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Update for anyone interested in being an intern at NixonMcInnes

Occasionally people get in contact with NixonMcInnes and ask if we have an intern scheme. The answer is complicated. We do and we don’t. This post is an update for anyone interested in experiencing life here at NM.

Does NM have an intern programme?

Technically no. We have no formal process or procedure for taking on interns, but in the past two years we have hosted three interns. This has either been through a formal process and arranged by Wired Sussex (this was how we found the wonderful Caz), or through people that we know.

Is NM working on an intern programme?

YES! It’s been a project of mine for the past couple of months to flesh out what a more organised scheme would look like and then to make it happen. The good news is that I’m almost there, the bad news is that a thorny issue (see below) needs to be resolved before we go ‘live’.

I’m really keen to develop a programme that’s fun for those coming into NM, but also something that is beneficial for us. I also wanted an application process that focussed on the applicant’s personality rather than their social media smarts. For us the benefit of hosting an intern isn’t farming them out on client tasks, but to learn from them, to be inspired and to expand our understanding of technology and people.

This could be a teenager shooting down myths, explaining how he and his friends actually use mobile phones, or it could be a stay-at-home parent highlighting the technological challenges faced by a modern family.

Why the hold-up?!?!

When Will and I sat down to map out our ideal intern programme we were adamant that it should be diverse. As stated above we don’t want people for their Twitter numbers. We want interesting and interested people from all walks of life.

When I presented version 1.0 of the programme to the team a couple of weeks back the main debate was around paying interns. Some argued that without subsidised travel and/or payment of some kind we would never have diverse applications as certain people simply couldn’t afford to spend a week with us. Others argued that passionate individuals, whatever their background, would make it happen.

We need to think about the financial impact to us whatever route we take, and also bear in mind best practice and the relevant legal/employment issues. It’s annoyingly complex but I’m confident that once it’s sorted the programme will be stronger for having answered this question.

What would an intern do?

This is still being fleshed out but loosely speaking you would be doing a bit of everything. You would have a manager for the week whose job it would be to get you involved in internal brainstorms, external client meetings and probably some mundane tasks in between. We also want interns to produce something over the week. This might be a blog post, a small robot replica of Will, or a presentation to the team on a topic of your choice.

How long would an intern placement last?

Five days. Monday to Friday. Normal working hours, which for us is normally 9 to 5.

This sounds interesting, how can I apply?

Until I’ve answered the question above, any applications received (people normally send an email into are being responded to and stored in a folder in my inbox. When everything is squared away we’ll be announcing the application process on this blog, on our various Twitter profiles and maybe by sandwich board if I can rustle one up.

What if I have an opinion on what the intern programme should or shouldn’t be?

Leave a comment below. I’m genuinely interested in what people would want from a week with NM, so will answer questions you have and probably ask some back.

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