I'm starting an internship program for our software department and I was wondering about creating a position ("chief intern", intern supervisor, or whatever one should call it) with the following responsibilities:
- Train interns
- Coach interns
- Manage projects and tasks for interns
- Supervise intern's work in terms of rhythm and quality
- Act as a liaison between the main team's needs and interns performance/aspirations
- Evaluate and facilitate intern's progress when they want to grab a higher-level domain-specific task (at this point, a main dev team member can do mentoring)
- Get freely involved in the main team's software development tasks so that he himself can grow, and have full mentorship from the main dev team.
I'm thinking that an apprentice-level engineer (below Jr., or Jr.; but being a graduate and working full-time) can handle this for a while (he will be trained by the main dev team first), until one of two things happen:
- He/she decides to move on to the main dev team by recommending an appropriate replacement (or me finding another one as a new hire)
- Keep leading the interns while still being able to grow to Jr. Eng., Eng., Sr. Eng
I know the notion of a "chief intern" is common within the medical world, but I don't really know about that in the software world (I was a freelancer for most of my university years).
A side-intention to this is also that, if this ends up being a higher rotation position (organically) because the intern supervisor wants to join the main dev team, this could help interns that aspire this position emerge as leaders.
My main intention for this, though, is removing distractions from the main team but without making the interns suffer the lack of attention, which could lead to boredom and little intern retention.
Is this "chief intern" idea common (or good at least)?, are there any obvious risks to it that I might not be seeing?
Edit: I have a draft plan for the kind of work the interns would be doing: Are R&D mini-projects a good activity for interns?
Edit #2: My intention is not keeping them isolated, but having someone focus on giving attention to them when we cannot.
Edit #3: I'm now convince it is a good idea, but I will take the organic approach to hiring someone in such position: do it myself until I cannot. This way I'll know better what to expect from a person I hire for this role in the future, as well as what works and what doesn't with interns.