Every summer, the Director of HR comes down to tell me that i've (mysteriously) qualified once again for the annual Regents Internship Program, and that in the next few weeks, i'm to interview the list of candidates whose profiles met my seasonal needs. She will shyly wink at me as i inquire into the "quality" of the crop this year, assuring me that i will find several qualified applicants.
The following two weeks, my secretary will arrange interviews every afternoon from 2-4, wherein i will meet the various candidates who've among all of them, never had experience in an office or department like mine. My secretary, who i would know not what to do with my daily industry were it not for her diligent inspection and filtration of anyone who would try to get a moment of my time, has further whittled down the list to ensure that the right fit will be among them.
Every single person i interview, it should come as no shock, is female.
During each screening, I see a complete spectrum of red tones flushing their cheeks, a display of the various acrobatic skills their fingers have as they nervously twirl them on the conference table, but almost never the whites of their eyes. Out of the handful that i interview, one or two will stand out. They are the ones who tilt their head as they softly but with some grip to it, shake my hand, offering a smile that lifts my gravity up from my ankles. They laugh at my dry humor, and appropriately stifle a forced chuckle when i'm being absurd. They are the ones that stick in my mind, leaving me with an excitement at the idea that they might flit around my office all summer.
Once i've selected the one i want, i have my secretary draft letters to all who came in. Polite dismissals to those who didn't earn the position, and a detailed list of guidelines and expectations to the one who did. And yes, there is a run-down of the dress code i expect.
I do not mention the dress code at all beyond the correspondance they receive in the form of an offer letter, but, not a single intern in the last seven years has failed to comply. There have been those incidents where i know for a fact that the intern was testing my resolve, and i have had to send them home for the day as a result. Some have even gone home crying. But, they've always returned, and by the end of the summer, we've developed quite a deep and sincere rapport. A good handful of my past interns keep in touch with me even to this day (one flattered me two years ago by asking me to walk her down the aisle).
I provide them with an exposure to an office environment, especially one that deals with as diverse a cross-section as government officials, union representatives, stodgy accountants, and high-level management. But something tells me, that's not why i continue to have success with the interns i've selected over the years. There are those days where i will call her into my office, ask her to close the door and just sit in the chair as i work.
She knows why she's there, and so do i.
*this continues on here