We Terminated Our Awesome Intern

The process of building a company includes building a team. Sometimes people join. Sometimes people leave. Regardless of how they leave, it’s called termination in the eyes of the human-resources-type folks of the world.

Termination. It’s such a harsh sounding term.

For the past three months, we had the pleasure of having a Finnish intern work on our engineering team. He left last week to finish his studies. Thus, I had to terminate him.

The choice to have this person join our team was the right one. We were able to accomplish more work in the same amount of time while he was here, since he could handle technical issues that otherwise would have fallen to lower priority in the queue.

A few thoughts from this experience:

  • Costs. Remember that everything has a cost, and the cost is not always dollars. When you bring on an intern, you’re committing some of your time and capacity to help this person.

  • Real work. By empowering our intern with real, meaningful work, he was able to grow his skills while also delivering things that made a difference for us. As a matter of fact, he helped implement the new design of the Edthena home page. That’s high impact for both sides.

  • Visas. Our intern was from Finland. Yay. Our intern was from Finland. Oh. Em. Gee. There were a lot of important and scary forms that we had to fill out to secure the right visas for his visit. Work with a lawyer that does that stuff all the time.

And in case anyone is curious, I classified this termination as “Voluntary — Non-regretful” in the employement system.

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