Last week saw some of my policy colleagues in BIS doing some really great digital work to get some clarity around internships. They were ably supported by an intern. And indeed, many of our digital policy projects over my last two years in the BIS digital team have benefitted from really enthusiastic interns completely at ease with acting online. And I’m sure that some of their enthusiasm and skills has rubbed off on their permanent colleagues.
But too often it’s easy to leave the “digital bit” to people already comfortable online – they may well be an intern, but the issue applies equally to more junior members of teams, or those just joining for particular projects. But, there’s a real danger that when that person moves on, there’s been no transfer of skills, and the team goes back to seeing digital as something exotic and not for them as the chance to really embed digital thinking has passed.
Instead, taking the inspiration from the poster above – if you’re a team with a digitally brilliant intern, then take the opportunity to make it a genuine two way learning process so that the intern can say “i made a difference”.