Who Were the Best Teachers This Summer? Our Interns.
We’re fortunate to have great energy across all of our Holmes Murphy offices. From clients and carrier partners to friends and family, there’s always something going on at Holmes Murphy. But no group generates energy for a sustained amount of time like our interns do. Their curiosity, attitude, personalities, and questions aren’t replicated at any other time than the 10 weeks over the summer we have them join us.
This year, the 57 interns we had were no exception. They were asked countless times what they learned after a meeting or what they learned after a presentation. Recently, I was asked, “What did you learn from the interns?” Turns out, a lot. So, I thought I’d share some of it with you.
Here are three things this year’s group of interns taught me, reinforced, or opened my eyes to.
1. Simple Is Hard
We know our specific jobs and individual expertise better than anyone. It’s small examples like acronyms we unknowingly slip into our conversations in meeting rooms and big examples, like assuming our clients or interns have spent as much time with the materials as we have, where we need to slow down and explain a bit.
We’re cursed with knowledge. In other words, we take simple for granted. Making things simple takes time, patience, and hard work. The interns reminded me of this over and over. If the goal of communication is for the audience to understand, then we need to be sure we’re communicating simply and effectively.
2. Control What You Can Control
So much of our work is out of our control — will we get hired; how will the renewal go; will the client appreciate the work that our team put into making sure they have the best risk management program; is a claim covered, etc. The result is often out of our control, but the process is something we can control. Because so much of what we do is out of our control, it’s critical that we control what we can.
The same is true for the life of an intern. What meetings you attend, what projects you’re asked to complete, and who invests time in your development can feel uncontrollable.
On the other hand, showing up on time, listening, being curious, being engaged, asking thoughtful questions, and having a positive attitude are all within our control. That’s a recipe for a successful internship and, it turns out, the recipe is the same for a successful professional.
3. Own Your Experience
We encouraged our interns to own their experience and calendar throughout the summer. We told them that they would get out what they put in. The most successful interns with the best summer experience took initiative. They owned all aspects of their experience. Who they met with, how they learned, where they went, and what clients they met with — it was all up to them.
The interns who pushed us into new territory had experiences that will carry them forward. Touring a manufacturing facility, sitting in on new business meetings, even helping sell an account (one intern did it for the 2nd year in a row) are all experiences that happen when our interns take advantage of the support around them. In fact, one of our intern’s questions to a prospective client changed a ‘not now’ into a ‘let’s do this right now’ opportunity. That’s something that intern will remember.
Holmes Murphy’s internship program is a significant investment in our future, the lives of our interns, and, as I’ve learned, my own education. Thanks to all the interns and our Holmes Murphy team for an outstanding summer experience.
And, if you’re reading this and wondering if you or someone you know should apply to our internship program for next year, I encourage you to read about it and keep your eyes open for the application window.
Published on: 08.03.23