I’ve been on internships where I’ve made coffee and I’ve been on internships where I’ve got stuck with tasks and couldn’t get help. But I’ve also been in ones where I’ve been constantly involved and I felt like a real part of the team. We were all interns at one time or another but only a few of us can say we were lucky to be in a good place. But why is that?
Do many people just want the document? A task to tick off? So, what about those who really want to learn and get a job in their profession?
I’ve drawn some conclusions from our past internship programs, and I think these will be tips that can provide a solid base for managing such an activity.
1. Plan precisely!
Before you start anything, you need to answer a few questions:
- – What are the objectives of the internship program?
- – How long will it last?
- – How many interns will there be?
- – What are the main activities they will do?
- – Who will be their mentor?
Without planning, you can’t get anywhere. I speak from experience.
2. The intern should be a part of the team.
The best way for an intern to complete tasks is to feel like being a part of your team.
Involve them in the company’s structures and rules, let them get to know the staff and become part of the team for those few weeks. So, what’s the payoff?
- – They learn to work in a team.
- – It’s easier to respect each other.
- – They form a coherent idea of what it’s like to work for your company.
- – It helps you manage their tasks more effectively.
3. Find a mentor!
Each internship program requires at least one mentor. A responsible person, who interns can contact if they need help. This is usually the person who also plans the program, as they need to be clear on all the steps and tasks.
What happens if there is no mentor? Chaos. Like really. Interns will be “handed off” from one colleague to another. Yes, that’s the “we made coffee all month” type of internship. The mentor is the spine of the internship program, a stable and available specialist.
4. Make diverse tasks!
An internship program is a perfect opportunity to try out different activities. For example, our interns in a month learn to shoot and edit videos, create communication plans, manage social media platforms, write text for websites, posts, blogs and make graphic design. I may have left out something, but you get the idea.
If they like creative work, they can feel free to try themselves in several fields and then decide what they really want to get professional at. These are tasks that each company chooses for itself.
5. Teach and practice!
Most internship programs throw interns straight into the deep water, saying that “practice leads to success”. Sometimes this does work, but it tends to work better if the interns already have some minimal knowledge in the field.
If you really want to teach, don’t forget theory is important. Teach them how you work, how you solve problems, where you get your inspiration from. This is all part of the learning process. If the theory is present, the practice will be much easier. The mentor will also have less need to correct the work and the interns’ confidence will be boosted by experiencing success.
6. Give feedback!
This advice is for every leader, colleague, mentor, neighbor, everyone. Positive feedback is a necessity. We live in a society where we only tell others when something is wrong, and compliments are usually left out.
Just think, if an internship lasts for a month, how much can happen in that time?
An internship program is complex enough, it needs to be evaluated, and all the good and bad things must be summarized. If somebody has done a good job? We must give them recognition, we have to motivate them. If someone makes a mistake? We suggest a solution. Kind words are worth more than scolding.
+1 Learn from them!
If you are open to learning from others, you will be able to grow professionally and personally.
I have to admit that I always have a lot to learn as a professional. The best part is that I can learn from anyone. As a mentor, I learn as much from the interns as they learn from me.
Personally, I have really enjoyed our internship program as a mentor and I look forward to the next one. Here are our four interns from the 2022 Autumn program who have made amazing progress in just one month. Thank you guys, you are awesome!
Tell us your ideas! What tips do you have for planning an internship program?
Mom groups, old memes, boomers commenting on each other’s posts, and Karens shaming some innocent barista on the local café’s page… Facebook is a magical place. But believe us when we say that it still holds some serious advertising potential: it has some pretty clever functions, that other platforms either don’t have or don’t have the audience for it.
When it comes to advertising, the main difference between these platforms is the type of audience they attract and how ads are displayed. We put together a quick guide to help you navigate the world of social media.
Instagram is a visual platform that is popular with users who are interested in fashion, photography, art, and more. When it comes to advertising or creating a brand profile, your profile can be like a magazine, showcasing your style, your products, and services, all in a digestible way. You can publish content as a Story to reach your audience fast, as a fun Reel video, save your stories in highlights, create a shop and so much more. But be aware that texts aren’t for Instagram, they should be saved for another platform. You can share them as links, tho!
Some content ideas for Instagram:
- Educational carousels
- Behind-the-scenes pictures
- Show off with product posts
- Interactive stories
- Reels (recent trends, show your work)
- Ask questions and provide answers
- Cross-promote with other brands
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that is popular with users who are looking to connect with other professionals in their field. Advertising on LinkedIn typically involves sponsored posts and ads that appear in users’ feeds, as well as sponsored InMail messages that users can receive in their inboxes. You can communicate in your style as a brand, whether serious or not. This platform is ideal to show your collaborators, partners, employees, and people interested in your values, your projects, and your expertise.
Some ideas for LinkedIn content:
- Blogs about your expertise
- Meet our team, with members’ profiles linked
- Poll: your audience’s opinion
- Share some of your brand stories
- Write about how success has changed your life
- Portfolios about your work
- PDFs about your work
- Behind the scene videos
TikTok is a video-sharing app that is popular among younger users. It allows businesses to create sponsored posts and advertisements that appear in users’ feeds, as well as TikTok ads, which are short videos that appear between users’ content. Because it’s so trend-based, you can use popular sounds, video concepts, and effects to create content for your brand. By using TikTok, you can give your brand a personality-like feel, and it is perfect for raising brand awareness, for employer branding, or anything you would like to achieve with your brand, all this without being too serious, or putting in too much money and effort: you just have to understand the viral trends and go for it.
Content ideas for TikTok:
- Behind the scenes of a project
- Design challenges
- Meme-like content
Collaborate with other users.
- Create a branded hashtag challenge.
- Share some fun facts
- Try out filters
- Do a research, hop on new trends
The star of the show, the one and only, the outdated but immortal Facebook has at least as many pros as cons.
Facebook is a social networking platform that is popular with users of all ages. Advertising on Facebook typically involves sponsored posts and ads that appear in users’ feeds, but you should create content on your profile to get the most out of this platform. Pretty much any format works: texts, videos, pictures, external links, events (that can be linked to Instagram posts), stories and so much more can be shared on Facebook. You can also create groups, which is a unique feature of Facebook, you can use this to make your most loyal fans feel special by sharing exclusive content, or sharing important information without filling your main profile, for example with people participating in an event.
Some ideas for Facebook content:
- Pictures of a project, product, or service being delivered
- Content linked from another platform
- Event communication: you can create/schedule events and share posts for a specific audience
- Facebook groups: grow a community
- Facebook stories: yes, they exist, and most importantly, they work
- Facebook reels: give it a try
- Ask questions. One great way to start conversations with your audience is by simply asking questions.
- Trending topics
- Tell stories
Facebook has the most users on the list, so whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny it: this platform has so much to offer, it would be a shame to not live with it. Who even uses Facebook these days? The answer is, pretty much everyone.
If you have ever seen a keyboard, you most probably have asked yourself: why are the keys in the order they are? The answer is more logical, than you think.
The QWERTY order first was used on old fashioned typewriters. The first generation of typewriters used metal arms, called typebars for each letter. Every one of them had one letter (uppercase and lowercase) molded into the end of them. When pressing a key, the correct typebar rose from the rest and hammered the letter onto the paper with the help of an ink ribbon. Problems started to occur when two adjacent keys were pressed down, because the typebars could get stuck into each other, thus slowing down the process of typing.
To solve this problem, they arranged the keys in an order that the most commonly used letters are the furthest apart from each other- and this is how QWERTY was created.
Most people are already used to the QWERTY, but if you think logically, it isn’t the most efficient: The most commonly used letters being the furthest apart from each other makes that your fingers are constantly moving longer distances.
If you’d like to try out some alternative layouts, here are some funky suggestions:
Dvorak layout presents the most often used letters on the home row so that you don’t have to move your fingers so much. It also takes into account that the majority of the population is right-handed.
Colemak layout maintains much of the original QWERTY layout. This layout is intended to have the strongest fingers type the most frequently used keys.
These are some layouts, but if you’d like to change your whole keyboard, you should look at these:
These keyboards have two square sets of letters on the left and right side of the keyboard with a number pad in the middle, rather than one single rectangular group of keys.
The Razer Tartarus has 32 programmable keys, and it’s comfortable, especially when using them for an extended period of time, like gaming.
If you really hate the QWERTY layout, you can try out these alternatives. We probably won’t, we embrace tradition when it comes to keyboards.
It does matter how big a chair you sit in every day. It does matter what size clothes you wear. And in a 10 square meter apartment a puppy can be considered a big dog. We have to admit that size does matter in some situations. And what’s the most important situation when size really matters? We hope everyone has thought about social media image sizing…
Sizing can seem very simple in some cases, but get a few pixels wrong and you can end up with strange stripes next to the image or missing important information. Social media image sizes are constantly changing, it’s hard to keep track of them, so we’ve summarised them for you to get everything in one place and give you a guide.
About social media photo sizes in general
This is the spreadsheet that should be saved somewhere in the depths of your laptop or phone. We’ll cover each platform in more detail later, but here’s a summary of what you need to know about image sizes in 2022. Dimensions are in pixels, but also in ratios.
What does aspect ratio mean?
Aspect ratio is an image projection attribute that describes the proportional relationship between the width of an image and it’s height. So if you’re looking at a 16:9 ratio, it could be 1920 x 1080 in pixels, but it could also be 2560 x 1440.
Instagram image sizes
- Instagram supports vertical, horizontal and square images, but the main thing is that the smallest side should always be 1080 pixels, so you can upload high-quality images.
- When you share an Instagram image that’s sized over 1080 pixels, Instagram will size it down to 1080 pixels.
- If your uploaded Instagram image is a different ratio, the platform will automatically crop your photo to fit a supported ratio.
Facebook image sizes
- To avoid any compression or distortion, upload a JPG or PNG file.
- You can also upload a video as a cover for a page. The resolution is also 851×315 or 16:9.
Linkedin image sizes
- Make sure your file is smaller than 8MB
- Cover photos are cropped differently on mobile and desktop. Make sure to view your profile on both kinds of display before finalizing.
TikTok image sizes
- Avoid landscape sizing
- Each platform has different sizing, as each platform delivers a different user experience. If your images are sized correctly, you will look more professional, but it will also increase engagement.
And now, have fun!
I am a curious person so there are a few questions that never let me rest: Are we alone in the universe? How could we solve world famine? And most important of all: What is the best laptop for project managers?
In this article I will speak broadly about the subject, but also give my personal recommendations at the end.
Obviously, the question isn’t that simple at all, because if we had infinite money, we could easily buy the best laptop, no questions asked. The real question sounds more like this: How to choose a laptop that fits your workflow best.
First, let’s get something out of the way: Project managers usually have to be able to work remotely, so let’s rule out all desktops. Also, let’s forget about tablets, two-in-ones, foldables, and all other kinds of gimmicks that IN MY OPINION there never make sense outside really specific (and gimmicky) workflows. I KNOW that having a foldable display on a phone or using a magic pen on your overpriced shiny tablet sounds like the future, but until that future becomes mainstream, especially if we are talking about work devices, I’d always go with the safer option. Keep your excitement for technology on the hobby level.
Trust me. You never want to be the nerdy guy who comes into work bragging about his or her “pinnacle of technology” you have spent all your money on, only to notice a few days later that you can’t install a simple text editor software, or adding a printer is more complicated than breaking into a swiss bank account.
Working remotely also brings in the question of battery life. This is something all manufacturers lie about, so make sure to check out real life tests rather than the so called data sheet, that was more or less written by the marketing team rather than the engineers. Yes, looking at you, Apple!
Nowadays a laptop needing a charge only at the end of a usual workday is more like a bare minimum than something special, assuming that as a project manager you don’t start exporting 4K videos or play any triple A games in your lunch break. Note that the battery’s capacity will decrease as the years go by, but this shouldn’t be a major problem when buying from a reputable company.
If your work is in any way related to visuals of any kind, may that be photo, video, design, or print, you NEED a good display that can recreate the quality and color or the final product. If you don’t want to go into much detail, Apple has you covered. Buying a MacBook will get you one of the best displays in it’s price category. If you need something even better, you probably should know how to choose a display.
If Apple is not the way for you, search for a laptop that supports good resolutions. 4K starts to be a norm, but you can get away with 1440p (2K) aswell. But take a good look at the color accuracy.
And no, you do not need a touchscreen. It will only become dirty and wobble when touching the top of the screen. A trackpad or mouse will always be faster, more precise. Keep your fingers for yourself and your smartphone.
As a project manager, I assume you don’t do any hardware intensive jobs like video editing, but you don’t ever want to have to wait, even for half a second when opening a file or switching between tasks.
Nowadays almost all the processors (CPU) found in laptops are quad-core and with a decent clock speed. As long as you choose a recent model, chances are you can’t go wrong.
System memory, also called RAM on the other hand, is important. I assume your work includes a lot of multitasking, researching, reports, emails, and having a lot of tabs open in your browser at a time. To put it simple, everything you do on your laptop uses some amount of RAM. It’s where it stores data that needs to be accessed quickly. When you have a lot of things open at once, it starts filling up, and your computer starts slowing down. Depending on your workflow, 8GB is the bare minimum. If you have the budget, 16GB could be a huge improvement to speed up your workflow.
The graphics card, or GPU is what processes everything you see on your screens. This is the most important component if you are looking for a gaming computer. Otherwise just make sure it can handle the display.
The type of the storage used vastly impacts the responsiveness of your computer. Solid state drives, or SSDs are becoming the norm, but even between SSDs there are noticeable performance differences when it comes to opening a larger file, or starting up an application. The more reputable a manufacturer is, chances are they won’t rip you off with a bad SSD, but if you want to be sure about your choice, do a bit of googling regarding the read and write speeds of the model.
Make sure to get a capacity that suits your needs. You need to have enough space for all your programmes, applications, but also to store all your files you work with. I had a computer with a wicked fast SSD, but it only had 128GB of storage. It drove me crazy. Every time I had to download a large file, I had to make decisions about what to delete. If working with large files, an external drive can help you out, as those tend to be cheaper.
New vs used
To put it bluntly: A newer model will always outperform an older one with the same specifications. Hardware isn’t everything. Optimisations and proper, long lasting driver support can make a huge difference. People tend to make decisions on numbers that most of the time they don’t even understand. You might be amazed about a laptop having twice the memory, only to find out that it uses DDR3, an older technology, instead of DDR4 and in the end being much slower.
Windows vs Mac
This might be already decided by your company or the type of work you do, but if you can make this decision, it might be useful to think about your options. Apple produces their own laptops, so your choices are limited. You either want to buy a MacBook, or go Windows. Machines running Windows tend to be more personalizable but are considered to be less safe. Apple machines are more user friendly, but some of your applications will not run natively. The benefit of a MacBook is optimization. The operating system needs to be optimized for only a handful of models, the software engineers can focus only on those, while Windows has to be able to run smoothly on thousands of kinds of machines.
And for the grand finale: My personal recommendation:
MacBook Air a.k.a. The simple answer
My all time favorite, my daily driver and my go-to recommendation in this price range. The build quality is off the charts. The display is stunning, the battery life is great, and the newer model even has a magsafe charger. In case someone stumbles into your cable, it detaches magnetically and doesn’t rip the laptop with it. The SSD is wicked fast, and I don’t even want to speak about the speakers, because my coworkers hate me for it, when I start watching a video or accidentally play music at the sound level I would if I were alone, or at home. It is user friendly and nothing about it is complicated. The keyboard is great to type on, and the trackpad is one of the best out there. Still, I prefer a mouse.
If you are like me, and like to have more than 30 tabs open in your browser at cone, while listening to music, and have all the possible apps open, and, I recommend getting the one with 16GB of memory, if you have the budget.
Note, make sure to be prepared to pay for dongles and adapters, because you only have two C-type connections. To name another downside, If anything goes wrong, It is practically impossible to repair, or the cost of it shocks you more than a killer ninja asking for your wallet in a dark alley while wearing an “Nem Azariah a hibás” T-shirt. So keep your coffee away from it. Also, not that we are talking about a 13” laptop, so if you need a bigger display, you can go for the MacBook Pro, which has bigger display options, but before getting too excited, check out the price tag first…
Here are some honorable mentions:
Dell XPS 15 a.k.a. The MacBook Pro killer
Expensive, but considered one of the best Windows machines for a variety of use cases. I will not say anything more about this. If you have the money, and you don’t want to buy a MacBook Pro, go for it, you won’t be disappointed.
HP Envy a.k.a. Your Solid but Cute Coworker
When recommending a Windows laptop, it’s hard to pinpoint individual models, as there is a huge variation, most of the time your options are limited by availability and your shop’s stock. But I can recommend product families, where you can browse and select the model that is right for you, depending on your budget or particular needs. HP is a reputable brand, you can still find the first generation of ThinkPads working in some schools or offices. The best advice would be to go into a big tech store and get a feel for the product you have researched online, as the first real life impression can change your opinion drastically.
Asus Zenbook a.k.a. Thanks For The Mention, But Do You Actually Know Anything About Laptops?
The laptop everyone recommends. It has literally nothing special about it, there are a trillion models, making sure you find the specs you are looking for and it doesn’t do anything catastrophically wrong.
I wish you all great browsing and great project managing.