Ambitious sole practitioners – Take on interns

The White Rose

Some time ago I posted a thread on any answers about taking on interns. The majority view was very much against this because of amount of time involved in training and support. I decided to go against this and started to take on interns.

Why did I do this? At the risk of sounding holier than thou – I wanted to play my part on helping young people on their career path. It is so tough out there. I get so many calls from interns and I wish I could take on more. I just do not have the space.

In addition, I also had a selfish reason. I  needed help but I did not have a budget for it. Further I wanted to make sure my systems from a very early stage cater for staff. Having an intern forced me to think outside myself.

I am really pleased with my interns. The first one found a job within 4 weeks of joining me. I hope her experience with me played some part in helping her to secure a job.

My current intern has worked out extremely well. She has been with me for 3 months. When she started, her confidence in herself was very low. She felt she could not do the most basic tasks. How things have changed! My initial heavy investment in training and support  is really paying off. She is doing so much now. Her confidence is on the up! I do not want to let her go. I will keep her on. I know she will be incredibly loyal to the practice now.  I also know she will not let me down. I know what she is like. Compare that to taking someone on from their CV.

What else do I gain from interns?

  • There is something in explaining the basics of your systems to someone. It makes you think about areas you did not even think about. Plus the very basic questions interns ask really makes you think- why am I doing things the way I am? Interns brings in different focus to  your thinking.
  • I do not like working on my own. I like to bounce ideas. At times my poor interns have no idea what I am talking about! The fact I talk really helps me.
  • I had a team of managers before going on my own. I really miss people management. Having an intern to some extent meets my needs on management.

Please take on an intern with real interest in helping them. Spend time in training and supporting them. You will get far more in return. Once you start you will not stop!

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