Communicate: Communicate with your intern often, whether it is to provide feedback, offer training, or check on the intern’s progress. By keeping the line of communication open you will build trust, respect, and a positive relationship that facilitates the successful completion of the project.
- Develop project plan to guide completion of the project by end of week 2 (project objectives, milestones/deliverables, methodology, documentation)
- Schedule weekly check-ins to review progress, blockers, upcoming tasks
- Clarify communication channels/norms with you, project team, and broader community: email, chat, calls, wiki, and etc.
- Be respectful of collaboration challenges across time zones and language/cultural differences
- Notify Hyperledger staff immediately when you identify “red flags”
Mentor: Mentorship is a critical and essential part of an internship experience, and an attribute that differentiates from regular employment. As a mentor, it’s important to give your intern honest feedback on progress, professionalism and skill development.
- Set expectations early, preferably at the start of the program
- Set challenging but achievable goals and metrics on how to measure success
- Give praises for good work and offer critical constructive feedback. Be specific and provide suggestions for how to improve
- Model desirable behaviors, workflow, processes, and ways of working
- Complete quarterly evaluation timely to bring any feedback to Hyperledger staff and share/discuss the results with your mentee openly
Connect: To foster learning outside of your intern’s job duties, encourage your intern to develop relationships outside or his or her immediate team. Allowing your intern to gain a broader understanding of your organization, industry, and potential career paths can help generate new ideas and make him or her a more effective and longer-term contributing member.
- Make intros to and help mentee network with your contacts in the industry
- Provide resources for additional training
- Provide context for how the internship relates to the Hyperledger umbrella
- Have interns review each others’ code and provide feedback as a collaborative development exercise
- Enable mentee to participate in the open source community with more confidence and independence
Revisit: Periodically revisit the learning objectives and expected outcomes established at the beginning of the internship. Discuss what the student has learned and how it can be applied in the future. Be flexible to adjust the project scope, learning objectives, and outcomes based on the intern's background and skill set.
- Remind yourself this is a learning opportunity for mentee, not a job with narrowly defined job description
- Stay flexible to modify project scope/plan, learning objectives, and deliverables/outcomes. Document modified tasks, schedule, and project plan
- Reframe mistakes and slow progress as opportunities to hone soft skills such as communication, effective ways to participate in open source community, working with distributed teams that mentee will learn and apply to future tasks/careers.