The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications
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E088 - Summer Interns

Joanna: This week my summer intern is starting and so I want to talk today about interns how to find them how to pay for them what the value is of getting some interns on your team this summer.

Joanna: Most summers at church we try to get interns to join our communications team and some of that is because there's just a ton of work to do and we'd love for them to be added to the team as bonuses to getting more accomplished. But beyond that it's also a really amazing discipleship opportunity. It's really amazing to come alongside a younger person who's learning a skill and spend a ton of hours with them building into them developing them in their skill and showing them how even in things like communications and media there is something to be learned even about our faith. And so for us we have our interns are typically through a paid summer program through our local or through our Canadian government. So if you're in Canada having having summer students who are 15 to 30 years old you can get students for 40 hours a week. You apply for this program you can get interns. But that's not the reality for you or you're thinking of well you don't really want interns in the summer maybe really more need them in the fall or the winter encourage you to check out the local colleges universities and high school programs in your area because there are tons of students who need real opportunity to graduate and they're looking for places to do that. And a lot of even students in your own youth or college in and young adults groups are looking for a place to apply their skills and they may not have thought that the church was a place that they could do it. And so we find over and over is that there's people who are in the local college they're in a graphic design program or they're doing video or marketing or business or whatever it may be it's related to our field and they need they need real experience so whether that's for six weeks or six months they're looking for stuff. And if you build a relationship with that careers department over at the local college you can start to get in these students on a regular rotation for free usually and they're going to come with the skills. And of course a person who hasn't done the job before there. You can't just sort of leave them totally to themselves. You need to work with them to give them the tools they need to get the job done. So it can be an amazing experience.

James: Yeah and as communications person what kind of roles are you giving them what kind of tasks are you getting. Obviously you can't give them the reins to some things but how do you keep them busy while also building a bit of a trust level over the first couple of weeks now and what kind of quality work they're going to do.

Joanna: Yeah I mean we we definitely go through an interview process with them so that we have a general idea of what we're getting. But you'd never really know until someone starts how it's exactly going to go. But we based the we based the work around what their skill set is. So for example is their skills primarily in video or is their skill primarily in there. They're an English major and they're a fantastic writer and they want to learn how to do copywriting and write bulletins and news and tell stories or captions for photos on social media or is it that they are an amazing graphic design student and or you know they're trying to go into social media and marketing. So we we base the internship around what they do because what we view our interns as is kind of like the bonus. We don't plan strategically in the year for the work beyond what we're able to do on our permanent team. But as soon as an intern comes along it's all the stuff that all we wish we could do it if only we had time. So this summer for example the intern we have her skill set leans heavily towards photography visuals and social media. So we're gonna give her some other work to do but that's primarily it. So for example we're gonna get her out on we're gonna get her to arrange photo shoots with a bunch of our youth and our kids and our families where we do like a youth theme photo shoot at a skate park and she's going to make sure we get all the permission forms from the parents and she's gonna get the pizza and she's going to figure out all the details of that and and work out all that. And that shoot could take a ton of time if it was our permanent team so we we've been wanting to do that shoot so that they have photos all year long but we haven't had the capacity for it. So an intern coming along this is great bonus who's going to be able to do that kind of a project you know and and one other thing that a young person does on that team is is help us get better up to speed with even some trends in how things are going so on social media. I want to learn from her. Tell me what's going on with social media. What do you see as opportunities for us and we want to learn from her as a younger person how people are using and interacting right now with something like Instagram so that we can get better as a whole team into the future as we listen to the great wisdom really of young people who are teaching us how to do some of that stuff because there's lots to learn in the digital world it's constantly changing and young people can teach us so much about.