Intern Brainpower – how to connect them to the grid

Categories: Innovation Insights

I am sitting in a plane reading the latest Economist – they have an article on undergraduate recruitment (from Universum Communications). Apparently the job market for new grads is hotting up – they get 5 job offers compared to 2 or 3 previously.

One thing caught my eye – 60% of GE’s graduate hires will come from their annual crop of 2,000 summer interns. Interns are an interesting group – they are young, bright, naïve, ambitious. They bring fresh eyes to a business, with the added benefit of no political ambitions (they are supposed to leave after the summer ends). They are therefore a fascinating group of people to tap into to get their insights, ideas and opinions on the enterprise.

Several of our clients have implemented short term ideation events with their intern groups to do exactly this. A software approach scales better than face-to-face (especially in a multinational), and provides a fairer forum for all interns to contribute. The results so far have been encouraging – not necessarily earth shattering, but time will tell. Definitely something worth looking into.

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