how valuable each role is to our team! We also give the interns the opportunity to ask questions and get advice.
5. “Treat” them well!
31 Bits interns get a LOT of donuts. Mostly because we love donuts… but it’s also our way of thanking them for their hard work and dedication! Because we don’t offer paid internships, we try to come up with clever ways to reward our interns and ensure that they feel valued, like occasional catered lunches, sweet treats, free jewelry from our company, and more!