Role Reversal: Trying to Snag an Intern

We had a visit last night from a tall Chinese student named Sitian. He is a computer science major at UMass, and he applied for an internship with GoNOMAD. For the first time, the roles were reversed, and we were in a new position of really, really wanting him to say yes to our program.

We’ve been hosting interns since the very earliest basement-days of the website. We’ve had at least one, mostly two journalism or communications majors as interns every year since 2005. They are always eager to come on board, and they write stories, send out link requests, update blogs and learn how to publish on the web. It’s never hard to interest them in our internship program, and it’s usually them convincing us that they’re up to the job.

But last night my webmaster Joe and I were in a new position. Sitian told us about his computer work, involving facial recognition and creating complex databases, and said he had several other companies who he was considering. We thought about the database we want to build, and the complex programming challenges that have eluded us…this guy could really help us out, we thought, how do we get him interested in us?

I told him about the kind of experience we’d give him; and that an internship with us would round out his college experience. It wasn’t just geek work, I said, it was a different set of challenges. He left after a 30-minute interview and said he’d let us know. We hope he says yes.