DEAR HARRIETTE: This summer, I am directly managing an intern for my operations team. Whenever my intern has some downtime, I encourage her to go check out other departments of the company so she can learn during her time with us.
I thought this was a great plan until I realized another colleague was giving her orders and using her for errands. How do I stick up for my intern when other departments are asking her to do work that takes her away from her responsibilities? -- No Funny Business, Cleveland
DEAR NO FUNNY BUSINESS: Let’s start with assessing how much downtime your intern has. It may be beneficial to her not only to observe what other departments are doing, but also to take part in some of their work. If she is handling a task or two here and there with other departments, that may not be a problem. Before you jump to conclusions, evaluate how your intern is spending her time, what others are asking her to do and whether she feels that she is learning. Next, speak to your colleague and ask the person to clear any tasks to be given to the intern with you before assigning them so that you can manage her time. The way you can stick up for your intern is to oversee her time. You may not need to block other engagement at your job, though.