Hey Intern, Clean My Desk!

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My 2 year-old is always willing to help.  He loves to take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, grind coffee beans, and water the flowers.  The problem?  It takes 3 times as long to complete tasks when he wants to help.  Trust me, I want to encourage that behavior but I also want to finish my chores before midnight. Is it sometimes easier to do just do it ourselves or should we recognize the value in those very early training opportunities?

This summer I have 4 amazing interns working in our department.  They’re bright, energetic, eager to learn, and willing to take on any task.  At first I was I overwhelmed.  How am I going to mentor and provide experience level appropriate tasks to them, while also managing my workload?  I was sitting at my work staring at the Internship Plans I had developed.  In the plans I had listed out numerous learning objectives for each intern as well as a series of tasks that each would complete to meet those objectives.  When writing these plans I failed to recognize that I would have to train them on how to do most of those projects.  I then glanced over at the pile of work on my desk.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I hate a messy desk. Then it clicked!

I had them clean my desk.  They didn’t literary clean, but I sat down and figured out how to delegate that stack of work.  I realized that at first it would be slow going.  I had to walk them through a few systems, brief them on some best practices, and most importantly explain the reason for, and importance of, what they were doing.  In a matter of 2 weeks they completed work that would have taken me 2 months to complete.

I’ve learned that there may be more of an investment of time in the beginning, but it is an investment that provides some serious return!  I wonder, in 5 years, if my son will be as eager to clean the bathrooms?

What employee investments have you made?


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.
3 Responses to "Hey Intern, Clean My Desk!"
  1. cmcqueen@cincom.com' Carla McQueen says:

    So true! My grandson followed his grandpa around while wearing his little workboots and safety glasses since he was two years old. At first it was just cute, but now that he’s five, he’s starting to be of some real help. “On the job” training pays off!

  2. skbigm@gmail.com' steve says:

    He loves to take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, grind coffee beans, and water the flowers. The problem?

    NO PROBLEM!!!! HE’LL GET QUICKER-BETTER. He must have a Project Manager for a Mom. Do you know how tough that has to be on a little boy???? It be worse than a little girl having me for a Dad! Well… Maybe not that bad. HAHAH

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