Leveling-up Our Intern Program – With Self-Selection

May 18, 2016

With our guiding purpose of “making it easier to hire full-time engineers”, we chose to try out a self-selection process for our intern program. As I mentioned in my post about our intern program, we are expecting 7 interns for this summer. For 2016 we decided to level up our intern program with self-selection.

Why Self-Selection?

We believe that having our interns  self-select will result in better placement on projects which will help them shine and help them better evaluate us as a company. And if we are right, then we likely made hiring full-time engineers a little bit easier for the next couple of years.

The interns now know a little about each of the 10 projects and they got to choose projects based on their own criteria (instead of us placing them on projects with little-to-no input from them).

My favorite reason for self-selection is that we gave our interns a say in how they will spend their summer.

There are many other reasons for “why self-selection”…but I’ll let you go read the book 😉

What did it look like?

We sent each of the 10 blurbs to the interns and asked them to provide us with their top 4 picks.

It took some effort to take in the interns’ preferences and manage all the other constraints (start dates, client expectations, and other initiatives in progress). Ultimately, all of our interns will be working on a project that they picked.

It is really exciting to me knowing that each and every intern is going to work on a project and with a team that they picked!

What’s next?

We chose to try out self-selection with our interns because we felt it would help us move towards our desired outcomes – interns want to come back, they tell their friends, and we get to “interview” them during their time with us.

At the end of the summer, we get input and feedback from out interns about their time with us. I look forward to finding out what they thought of the the self-selection process.

I know that we will learn, adapt, and make the intern program even better next year.