College Intern Team Lessons Learned

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HOLT CAT WHITE PAPER COLLEGE INTERN TEAM LESSONS LEARNED 24 December, 2015 PURPOSE: The purpose of this white paper is to document the challenges and opportunities discovered while sponsoring the 2015 Mays Full-Time MBA Intern Team. These lessons are based on one intern team and don’t comprise a trend. However, this snapshot of data calls for analysis. While some of the issues covered are enduring, others may dissolve as HOLT CAT continues to mature as a process-driven organization. In either event, this document should serve as a backdrop for any future unpaid internship opportunities at HOLT CAT. PROJECT SELECTION: The selection of the type and scale of project that will support the needs of both the intern team and HOLT…show more content…
Whatever scope and scale of the project, narrow boundaries are the best bet. We were able to keep the project generally on track, because we were clear about the problem statement and what was not included. Tighter definitions yield more focused results and less uncertainty. PROJECT CHAMPION / SPONSOR: The company representative that serves as a conduit between the institution / intern team and HOLT CAT DISCUSSION: Initially, the “Project” Champion was a term used by the MBA capstone program for the company representative that would help the intern team understand the project and provide needed information and contacts. We found it was much more. The Project Champion also managed the communications between the company and the team. In addition, the Project Champion mentored the intern team on industry standards, professional expectations, and results-oriented project management. While other universities may not use the Project Champion role, we recommend that we maintain it. The role provided a better experience for the team and results for the company. COMMUNICATIONS: Clarity between the company stakeholders and the intern team DISCUSSION: Without clear and formal communication, intern project management often fails. We struggled with the ability to see progress as the project progressed. Our team followed an academic model. They receive the requirements, gathered the data, and then worked in isolation on a solution. Their approach was to wait until
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