I have an intern starting in a few weeks. Typically, I work with interns who already have some experience or at least knowledge of the role, but this person is coming in with no experience as part of a program for underrepresented groups interested in tech. Any ideas on what to focus on with someone with minimal knowledge or experience? I’ve had one intro call, and I really like this person and think they will do well, but my management style is typically pretty hands-off. Appreciate any help.
Here’s something to try (YMMV but this has worked for me):
Introduce them to the P.U.R.S.U.I.T. framework and get them an account on whatever product you are currently managing. Give them full access and let them play around and ask questions. For YOU as the PM, this is going to give you some pretty good insights from someone who has absolutely no bias (that I can see) in asking questions others may not.
As they get more comfortable, start giving them tasks to go through the P.U.R.S.U.I.T. framework and come up with answers. Let them eavesdrop in meetings, on sales calls, on customer service calls - give them access to data scientists, UX, QA - etc… The more people and data they can interact with, they better. Have each of the people on their teams teach them what they do all day. 1:1’s are great for this. Betcha they are motivated and are going to come up with some pretty radical insights that you haven’t heard before.
From there, let them build a PPT/Miro/Canva board and have them walk you through what they’ve got. There - you can help shape, ask questions and really teach them how complicated doing product really is.
My general experience with interns is that they’re hungry and desperate for ownership. The more you get them involved and tackling problems in their own unique way - the better. Just don’t ever make them get coffee or other lame tasks.
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