Train Your Teams Up In the Way They Should Go

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How do you train six team leaders and around sixty interns to work for two months ins even different locations on three different continents with very different tasks in just a week an a half? Chaotically.

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All the rooms in the Forum, this sketchy hotel where we live and work and I go into more detail about here, are named after cities around the world. So Thursday to Saturday was APC (Assistant Program Coordinator) training which basically meant camping out in the Bangalores, named for a city in India that but air-conditioned to more closely resemble Moscow, for 12-14 hours at a time. We learned how to lead teams and what on earth we were doing over there and blossomed into what is more affectionately known as #APfam, as you know if you’ve seen any of my social media interaction for the last two weeks. This is the fam:

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And let me introduce you to all my interns real quick cause I’m going to be using their names for the next two months so you need some context.

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George, Teresa, Dina, Kim, Elise, Atra, Shannon, Josh, Me, Logan, Christina, and Elie.

So you’re fresh off of four days of intensive team leader training and the interns are rolling in, so the next stage and seemingly the Most Important Thing is to make a good impression. I aced this by having my first ever interaction with one of my interns be accidentally waking Dina up from her post red-eye nap. I spent the afternoon on welcome committee which means post up downstairs by the front door, and take your best guess if the people walking by you are potential interns or just regular strangers. I managed to guess incorrectly every time.

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Other greeting day highlights include:
Audrey bleeding on all the intern’s binders, visibly cringing when a kid shook my hand because my nails were wet, Audrey praying over the interns that they would “keep trucking,” Elise asking if she should make me or her mom her emergency contact in what was potentially the most rewarding moment of my life, and—after hearing Teresa’s Strengths Finder results—telling her and Shannon that I was the opposite of responsible.

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By the end, the most important thing I had learned in a week and a half of training was how a stairwell is like vacation. Stairwells are amazing. They’re always there, they’re always empty, and they’re only creepy like half the time. Half the stairwells in the forum have this open air balcony where there’s almost guaranteed to be no other humans and where you can remove yourself from air conditioning prison and remember what it was like to be outside. When you’re in a stairwell, you could be anywhere in the world. Although if you’re in a stairwell in Fort Lauderdale, consider yourself fortunate and just stay put.

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The week ended with goodbyes. To America, to South Florida, to APfam, and to familiar for the next two months. And with hellos, but we’ve got two months to talk about that.

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