Today I wanted to take a moment to recognize one of Make Music Count’s star players who also happens to be our first official intern.
This summer I had the pleasure of working with my first intern. Kaylyn is a rising Junior who attends Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, which requires each student to complete an internship before graduation. She’s expressed interest in music therapy, so her parents thought it’d be an excellent idea for her to join me this summer. I’ve hired countless college students before as teachers for my school partners. But I was both nervous and excited to have someone who would be around to see what happens behind the scenes when it comes to operating Make Music Count.
I believe that it’s essential for employers to make interns time worthwhile. Having someone to make copies and organize my office just isn’t an experience I would have wanted to have as an intern. And I really wanted her to take away some essential tools I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. So I decided that I would include Kaylyn on everything that was happening with my business. That meant attending business meetings, hearing phone conferences with new interested partners, coming to meetings with my app developers and marketing team, going to the bank, teaching classes, and even hearing my frustrations when dealing with employees that drop the ball or when opportunities on my end fell short. I was an open book, and she really seemed to take everything in quite well. After a phone call or meeting, I would ask her if she understood everything we talked about and if she had any questions. This helped me tremendously because it was another way for me to debrief all of the information I had just talked about.
The real benefit of having Kaylyn around came when I decided to give her something I actually needed. I told her that in order for this to be beneficial to her and to me, I needed to give her an assignment that I personally would have worked on if she wasn’t with me. My greatest need at the moment was creating new math content for the Make Music Count curriculum. I already had a workbook on fractions, algebra, and graphing, but I needed something new.
I challenged her to provide me with a new type of mathematics that could be applied to the music lessons. This was a big step for me personally because I’ve never trusted anyone else with creating material. First, that’s my favorite part of what I do, and secondly, I’ve never taught anyone else how to create new material, only how to teach what I’d already created. This was a big step for me, but I saw that Kaylyn was extremely smart so I figured this was a great time to challenge us both. I’m so glad I did! Kaylyn stepped up to the plate and hit a home run! I told her that she was free to experiment with any type of mathematics, as long as she provided me with a complete example of its usage in a music example. Because of my intern Kaylyn, we are now releasing a brand new workbook focusing on Pre Calculus. Connecting radians, sine, cosine, tangent, and matrices- this new workbook is next level! And it’s right in time to add into the curriculum for the new app that’s being released at the end of the summer.
I encourage every employer to give your interns real responsibility. Why else do you have them there? Let them feel the pressure of a deadline. In most cases, they will surpass your expectations. They’ll be appreciative of the trust you had in them and you’ll be appreciative of being able to take something important off of your to-do list. All I know is that Kaylyn has set an extremely high bar for whoever I hire next. Thanks so much for your hard work this summer!
Check out the Make Music Count app and read about how we’re helping teachers and students tackle math anxiety. https://makemusiccount.com