Intern BootcampOur work at Magnet Consulting is overwhelmingly with businesses and other organizations. But sometimes, in our efforts to help our clients have more engaged and productive workforces, we end up helping parents. Yes, parents. Parents like you and me.

This weekend, I clicked the website buttons to officially register my latest child for university this fall. He’s a great kid. Super smart. Talented. And yet, I’m reminded that even he, while prepared academically, doesn’t know much about the work world yet, and he definitely doesn’t know about the professional work world’s office environment and its expectations. That’s why he and his siblings will be attended our TMF Intern Bootcamp this summer.

What is Intern Bootcamp, you ask? It’s the last summer camp to which you send your little darling. Band camp is done, sports camps are done; now they need to learn how to navigate the workplace so that they can be good interns and more importantly, good entry-level employees. As parents, we pour into these Mini-Mes for 18-25 years getting ready for this point and while we love them, let’s be clear: We need them to go be successful adults.

Nobody dreams of their 30-year old occupying their basement, playing video games and delivering pizza part time. We need them to move along. To do it right and not boomerang back to the nest, we need to be sure they’re prepared to wow their bosses. That’s where Intern Bootcamp comes in. But before you send them to their week with us, below are some tips that can help them on the job today.

Interviews matter a lot. Phone, in-person, or video, interviews will never go away. Today’s young professionals need to be ready with specific, real examples of situations they’ve been in and actions they’ve taken which demonstrate their skills and competencies. At this stage of their career, they don’t need to be worried that the examples are from clubs or sports or the part-time job at the local mall. What they do need to focus on is nailing down the specific details. What was the situation? What specifically did you do? How does that action demonstrate a skill that would be useful on this new job? What was the result? Although everyone who signs up for Intern Bootcamp “gets in,” the participants must go through a phone interview before starting. During the week, they will also receive feedback on their interviewing skills, a much-needed tool, and something that never happens with a real interview.

Interviews matter, but they should also expect online and other testing. Many, many major and not-so-major companies engage in online testing. These tests take the form of knowledge tests, personality tests, and sometimes what are called situational judgement tests, i.e., applicants are asked to review a potential work situation and choose the best way to handle that situation. Job seekers can read about these tests so they are prepared to face them. Intern Bootcamp attendees will have the opportunity to try some of these tests and receive feedback on them.

Initiative goes a long way. Even the best students sometimes don’t realize that asking for more work and volunteering for assignments can be the key to winning your boss over. Encourage young professionals to seek out experiences. Yes, that means they must go into the boss’s office, look them in the eye and speak aloud, but that’s a lesson unto itself—the business world isn’t about texting. At Intern Bootcamp, participants will receive real work assignments, but importantly, will get specific feedback on them as they go, unlike in the work world where bosses are often too busy or too reticent to provide feedback and just end up getting irritated and doing the work themselves. In addition to assigned projects, though, our participants will learn the hard way or the easy way the importance of asking for additional work.

We have more tips for young professionals but we know attention span for blogs taps out before 700 words, so we will save those for another day.

To learn more about Intern Bootcamp and to sign up your student, visit  For a discount, do this before May 15!