Robert J. Khoury, Author of Intern Management: Principles for Designing an Exceptional Internship
- 🌎 Robert Khoury's website
- 🌎 Robert's company, Agile Rainmakers
- 💬 Robert on LinkedIn
- 💬 Robert on Instgram
- 📖 Robert's latest book: Intern Management: Principles for Designing an Exceptional Internship
About this podcast episode
🌱 Cultivate success by leading with dignity with your internship programs.
Robert Khoury, CEO of Agile Rainmakers, discusses his new book, “Internship Management: Principles for Designing an Exceptional Internship.”
In this podcast, you will learn the following:
✅ The nine principles to creating a great internship program
✅ How to foster a positive, enriching environment for continuous learning and growth
✅ The importance of ‘dignity’ in internships for a respectful and growth-centric experience.
🎉 Real-world examples to help you build a world-class internship program
(transcripts are auto-generated, so please excuse the brevity)
[00:00:00] Introduction and Guest Presentation
Bill Raymond: Hi, this is Bill Raymond and welcome to the Agile in Action Podcast. Today. I’m joined by Rob Khoury, CEO at Agile Rainmakers and author of how to intern successfully. Rob has been a guest with us before as a matter of fact, you might remember him from last year’s podcast, where he talked about how students can make the best out of their internship program.
Bill Raymond: This year, Rob is returning to share insights for managers and leaders to help them build great internship programs. Rob gives back to the community a lot, so we wanted to make sure he was back again. And this year, Rob is announcing his new book, Internship Management: Principles for Designing an Exceptional Internship. Hi Rob, how are you today?
Robert Khoury: I’m doing great, Bill. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Bill Raymond: Can you introduce yourself to the audience?
Robert Khoury: Yeah, I’m Robert Khoury. I’m the co founder and CEO of Agile Rainmakers, a high impact business development consulting and advisory firm based in Chicago’s Gold Coast. I’ve had a 20 plus year career in the financial industry, and I take great pleasure in supporting college students and recent grads and making career life choices that support the fulfillment of their life’s goals.
Robert Khoury: I’ve been a member of the Princeton Club of Chicago and for over a decade I organized intern luncheons for Princeton students. Eager to find opportunities in Chicago and I’ve hired over 25 interns over the years and have a passion for ensuring their success. As Bill mentioned, I’ve published how to intern successfully, insights and actions to optimize your experience to assist students.
Robert Khoury: And just recently published intern management principles for designing an exceptional internship. That one’s for the managers, and the whole idea here is to bring dignity to the internship discourse, and that’s what I’m about to do, and I’m loving the entire process.
Bill Raymond: Yeah, and you talk about that a lot. We’re going to dig deeper into what you mean by dignity.
[00:02:00] Understanding Internship Programs
Bill Raymond: Before we get started, though, could you just share with our audience what an internship program is?
Robert Khoury: Yeah, an internship program is it’s an opportunity for, a student to learn about a business or a trade for a set period of time. Find out if the industry is what they’re looking for, where they would like to be in the future. It’s also an opportunity for those students to make connections and help them grow, not just in their career, but in life overall.
Robert Khoury: It’s a great opportunity for businesses to see new talent and understand what motivates them, what they’re interested in, where they want to go. What it is not is it’s not free labor and the butt of jokes. And that’s what’s often been in the past. That’s not the future and where it will be, going forward. It is and will be a dignified experience on the part of the employer, the student, and everyone involved. And it’s going to elevate in time to be an even better and better experience for everybody.
Robert Khoury: So to me, that’s what an internship is, a set period of time for everyone to get outstanding experience, both as an intern and as a manager, and to be creative and build a future that’s inspired with with underpinning of dignity in the whole process.
Bill Raymond: It’s really a partnership, isn’t it? It’s a way for you to help someone understand whether or not they want to continue in the field. And if they do, you’re certainly helping them get there. And then you have also the students that are going to learn quite a bit in a short period of time.
Robert Khoury: Exactly. They will learn so much and they’ll learn a lot in the onset. So there may be things that you are intended to teach them around your industry or their, your career, et cetera. And they’re picking up on stuff that, you wouldn’t even know they were picking up on, how you say stuff.
Robert Khoury: What happens to, to how things feel all that they’re just soaking it all in making decisions for themselves about their future.
Bill Raymond: Before this podcast, I was talking to someone who just had an internship program earlier this year, and I was talking to her about how that went, and she said, it went really well. She is not, Very computer savvy. And so she did not know that there were apps out there that could help her collect some of the data that she does for her business into a database and make it searchable.
Bill Raymond: So much of the work that she did was using like a notes app or something along those lines. And the intern came in and within a few weeks had her entire business up on a database. And she thought, I don’t believe this! I get, you know, and so you get some fresh eyes on things and look what can happen.
Bill Raymond: And now she won’t look back from ever using that note service again. She’s using a full database for her customers.
Robert Khoury: Yeah, I had an intern a few years ago. I just had him look at my laptop. What do you see? He’s like, wait, what browser are you using? Why are you doing this? Why are you doing that? And I’m like well, if you got better update, you know, he updated it. My computer is now running so much faster, it’s so much easier to follow so many things.
Robert Khoury: It’s like a godsend and it took him maybe 10 minutes and the benefits have been going on for me for 3 plus years. It’s absolutely, it’s ridiculous how great an experience it was for both of us.
Bill Raymond: You’ve informed me that you have a series of books that you’re working on, this being the first two in the series. Could you explain what it is that you wrote the first book for and what the purpose of this book is for?
Robert Khoury: Yeah. The first book, How to Intern Successfully, Insights and Actions to Optimize Your Experience, I wrote that to help the student get out of their own way. They tend to limit themselves, with their self talk or the anxiety that they have around, just being in a different kind of environment or having to talk face to face with a manager like me, et cetera.
Robert Khoury: The first books intended to. assist students to get out of their own way, allow them to deal with fear of failure. And if you can’t fail in an internship, you’ll never be able to fail. It’s this is a perfect place. They know you’re a beginner. This is the time to try stuff and get out there.
Robert Khoury: And if you fail, you fail. Right? And you can move on and learn and grow. The first book, How to Intern Successfully, is there for the student to thrive, do the best they can, and, completely free from whatever limits them, and uh, do their best in the internship and create their own game. The second book, Intern Management, Principles for Designing an Exceptional Internship.
Robert Khoury: This is where I lay out nine principles I have found work extremely well in designing an internship program that leaves students totally empowered, and me as a manager, totally empowered. In the delivery of it, every aspect of the internship, my folks have the experience of dignity. There’s joy. There’s learning, you name it.
Robert Khoury: And I wrote that book because I heard so many managers say, you know, I don’t know what to do with an intern. Just last week, you know, a VC I talked to, it’s like, you know, the interns can be valued destructive when you don’t know what to do with them. I was like, you know what, there’s a book now out there called Intern Management. Read that book, you’ll know exactly what to do with an intern, and when to do it. But if you read the book, it’s a great opportunity, and then you love having interns, and you thrive as well as them. So that’s why I wrote the second book. The other two books coming out. Next one will be about mentoring an intern. How do you actually talk to them? How do you connect with them?
Robert Khoury: How do you support them? That’s a lot of the conversations that you’re having during the internship. So mentoring is key. So that’s the next book that’ll be coming out. And then the last one last one’s for parents. The student comes home, they, after their internship, what do you do?
Robert Khoury: At night, during the weekend. How do you support them? Do you actually go and find them an internship? What kind of involvement should you have? I’ve surveyed every parent of the interns I’ve had. So I have all kinds of surveys from parents. About their child interning.
Robert Khoury: So I’ve got a lot of material to draw from and I think that’ll be an extremely interesting and important book to support the student. All four books, the one for the student, the one for the manager, the one for the mentor, and the one for the parent. They’re all intended to bring dignity to the internship discourse.
Robert Khoury: Let’s elevate the delivery of internships and let’s elevate the experience. Everyone has in an internship. That’s the idea.
Bill Raymond: With that book, you also have these nine principles, and we’re going to talk about just a few of them today in this podcast, but could you share what those nine principles are?
Robert Khoury: Nine principles are transparency, harmony, empathy, buoyancy, respect, Intentionality, discovery, generosity, and empowerment. And those nine principles, if you think from those, if you design your internship from those, if you keep your eye on those principles throughout the internship and after, you’ll have an exceptional internship.
Robert Khoury: In the book, I lay out all those principles, here’s what I do. Here’s how it works. I just lay it all out with those principles in mind.
Bill Raymond: It’s like a case study in how you do your business.
Robert Khoury: Yeah, exactly.
Bill Raymond: You were nice enough to give me a copy of your book so that I could read through it. And it’s a great book, by the way.
[00:09:40] The Importance of Respect in Internships
Bill Raymond: Something that struck me as we go into this first principle, which is respect. It almost felt like I had to put on my, going into my first job hat, if you will, I was thinking about how many things I was so worried about when I was doing my first interviews, I was thinking about how the manager interacted with me, as a student and it just brought me back that sometimes when we go and we hire for someone it feels like what you have to do is put down the job description, and there’s almost always this sort of language that you use, this terminology that you use for your business and I don’t know that a student will necessarily know all of those terms. And I also think that, when you’re going through this program, and as we discuss this further in this podcast, you almost need to think back, go back to your go back to your younger self and think about how you might feel when you’re building these programs to be successful.
Robert Khoury: That is exactly right. I put myself in my own shoes 20, 30 years ago, and I thought, what would be respectful to me? And I and then I also put myself in the shoes of current day students, right? Because the world’s very different than it was 30 years ago.
Robert Khoury: And it’s really eye opening when you start thinking from there and you start really considering, what it takes to do that. And, I really think, if you want to have respect in that internship, you got to think about it, you got to think about the intern, with their first impression, from their perspective, By the way, that um, perspective is, is formed like, from the moment they read the job description. They read the job description. They’re already like, is this a firm that’s going to respect me? Or is this a firm that’s really all about itself? It’s just going to communicate right there.
Robert Khoury: And then it goes on, right? You start to interview them. You’re interviewing them. And let’s say you say very little to nothing about yourself. And you hear them pour everything out about themselves, share everything, but you don’t say anything much. That’s not very respectful in that regard. And then, they may apply, and they never might hear back from you with either a yes or a no.
Robert Khoury: That’s, these things are just not respectful. So if you’re interviewing, you’d like to know who you’re talking to, right? That would help. So if you’re the manager and you’re interviewing, share a little bit about yourself and your career to the intern.
Robert Khoury: Maybe kick it off that way. That’ll put them at ease. Start that way and then if you say that, you’re going to make a decision by a certain date, commit to it, and get that word to them and if you can’t, keep that commitment, let them know, look, we promised you by whatever January 31st and the new date’s February 15th, but let them know that days in advance on that on February 2nd, there’s a lot about respect here.
Robert Khoury: And, you have to think about it, like, how is the relationship asymmetrical, and how do you, try to do what you can, no, don’t try it, how do you bring symmetry to it, and, maybe provide honest, balanced feedback on the interview you just had with them. That would be, in my mind, quite respectful.
Robert Khoury: Another thing, too, is when they intern with you don’t keep pushing off meetings with them, because you’re too busy. Really honor the time you scheduled to be with them to do a review, to share about the day, whatever it might be. I’ve heard, this is totally disrespectful. I’ve heard interns.
Robert Khoury: They sit around all day. They’ve got nothing. They’re given nothing to do. And then at 5 o’clock, they’re given something to do . So they end up working really late, and what would it take to get that work to them at 9 in the morning instead of 5 PM? I can go on and on, the idea here is, think about what it’s like from their perspective.
Robert Khoury: And how can it be a respectful interaction or respectful relationship, that if you start thinking from there, what you start to see, and it’s all laid out in Intern Management, okay, what you start to see is, hey I need to hold my judgment. I need to be encouraging and supportive. I need to get to know the interns so I can be a bit more empathetic.
Robert Khoury: I need to let them say what’s there, even if I might not agree with it. And then think about how to take what they’re saying and incorporate it with what we’re doing. Because there is some validity to what they’re saying. It’s not respectful if you don’t validate, where they’re coming from.
Robert Khoury: Validate where they’re coming from. Think from there and have everything get better with these new thoughts and ideas that they have. And so that to me is a key aspect of an exceptional internship.
Bill Raymond: And there’s a few things that I think are slightly different than what you might say in the, if you will corporate world when we already have our jobs and we’re maybe moving from one to another doing our interviews. And, we’ve, we’re, we have this sort of seasoned background and we go on these interviews and yeah, we’ve all seen it, right? Whether we’re, whether it’s me as a consultant talking to a client that never gets back to me, or it says we’ve gone with someone else and don’t get any more feedback on it or you’ve gone looking for a job and the, they just don’t give you an email or the email is some flippant sorry, we’re not moving forward.
Bill Raymond: One of the things that you do, which I think is very unique, and I actually think that we should see more of this quite frankly, in this world, is to also get feedback on the interview process. And I like the fact that you do that. Can you share a little bit about why that’s important?
Robert Khoury: How do you expect these students to improve if they keep interviewing, but you never give them feedback on how what they said occurred to you? If we’re not helping these students improve, in how they interview, then we’re going to keep perpetuating. They’ll keep perpetuating their mistakes, and it may not be for 10, 20 years till they realize some things that they say aren’t really working when they interview.
Robert Khoury: That’s a missed opportunity, and if you’re a manager, really start to put language and start to really think how you can share feedback with someone to help them elevate themselves, even if you don’t hire them as an intern. To me, it’s just a huge opportunity for everyone. I let the intern, the student know when I give them feedback. I let them know that one of the rules is you’ve got to take what I tell you and have it empower yourself. You’ve got to tell yourself, I’m so glad, this seasoned manager is giving me feedback. When I’m 19, 20, 21 years old so that I can use for the next 50 years of my life and and, just help me out versus I did something wrong and I didn’t do it as good.
Robert Khoury: It wasn’t as tight an answer, etc. Or I didn’t answer his question and now I’m bummed out and I’ll never be good at this. That is so not true. So let’s elevate the students. Let’s help them get better. Let’s give them feedback. If, gotta make sure HR, legal, et cetera, is okay with it, and if you can give them feedback that helps them do that, it’s important to help the next generation improve, and you’ll notice for yourself as the manager, you’re improving too in how you put language to how you see someone as a candidate.
Bill Raymond: I think it’s also important that student is likely in the future going to be working in your business and you’ll probably run into them and the more you can offer that feedback even if you didn’t decide to work with them the better. Because, I can imagine, my young self, right?
Bill Raymond: Since then I’ve built a strong skin, someone says we’re not going to work with you and I don’t hear any feedback. I can sit back and say, okay, roll with the punches. And I can also say, let me think back to what I said. Maybe there’s something I said me, or maybe they were looking for something and I didn’t quite connect to it.
Bill Raymond: And usually I can if you will string all the bits together, but young me in school, would probably do one of two things. I’d probably say I’m doing everything wrong, especially if one or two interviews didn’t go right. You’d already start to feel very anxious. Or the other young me could just get super jaded and say, these people just don’t give good interviews. And then you get angry with the industry. It’s super easy to just allow yourself to do that on and off switch and any kind of feedback I always feel like super helps in grounding you in what, what’s really happening.
Robert Khoury: Yeah, and uh, you know, to your point, Bill, you might totally, cross off an industry from your life over a interview that didn’t go so well. I mean it can be really impactful because remember when you were that younger Bill, you’re extremely impressionable. You’re creating opinions about things and you might decide, hey you know what, that industry, I thought I was interested. Nope.
Bill Raymond: We covered respect.
[00:18:34] The Role of Buoyancy in Internships
Bill Raymond: The other one that I was super interested in talking to you about from your book is buoyancy. Can you share what you mean by that?
Robert Khoury: Yeah, buoyancy. Buoyancy is like where you float at the top, right? At the top of the water. You you’re going with the ups and downs, right? But you stay the top, on the top there. You’re keeping your spirits up, right? You’re staying optimistic, right?
Robert Khoury: Things do go up and down, but you don’t want to, stay on the down emotionally, right? You want to be able to keep those emotions up. This goes for the manager too, right? It’s not just the student that’s going up and down emotionally. You as the manager, you’ve got to have the, be upbeat and, excited that you’re hosting an intern.
Robert Khoury: If you’ve got an internship program going, having that kind of, buoyancy yourself will be contagious for the student and for the program. You can’t look at it like, ah, I’ve got to deal with this intern now, and, ah, it doesn’t fit in my schedule, and it’s really dragging me.
Robert Khoury: No! You have to pick yourself up, and then you can get things going with the students. Being optimistic and being light and letting little mistakes go, your good spirits will be contagious and the intern can go further because they, they see, hey, you know what we’re going right.
Robert Khoury: We’re not going to stop ourselves at all. I see it. I have an intern now he’s doing some really good social media work. We just haven’t seen the results yet. He’s getting a little down about it, and I could get down about it too, because I’m like, oh, could we, get faster and, get more followers and this and that.
Robert Khoury: I really want this to go fast. I could go that route, and instead, I’m encouraging, I’m supportive, and I’m upbeat, and I let them know, look, you’re doing the right things. If we keep doing the right things. It’ll pop. So just keep doing the right things and let it go about being down and all that. I can’t have that conversation with him if I’m down.
Robert Khoury: So buoyancy. Keep yourself up. Have that whole attitude that be optimistic, uplifting, and you have that, the intern will have that too. And you’ll see them turn around, they’re really impressionable. They’re young, they see it, they’re like, Oh, I didn’t look at it like that.
Robert Khoury: So I had a little project and he’s I was so frustrated. There’s, it’s really hard to do. And I said, you know what? That’s the good news because that means No one else can do this. Once we figure this out, wow, that’s going to be such a great opportunity for us to make a difference for so many people, etc. So just having that kind of perspective where let’s keep it elevated.
Robert Khoury: Let’s keep the spirits up and give the interns the space to move through their own emotions and let go of whatever, frustration or disappointment or embarrassment or anger that you have as a manager. That’s buoyancy. And from there, we can go even higher, but we can’t go higher if we’re underwater and sinking.
[00:21:29] Reflecting on Past Internship Experiences
Bill Raymond: I think back to the early days of my career, just coming out of college and starting my first job. The person I first reported to was very task oriented. I didn’t really understand the context of it.
Bill Raymond: And this person was very, if you will, high up in the management chain. It felt like because of this curtness about it this sort of just get this thing done. I never felt like I could ask questions about how exactly it needed to be done or what the purpose was of it. About, oh, I don’t know, a few months later, they hired someone in to take over the team so I didn’t have this other person I was reporting to. This person just came in and said, let’s take a look at what you’re looking at. You know what? I don’t think these align with your objectives. Started talking to me uh, more like a hey, let’s figure out what needs to get done. Hey, Bill. What do you think needs to be done?
Bill Raymond: I don’t think I should do this. I think I should be doing this great, this is what I think and we collaborated on it and then you know, the check ins weren’t is it done yet? The check ins were All right, let’s take a look at what you’ve got going on here. And, sometimes I didn’t feel good about it, but we sat down with it.
Bill Raymond: And I was given fresh direction or some ideas to think about that I hadn’t thought about before. And it felt really good. It felt empowering because I was able to, if you will, have these great conversations with someone that had a lot more experience than me.
Robert Khoury: Yeah the first one, it’s doing fine. All right, it’s no buoyancy, no uplifting, no so as a result, you do okay. Not really what you could do. And the second manager comes in and listening and keeping your spirits up and asking you where, this should go and, what are your objectives and what do you want to do with and pretty soon, you’re you’re totally excited about the work you’re doing.
Robert Khoury: And let me ask Bill, how many years ago was that?
Bill Raymond: Oh 20 years ago, 25 years ago.
Robert Khoury: Right? 25 years ago. You still remember it. It made such an impression on you, and that’s what we’re talking about. You’re a manager, you’re making a real impression on these students, and they’re going to remember it for the next 10, 15, 20, 25 years and on. That’s why these, the principles are important, respect, buoyancy, and all the others, so that there’s not only the education is there For what’s how to operate in a career in an industry, right?
Robert Khoury: You’re getting that, but also like your own reputation as a manager for decades is right, right there happening. So that’s why it’s important to really understand principles and apply them and have the students win.
Bill Raymond: I think that’s an interesting point you made.
[00:24:12] Empowering Interns for Success
Bill Raymond: It’s not something I sat back and thought about, but you are correct about that. And here’s the other interesting thing I was thinking about. We’ll call them manager one and manager two manager one, I don’t remember his name, but I certainly remember manager
Bill Raymond: 2’s name.
Robert Khoury: And if manager two called you today it would light up, light you up. You’d be excited. And if they were and they’re in, let’s say you’re in the same industry and he called and said, Hey, could you help me with something? Or you see their name, you’d want to help them, be like, Hey, that’s a good person.
Robert Khoury: Let’s do business with them. That’s what’s going on here.
Bill Raymond: This leads us really well into the next and final principle, which is empowerment.
Robert Khoury: Yeah. If you’re going to do an internship, you gotta own it and you gotta care. There’s no two ways about it. You’re out to empower yourself, the interns, your organization. So how do you do that? You gotta give the work to the students that they’ll enjoy. It can’t be here’s my expense report and run this errand and clean up this folder or this desk or whatever, it’s got to be stuff that you’re going to enjoy learning and they’ll be empowered.
Robert Khoury: They’ll have power, and as they are working you got to give them feedback and do it in a constructive way and do it regularly. That’s empowering for folks, and then make sure whatever work you give them that it’s not too easy. If it’s too easy, they’re going to end up complacent. They’re going to think your industry ain’t very much to it, which won’t be true.
Robert Khoury: Okay. And if it’s too hard they’re going to struggle mightily. And get upset, right? So you gotta find the work that’s right in a happy medium for them. And then they’re empowered to do it. And they’re gonna enjoy doing that work.
Robert Khoury: Give them a preview of the work they’re going to do and give them a preview of what they will learn in doing that work.
Robert Khoury: Now, it won’t, things change and it won’t be all encompassing, but if they have a sense of what they’re going to do. And what they’re going to learn, that’ll help them. That’ll help them understand so much more than if it’s you’re manager 1, Bill. Here, now do this task. Here, now do this task.
Robert Khoury: So tell them what it is. Tell them what they’ll learn. Maybe even tell them how it fits into everything. That’s another key thing. So one of the things we do with our internship is we create a guidance document. It’s about 25 pages. When interns show up in the summer, one of the first things we do to empower them, we go through this guidance document.
Robert Khoury: It takes us about a day and a half. We go through it word for word. It describes You know, what our values are as a company, what our mission is, our vision. It also goes through some client history, the current projects they’re working on. But we also talk about in there, what’s the attitude to have? How do we work?
Robert Khoury: The cultural stuff, right? We’re transparent, we’re straightforward, it tells about, what hours we work. And some simple rules like you can’t work before nine or after five or during the weekends. We want you to get your work done while you’re here. Fridays are half days.
Robert Khoury: Why? Because you’re in college or grad school. Have a nice long weekend in the summer. Enjoy yourself, right? This guidance document really empowers them. Okay, I know what the rules are. I know where things are. I know the history of this place. I know what we’re doing.
Robert Khoury: And they know what the culture is and how they fit in all of that. The other thing we do to empower the interns is, and I’ve heard this from interns, where the internship ends, but they’re not done with their work. And they get called after the internship’s over. Or they’re done, but then later they get called to do more work.
Robert Khoury: And it’s no. When the internship ends, it’s over. And how do you do that? You’ve got to plan for that about three weeks before. About three weeks before, what’s left to do? And then we lay out, what do we have to get done in the next few weeks? And can we get it done?
Robert Khoury: And if not, how do we adjust what we’re going to do? If there’s stuff we’re not going to get done, fine. Let’s figure out where we’re going to delegate it or what we’re going to do with it. We want to make sure when the internship ends, it’s over, and they feel fulfilled that they’ve gotten their good work done and it’s all wrapped up in a bow.
Robert Khoury: And part of that is, one of our rules is that when the internship ends, no communication at all for a week. Don’t text, don’t email, don’t call for a week. And this is, again, is empowerment. Your work is done. Thank you. Let’s take a break and then connect later and all that. But, it’s just so important to empower them, by making sure that the internship ends.
Robert Khoury: In a organized in a respectful manner, so that’s key. We don’t want all nighters. We don’t want to stress. We don’t want it done. Oh, you missed the mark. No, let’s figure all that three weeks before and then also in that to empower them, let them know, Hey, we want to stay in touch with you afterwards.
Robert Khoury: So schedule a call for a couple of months after the internshipss over when they’re back in school or whatever. And that one call or that one lets them know, Hey, you know what, we didn’t just have them come here to do work down. We wanted to build a relationship over time. And, that call in a month or two or whatever it might be, is a signal that is really empowering to them knowing that there’s a relationship here that’s going to go on and on long after the internship. I have interns I still talk to my first intern back in 2004, he’s now in his thirties, just at his house over the weekend, with his wife and baby, the whole thing, right?
Robert Khoury: That’s how you have it, right? No, it doesn’t go that way, but that’s empowerment, right? So you want to make sure you do that. I want to make sure that you have a really good closeout process. That’ll empower them, ask them to reflect, think about what they’ve learned, what they’ve gotten out of it, that empowers them, and yeah, ask them to give you feedback on the internship, and then you can get some information that you can use and consider for the next internship and make that even better.
[00:30:06] Planning for Successful Internship Programs
Bill Raymond: If we have any managers or leaders that are listening to the podcast right now what are some recommendations that you’d say they move forward with?
Robert Khoury: The first thing, Bill, is get the book, Intern Management Principles for Designing an Exceptional Internship. Really, get it. On one level, it’s about internship design. On another level, it’s really about management, managing people, managing processes. Really thinking things through, bringing principles to what you’re doing, you’re never just doing what you’re doing.
Robert Khoury: There’s always something about what you’re doing that if you don’t consciously think about ahead of time, like this is gonna be from a certain principle or from a certain context, then you miss the total opportunity of what you’re doing. So that’s a key piece. So I get the book.
Robert Khoury: I would also get consensus with your stakeholders, the people you work with, about having an intern. So make sure you’ve got buy in from the people around you about having an intern. This will help you to avoid having people around you make it harder to bring on an intern. Because you’re going to need other folks to help you with access to data or, people’s time, whatever, requests.
Robert Khoury: So if they’re all bought in, great, then do it. But that would be like, to me the first thing is, hey, we’re going to get interns in here this summer or whenever, let’s get everyone bought in on the idea of why are we doing it and how are we doing it and all those big picture aspects. Get those down, okay?
Robert Khoury: And then with that, consider bringing dignity to the discourse around internships, right? And look at. Every aspect of the internship, from the job description To the interviews, to how you respond, how do you onboard them, how do you manage them throughout, when do you give them feedback, how often do you, and then how do you off board them, think about the projects they’ll work on, too easy, too hard, what are we doing here, is this going to be one off research type stuff, or is it really actually going to impact the bottom line and there’s no right answer, but you just got to think about all of these things. So those three things that Bill, that’s where I would start. I I’d get the book, I’d get that consensus, and I think about how I’m bringing dignity to every aspect of the, of this whole internship.
Bill Raymond: That’s great advice.
[00:32:22] Conclusion and Contact Information
Bill Raymond: Thank you, Robert Khoury. If anyone wants to purchase your book or reach out to you directly, how might they do so?
Robert Khoury: You can go to https://agilerainmakers.com and there’s opportunity there to purchase the book, connect, you can go to https://robertjkhoury.com, that’s also another website for that. I’m on LinkedIn posting very frequently about internships. And I’m also on Instagram @RobertKhouryAuthor. So connect with me on any of those.
Robert Khoury: And I’m very responsive. Love to talk about this, share about this and elevate internships.
Bill Raymond: Thank you Robert Khoury, for being on today’s podcast. I really appreciate everything that you shared today. Any of the links that you provided will be on the https://agileinaction.com website, and of course, if you’re listening to this in an app or watching the video, it’ll be in the show notes in the description and you can get those links there.
Bill Raymond: Thank you once again for your time today, Robert.
Robert Khoury: My pleasure, Bill. You are a phenomenal podcaster. And I really enjoyed my time. Appreciate it very much.
Speaker: Thank you for listening to the Agile in Action Podcast with Bill Raymond. Subscribe now to stay current on the latest trends in team, organization, and agile techniques. Please take a moment to rate and comment to help us grow our community. This podcast is produced in affiliation with Cambermast LLC, and our executive producer is Reama Dagasan.
Speaker: If there is a topic you would like Bill to cover, contact him directly at Bill.Raymond@agileinaction.com.