Definition of Intern


According to NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers),

“An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.”

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At JRoxmedia our Intern practice is in its infancy. We have learned alot so far. Now, we recruit interns from local educational institutions and by recommendation from folks we know and trust. No one lesson has transformed our relationship. It is the combination of lessons and shifting our practices that has resulted in positive relationships with our interns.


Lessons Brief –

When I trace some of our unwanted results (effects) back to possible roots (causes) this is what we have learned:

1. Our interns must be local.

Long distance accountability to a stranger is not as deep a local accountability and commitment. Local interns get to see, feel and experience the impact of their efforts first hand and in real time.


2. Excitement and star power is not fuel.

Some of the work we do and experiences with the people we collaborate with can be so transformative, ecstatic and awe inspiring in the moment that an individual may be totally convinced that they want to intern with us or one of our clients. Consistently, the excitement fades in the face of the mundane tasks. There has to be a grounding that comes from the intern that motivates their collaboration.


3. Our interns must be partners.

When a collaborator does not feel valued but instead like a place where you put tasks you don’t want to do (and they are not being paid) the relationship can end easily. When a collaborator understands that their presence, creations and work is both valuable, enhancing the project and benefitting them because of their specific presence with us they find a type of pay-off. A pay-off and a partnership that is worth the effort.


4. People do not work for free.

When an individual is not being paid commensurate to the work they are doing, there must be something in the exchange that feeds or benefits them. Whether it is a grade, learning new skills, being exposed to new technology, good food, or the fulfillment of their own dreams, each intern must receive a material, emotional, spiritual or some form of reward for their work. Each intern finds something different valuable. Examples include: adding to their reel or portfolio, learning opportunities/skills, experience for their resume or CV, relationships with mentors and industry professionals, references for future opportunities, opportunities to discern whether a particular field is really for them and more.


5. Nothing is more powerful than experiencing the presence of another.

Having an office or space where interns and other collaborators can meet and work regularly creates a value and connection in a way that phone and video chatting can not. The bonds go deeper in both directions when you can look someone in the eye and hear their voice unmediated.

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