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Snapping up interns: the team model

By Ruth
July 18 2016

Posted in Employer Stories

There’s many different ways employers choose to host interns, but the keys to success we’ve seen over the past 10 years, is planning & preparation! (Plus picking the right person!)

Whether you bring a single intern into an established team, hire one or several interns to work on a new project, or have a more traditional “graduate programme” style which exposes interns to all facets of your business… there’s no right or wrong!

Josh & Kieran joined Snapper as interns through Summer of Tech 2015

Josh & Kieran joined Snapper as interns through Summer of Tech 2015

Snapper recently blogged about their radical (& successful!) internship model: hiring diversely skilled teams of interns to work on real projects, with intense mentoring!

The key focus of the internship program is to give students a chance to tackle real world problems, and contribute to the organisation in a meaningful way.

With mentorship and oversight from the core development team, the first team of four interns worked together to rebuild the Snapper Mobile app from the ground up, delivering a new version with a seriously jazzed-up user interface, and new core functionality.  This version of the app has been downloaded more than 28,000 times at the time of writing this blog.

As the amount of work continued to increase, we needed to grow our internship program.  Scaling the program presented its own challenges, with more time needed from the core team to provide interns with the right support and direction.

To keep the new interns going without overly burdening our core team, we worked out a system where graduates of our internship program became mentors.

We’ve learned that coaching and support pays off, and that building a team from the ground up will give us a stable and productive workforce.  The well-coached have become great coaches themselves.

Today, the original four-person team has grown to four separate teams, lead by developers who have come through the internship program themselves, and mentored by dedicated coaches from each core discipline; including software development, architecture, UX/design, business analysis and security.

The functionality of the original intern project, the Snapper Mobile app, has been sold to an overseas Transport Authority, and the intern teams are working to deliver this project to a client on the other side of the world.

Read the full article on Snapper’s blog, here.




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