“I can’t stop drinking the coffee. If I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and the walking and the words-putting-into-sentence doing.” — Lorelai Gilmore, “The Gilmore Girls”
We’ve all been there right? Whether you’re a coffee drinker or not, if you haven’t done whatever it is that gets you going in the morning, the simplest things, like forming a coherent sentence, can seem daunting.
So imagine you’re an intern again. Thrust into the corporate world when your experience is limited to Economics 101 and a part time gig at the local fitness joint. If you’re an intern, you darn well better be on your game when you get to work. You don’t just want coffee, you need it!
We listed some pretty big hitters in our last post who started out their star-spangled careers as interns. It’s a pretty good guess that the likes of Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg didn’t need any help getting jump started during their days. They’re obviously outliers though. Most of us aren’t wired to reach super-stardom by the time we’re in our mid-20s.
Of course that doesn’t mean your intern doesn’t have superstar potential! If you follow the NFL at all, you know that the end of August means that teams have to cut plenty of players to make their roster limits. What you might not know is that each team gets to keep a “practice squad” of 10 players. These players get to practice with the team, but don’t suit up for games. They’re basically NFL interns.
The intern is our office persona for August here at Innovative Office Solutions and we’re talking about ways to keep the intern stimulated during the course of the day.
If you’re lucky enough to work within walking distance to a Starbucks, Caribou or Dunkin’ Donuts and the like, going to get coffee can be a perfect time to get to know an intern and find out what sort of career path they’d like to embark on. You can tell them about your career choices and what things you’re happy you did, the mistakes you made and the things you wished you might have done a little differently. It’s conversations like this that might stick with the intern far longer than how your company alphabetizes your file folders.
Having said that, everybody pretty much knows that daily or twice-daily stops at a coffee shop can quickly turn pretty expensive these days. In fact those of you who don’t have easy access to a coffee shop during your work day (most of us) are probably a little luckier than you think.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t need your coffee!
Innovative Office Solutions offers a ton of different K-Cups and Keurig products that help offices all over remain fully stocked with a full variety of coffee supplies. A 2014 article in TIME Magazine stated that a remarkable one in every five American households used some variety of K-Cups!
So what’s your flavor? While coffee has been a staple in the American work place forever, it’s only over the last two decades that it’s boomed to the degree we see it today. Starbucks opened in 1971, but it took awhile for it to become the behemoth that it is today. It was certainly a “slow roast” in the early days.
Nobody would have thought back then that by 2015 there would be as many different kinds of coffee as there are, um…. kinds of bottled water? We jest (not really), but you have to love the creativity behind some of the flavors offered at your local coffee shop. Google “coffee flavors” and you’ll find that it’s well into the hundreds. It won’t take you more than a moment to find one you’ve never heard of.
Anyway, back to our intern. Like we said, a good old-fashioned coffee break is the ideal time to get a little more personal with your interns. Not only is it a great opportunity to impart wisdom, but it’s a great chance to get their feedback on what they see happening at your company. Sometimes a pair of youthful, energetic eyes can impart some wisdom of their own on things you may take for granted at your company.
Ideally, any internship program should be a productive two-way street. Your company gets a valuable, short-term member that can help out in myriad ways. The intern gets an up-close look at the “real world” and an opportunity to gains some contacts and insights that should prove valuable as they begin their professional lives. And there should be coffee on both sides. Lots and lots of coffee, after all, we need to keep doing the words-putting-into-sentence thing.