A 20-something’s guide to managing fellow millennials

The author, a member of Generation Y, spent the summer helping oversee a group of interns. She offers these lessons for young managers.

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I’d like to think that each one learned a little something about the writing and editing process. But what they don’t know is how much I learned from them—especially when it comes to managing.

Here are seven ways you can help your interns have a successful internship at your company:

Remember what it’s like being an intern. Do you recall your worst interning experience? Think about what made it so awful—and don’t inflict the same amount of pain on the next generation. Then again, if you’ve only had positive interning experiences, you should think about what made your internship(s) special and see if you can do the same for someone else. Lead them in the right direction. Interns can’t read your mind—and you shouldn’t expect them (or anybody else) to do so, either. When you give them a task, tell them what to expect. But give them enough room to find the answers on their own. If they need help, they’ll ask you.

Give interns something tangible to work on.
Beyond pay (or college credit), you need to figure out how to make the intern experience worth it for them. Make sure you are giving them assignments that can improve their résumés. You don’t want one of their bullet points to be, “Delivered gourmet cups of coffee to the editorial staff on a daily basis.”

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